How do I apply?
Fill out the online application and upload the supporting documents (resume, essay, etc.). See the How to Apply page for more details.
The online application will open in December and closes Friday, March 27, 2020. Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis due to limited space availability. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible in order to be placed in their preferred courses.
Applicants must demonstrate both exceptional ability and the potential to benefit from the course offerings, as well as the social and emotional maturity and organizational skills to thrive in this three-week residential environment.
How many applications do you receive each year, and what is the acceptance rate?
Application numbers vary year to year; last year we received
about 70 applications. Most students were accepted, since we typically only
receive qualified applicants. From our experience, we have found students who
are looking for a challenging academic experience and have taken the SAT and/or
ACT at an early age are generally highly motivated and qualified for entry
level college courses. This is why we ask for either a SAT or ACT score in
addition to the other application materials. Since students take these tests at
different ages and performance score scales adjust year to year, we do not have
a rigid minimum score. Instead, we review applications as a whole (SAT/ACT
scores, teacher nomination, essay, and resume) to determine if an applicant is
ready for an academic, residential program. If you have concerns about scores
or other components of the application, we invite you to contact
Students will be notified of acceptance within one month of application completion. Please note, applications are considered complete when all components have been received and the Recommendation form has been recieved.
Do you accept the PSAT or other tests?
No. We only accept scores from the SAT and ACT at this time.
What if I want to make a change to my application once it has been submitted?
Please contact us at THINK@davidsongifted.org to make changes to your submitted application.
What if I am accepted, but don't get my first-choice classes?
Students are placed in courses on a first-come, first-served basis. The sooner you complete all parts of your application, the better your chances of getting in your first-choice courses. You will be placed in your second or third choice course (depending on availability) if your first preference course is full. We can place you on a wait list for your first-choice class in case a space becomes available throughout the application and final enrollment processes. You will be notified before any changes are made to your course placement. Keep in mind that regardless of class selection and placement, all payment deadlines still apply to reserve your place at THINK.
I am a Davidson Academy student. Do these courses affect my high school transcript?
Yes, all THINK courses will be listed on your official Davidson Academy transcript and will be factored into your GPA. Additionally, your THINK course credits will be reflected on a University of Nevada, Reno transcript.
What does the Davidson THINK Summer Institute cost?
There is an application fee of $50, plus tuition of $3,800 covers course credits, room and board, textbooks and course materials, laundry fees, and the cost of all planned program activities. Participants are responsible for additional charges associated with transportation to and from the program as well as any desired spending money. Applications for financial assistance should be submitted concurrently with the program application. All THINK program fees are non-refundable.
How do I apply for financial assistance?
Please complete the Financial Assistance Application concurrently with the Davidson THINK Summer Institute application. This process can take some time, so we recommend starting as soon as possible.
If you are a returning student and/or a Davidson Young Scholar who already has a FA application on file, please contact our Financial Assistance Coordinator at FAC@DavidsonGifted.org.
How much spending money should I bring?
Bring as much as your habits and comfort level would indicate. We usually recommend $50-$150. You will have the chance to visit the university bookstore, general store for snacks/drinks, and various gift shops. You may want to bring additional funds if you need to pay for checked baggage at the airport.
What if I cannot pay my deposit fee right away—can I get an extension?
Extension on a payment deadline will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Please keep in mind that even if an extension is granted, we cannot hold your place in the program or class if it reaches capacity.
Another opportunity or circumstance came up and I can't attend THINK anymore. Can I get a refund?
All THINK fees and tuition are nonrefundable. However, we understand that students may not be able to attend due to unanticipated hardships. A partial refund may be awarded to students who cannot attend due to extenuating circumstances. These include:
The decision to grant a partial refund is under the discretion of the Davidson Institute and refunds issued will be less any expenses already incurred in the application and preparation process. A refund request may be requested in writing along with any supporting documentation, if needed.
Yes! The courses offered at THINK are actual college courses through the UNR. Participants take two classes totaling six college credits which may be transferable to other universities, and in some cases, even high school programs. Courses are taught by faculty members of the University of Nevada, Reno and are offered exclusively to THINK participants during the program dates.
Are prerequisites required for THINK courses?
Most classes do not have prerequisite requirements, as they introductory level college courses. However, some courses (particularly math courses) require prerequisites. These will be indicated on the course page, and you will have the option to upload documentation of prerequisite completion in the online application. Documentation must be sent by an assigned deadline in May unless otherwise prearranged with our staff.
