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THINK Summer: How to Apply

The 2024 THINK Application Deadline Has Passed.

The 2024 application is closed. The 2025 application will open in late 2024.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis during the application window. Course placement is first-come, first-served, so we recommend applying early by following the steps below.

Apply Now

Step 1: Eligibility

Step 1: Review Essential Information

  • Review the 2024 program dates: Saturday, July 13 - Saturday, August 3
  • Read the eligibility requirements to ensure you met the criteria
  • Review tuition and fees for program costs and timeline for payments
  • Review the application section in the FAQs
  • Read the Policies section in the Parent Resources page

Step 2: Prepare Application Materials

Test Scores

Obtain a copy of your SAT, ACT, PSAT 10, or PSAT 8/9 test score report

A minimum score is not given because applications are reviewed as a whole to evaluate student readiness. Age of the student at the time of testing is also taken into consideration. The essay portion of the SAT is not required.

We have partnered with Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development (CTD) to offer the opportunity to take an official practice SAT powered by Khan Academy. Scores can be used to apply to any Davidson Institute program, including THINK. More information and registration >


Have a copy of your current school transcript showing which courses you are currently enrolled in (please no report cards). 

  • For prerequisites, please combine multiple transcripts into one PDF if needed.
  • If Math 181 (Calculus I) is your first or second-choice course, please be sure to have a transcript showing current enrollment in or past completion of Precalculus/Trigonometry.


Recommender Contact Information

Collect the name and email address of an educator who has agreed to complete a recommendation form on your behalf. Recommenders should be able to speak to your abilities and aptitude for a challenging, residential college experience. We suggest this individual has direct experience working with you within the past 12 months.

If you have any difficulty finding a recommender who meets these requirements, please contact us for more information.


Write your responses to the three short essay prompts.

The essays responses allow us to learn more about the applicant and their readiness for THINK. Each short essay should not exceed 300 words.

Only one file can be uploaded in the essay portion of the application, so all three essays should be saved in one PDF file.

Essay #1:
Introduce yourself, explain why you want to attend THINK, what you hope to gain from attending, and why you are interested in your first-choice course. Address prerequisite completion (if applicable), any experience you have had at summer camps (if applicable), and any experience staying organized and remaining focused in a challenging learning atmosphere. 

Essay #2:
THINK is an intense academic and social experience that requires organization and focus. Please tell us about a time that you experienced a social or emotional challenge. How did you overcome this challenge and how do you believe having this experience will benefit you during your time at THINK?  

Essay #3: Choose ONE of the following prompts:

  • Write about a problem that you want to solve. It can be as big or as small as you can think of! How will you solve it?

  • Pick a quote or song lyric that best describes a lot about you at the moment. Explain why you connect with it.

  • Describe something you're passionate about, something that makes you easily lose track of time. How do you learn more about it? What makes it so appealing?

Waived Materials

  • Returning THINK students do not need to submit test scores or a recommendation.
  • Applicants enrolled in the Young Scholars program or the Davidson Academy do not need to submit test scores.

The application will ask for Davidson Program Experience, current or past, and will automatically skip these sections if applicable.

Step 3: Submit the Application

Complete Online Application


The application system is called CampInTouch. If your student has applied for or attended a Davidson Summer Program or the Young Scholar Summit since 2019, you already have an account. Please reset your password if needed, and do NOT create a new account. 

The online application includes the following sections:

  • Initial account setup or login
  • Household information
  • Student information
  • Recommender contact information (we send the recommender form to the person you list)
  • School information
  • Course selection
  • Test scores
  • Acknowledgements and agreements
  • $25 application fee

Upload Application Documents

After submitting the application, you will need to upload the following documents:

  • essays (combined into one PDF)
  • transcript
  • test score report

After completing the application, select "My Account Menu."  Navigate to the "Forms & Documents" section to upload documents.

If you have logged out since submitting the application, login to your CampInTouch account to access "Form & Documents".

Step 4: Review Process

Completed Applications

IMPORTANT: Applications are not eligible for review or course placement until ALL items have been completed, including:

  • $25 app fee paid
  • Online application submitted
  • All application documents uploaded in your CampInTouch "Forms & Documents" section
  • Educator has completed the Recommendation Form
    (We send this form directly to your educator after you submit your application; however, we suggest students follow up directly with them to ensure they have received it.)

Applications are ordered for first-come, first-served by their completion date (the day all items have been received/completed).

The review committee evaluates applications on an individual basis to determine in the applicant is qualified.

Decision Notifications

Decision notifications will be sent via email within one month of the application being completed. Once admitted into the program, additional information regarding next steps will be emailed to the student and parents. 

The Davidson THINK Summer Institute does not discriminate based on race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or disability. The Davidson THINK Summer Institute strongly recommends keeping a copy of your application materials for your records, as all applications and uploaded documents become property of the Davidson THINK Summer Institute and will not be returned.

Questions? Contact us at or call (775) 852-3483