PRIOR TO THINK
You will have access to a description of the course including
a biography on the professor and a tentative syllabus. The final syllabus will
be given at the start of THINK during your course orientation with the
instructor. If you have additional questions about the course, please feel free
to contact us at
No. Textbooks are provided by THINK for each course. Students will receive them at THINK during the course orientations.
What do I need to do to prepare for my course? Will I have homework prior to the start of the program?
Some instructors will have you do some pre-reading before the first day of class, but generally, you do not need to do any homework or prep before THINK begins.
We will provide you with the textbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, a small bag to hold these items and a laptop. You may bring other supplies if you would like (calculator, planner, etc.). Please see the list of items not to bring on the packing list.
Where will the courses be taught?
How large are the classes?
Class size varies year to year but are typically capped at 20 students per course.
Will I attend an orientation session for my course?
Yes. Course orientation will take place on the second day of THINK. During this time you will receive your textbooks, meet your instructors, and learn what to expect in each course.
What is the course load like during THINK?
On a typical night at THINK, you can expect anywhere from one to three hours of homework per course. But, please don’t be intimidated! You will be living with other students in the same classes creating a collaborative, academically-focused environment that we hope you will find supportive and encouraging. Part of what students gain from THINK is a strong sense of time management and accomplishment—feeling more confident to enter a full semester of college in the future.
How can I access my grades and progress throughout the courses?
You can access your grades online through WebCampus/Canvas, which is an online tool to connect with your classroom and instructor. It provides an easy way for students to access course materials and for online submissions of coursework. Not all THINK courses may use WebCampus/Canvas and there will be other ways to receive grades and materials, if so. The most accurate way to check your grade is directly with your instructor. At least one official progress report is required from instructors at the end of the second week of class (though your instructor may provide more).
You are responsible for monitoring your own academic performance, including grade calculations and anticipated final grades. Staff will remain aware of general course outcomes, but details regarding specific grades need to be addressed directly between you and your instructors.
Will my parents/guardians have access to my grades?
You can provide your parents with your WebCampus/Canvas log-in credentials if you feel comfortable doing so. However, it is up to you to provide this information as THINK staff does not have access to student usernames and passwords.
If parents have questions or concerns, we recommend that they first connect with you, as you will have the most direct access to your assignments and grades. However, our staff is also here to offer support should any additional questions arise.
What happens if I am struggling in a course?
THINK staff is here to support you! You are encouraged to reach out to Program Assistants, attend study sessions, and ask your instructors for help. Know that during your time at THINK, staff will be checking in with you to ensure you are on track and keeping up with the workload.
At the end of the second week of instruction, we will send a progress report via email to you and your parents which includes your cumulative grade up through that point in the program. This should help to give you an idea of what your final grade might look like in relation to the remaining coursework and allotted points available.
In some cases, students who are unsatisfied with their academic performance and/or feel they are unable to complete the course with a grade they are comfortable receiving consider the option to audit one of their two THINK courses. Per university policy, the decision to audit a course rather than earn a letter grade needs to be determined and delivered in writing (via email) to the THINK staff by the following Monday (first day of the final week of the program).
What is auditing?
In rare circumstances, students explore the option to audit a course rather than take the class for credit. THINK staff will work with you and your family to determine if auditing the course is an appropriate option. The decision to audit involves both parents/legal guardians, student, THINK staff, and the instructors. Our goal is to help students successfully complete their courses for credit with a letter grade, and students are expected to complete their courses to the best of their ability.
However, on occasion, a student may decide that the anticipated grade they will earn is unsatisfactory by their standards. If this is the case, you may decide to audit a course rather than receive a letter grade.If you choose this option, an audit (AU) will appear on your transcript indicating you participated in the course without earning credit or a grade. In order to complete THINK, a student may only audit a maximum of 3 credits (one course). The decision to audit has a strict deadline of the last Monday of the program.
What happens to my courses if an unexpected circumstance comes up and I need to leave the program early?
As with a typical university class,
family emergencies, illnesses and other outlying circumstances bring a number
of factors into play: timing (how far into the course the student is), the
course instructor, the course structure, and student and family desires. Such
situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
How can I access my final grades?
You may be able to view your grades
through WebCampus/Canvas. However, this tool does not always reflect final
grades as it is used as a communication tool between instructor and students
and is not officially reported to the university and not all courses may use
WebCampus/Canvas. Once final grades are submitted by instructors, usually about
2 to 3 weeks after THINK ends, you can also view your final grade in MyNEVADA.
You will need to set up your account and can do so with the
MyNEVADA instructions after
THINK has started.
An unofficial copy of your UNR
transcript will also be emailed to you about one month after THINK ends and it
will reflect your final grades in your courses.
When will I receive a copy of my UNR transcript?
A copy of your UNR transcript will be sent via email by mid-to late September. This copy will be considered an
unofficial transcript. You can order additional copies of official or unofficial transcripts directly through the UNR Transcript Requests page. We cannot provide any additional copies of official or unofficial transcripts as they come directly through the university.
Do I have to report my UNR grades received at THINK on college applications?
This will depend on the school(s) to which you are applying. Many schools will ask for a comprehensive list of college credits earned at other institutions. It is your responsibility to reach out to prospective schools and/or programs regarding their policies on credit reporting.
Can I transfer the college credit I receive at THINK to my high school or college?
It depends. It is up to the school you are trying to transfer the credits to if they will accept the credit or not. At the high school level, some students have advocated to have their college credit count towards high school credit. Individual colleges and universities have varied policies regarding credit transfer. All decisions to count credits are ultimately up to the school. It is your responsibility to reach out to prospective schools and/or programs regarding their policies on credit transfers.
I am a Davidson Academy student. Do these courses affect my high school transcript?
This program is an intense academic residential experience. As such, students are expected to remain on campus for the full three weeks and are expected to fully participate in all courses and activities. Only those who are interested in an intense full-immersion college learning experience should apply.
Can my parents/guardians visit?
Yes. There are two opportunities for parents to check students out of the program for a brief visit on the second and third Sundays of the program. Due to campus security, these visits will need to be prescheduled with our staff at least 24 hours in advance.
How is the program supervised?
THINK participants are ultimately responsible for their own behavior. Administrative staff, program assistants, and instructors work in partnership with students to uphold program policies with the shared goal of creating and maintaining a safe, healthy program environment. Students are assigned a program assistant, who will serve as the primary contact during the program. Program assistants live in the dorms alongside students, attend classes, and supervise activities. They are available to offer assistance and support during the program and as well as implement program policies.
Yes! Almost all meals during the program are eaten at the resident dining hall. This University of Nevada, Reno dining facility is experienced at accommodating student's special dietary needs. We work closely with the university dining staff to create a food allergy action plan to determine what accommodations can be made for specific student needs. It is not required, but students are also welcome to bring their favorite nonperishable snacks from home. If you have any questions or concerns about diet accommodations, please feel free to contact us.
When will I find out who my roommate is? Can I make a roommate request?
You will learn who your roommate is on arrival day. You will have the chance to fill out a dorm life survey before the program to help us match you. There is also a rommate request form where you can submit a request for a specific person, if you would like to do so. We will do our best to accommodate roommate requests, but cannot guarantee placement.
Are laundry services available?
Yes. There are laundry machines available on the dorm floor. We provide laundry detergent and the funds needed to access the machines.
Are medical services available?
All program staff are CPR and First Aid certified. Emergencies will be directed to either St. Mary's Regional Medical Center or Renown Health. Students also have access to the University's Student Health Center. We also have a program nurse that checks in on a daily basis.
Will there be a chance to exercise during the program?
Students can regularly visit the E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center with access to aerobic equipment, group fitness classes, running track, fitness stairs, and basketball courts. Students do not have access to strength areas. In the past, students have organized running groups and sporting events at or around the historic campus quad.
Can I bring my musical instrument?
No. As a university policy, musical instruments are not permitted in the dorms.
When is the 2020 Davidson THINK Summer Institute?
Students attending THINK are expected to arrive July 11, 2020 and depart August 1, 2020.
Who sponsors the Davidson THINK Summer Institute?
THINK is a program of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development in conjunction with the University of Nevada, Reno. THINK is a nonprofit program and the costs are subsidized by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
Where do students attend from?
Students come from all over the country! We have had attendees from almost every state.
Can homeschooled students participate?
Yes. Students who are being homeschooled are eligible, provided they meet the qualifications. Please email THINK@davidsongifted.org if you have questions about nominator information for homeschoolers.
How long has THINK been around?
Since 2004, THINK has served over 650 students.
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Started in 1999, the Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a 501(c)3 private operating foundation. Our mission is to recognize, nurture and support profoundly intelligent young people ages 18 and under, and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference.
Profoundly gifted students are those who score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ and achievement tests. Read more about this population in this article.