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How to Apply

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The Davidson Young Scholars program application is available online through our digital application system. Applications are reviewed year-round during specific application periods.

Application Due Dates are:

  • January 5, 2024 – Last deadline to qualify to apply to STARS 2024.
  • February 23, 2024 – Last deadline to qualify to apply for REACH 2024 and to register for Summit 2024.
  • April 26, 2024
  • July 26, 2024
  • September 13, 2024
  • November 1, 2024

Applicants can expect to hear back regarding a decision for their application within 2 weeks of their cycle’s application due date. That is, if you submit your application by February 28, you will hear back by March 14 (two weeks after the February 28 due date).

Please review the following application components that are required before an application is considered complete.

Application Components

Family Demographic Information

This section collects basic information about the applicant and their family.

Parent Questionnaire

This section includes a series of questions to better understand how giftedness manifests in the applicant.

School Information

In this section, the application asks for the applicant’s current school, grade level, and education history.

Testing Requirements

An official and complete testing report must be uploaded as a PDF to the application. For more information, please see our Eligibility and Testing Requirements.

Supplemental Portfolio Requirements

If you are submitting testing that is more than 4 years old or that are PSAT, SAT, ACT, or ITBS scores, a portfolio of three (3) work samples is required. While supplemental information will not override scores that fall significantly below the Eligibility and Testing Requirements, this section can be used to enhance the review committee’s understanding of the applicant’s abilities.

If you are not submitting testing that is more than 4 years old or that are PSAT, SAT, or ACT scores, submitting a portfolio is optional.

Parent Agreement Form(s)

Digital signatures are required on Parent Agreement Form(s) from all persons sharing legal custody of the applicant. Applicants must provide contact information for all persons who share legal custody, regardless of any "physical custody" arrangements. Once the online application has been submitted, each person listed as having legal custody will be sent an email automatically that includes a link to a Parent Agreement Form. Each person with legal custody must fill out and submit a Parent Agreement Form before an application is considered complete.

Recommender Form

Applicants must provide the name and email address of an individual who can nominate the applicant for the Young Scholars Program.

  • The recommender cannot be related to the applicant. Family members cannot complete the Recommender Form.
  • The recommender cannot be the individual who administered the testing used in the application.
  • The recommender should be someone who can speak to the applicant’s academic and extreme intellectual abilities.

Possible recommenders include teachers, instructors, extracurricular activity leaders, librarians, mentors, coaches, or tutors.

Once an application has been submitted, an email will be sent to the recommender with a link to a Recommender Form. The recommender must fill out and submit a Recommender Form before an application is considered complete

When the Recommender Form has been submitted, a notification of receipt will be emailed to both the Recommender and the parent/guardians included on the application.


Step 1: Create an account in the application system.

The 2023 application is open and available here.

If you already applied for a Davidson Institute program using the Davidson Application System, you may use the same login information to apply for the Davidson Young Scholars program.

Step 2: Prepare application materials.

  • Testing report of test listed on Eligibility and Testing page
  • Portfolio information (optional unless submitting PSAT, SAT, ACT, or ITBS scores.)
  • Name and email for a recommender who will complete the Recommender Form

Step 3: Fill out and submit application.

All components must be completed before you can submit the application. This includes completion of the Parent Agreement Form(s) and the Recommender Form. Custodial parents and recommenders will receive emails with links to complete their respective forms. The application will not be considered complete until all these forms have been received by the Davidson Institute.

Step 4: Application is reviewed by the Davidson Institute.

Applications are available year round and considered on a rolling basis. Once the application is complete, the application will go to review. Important Note: Applications are not considered complete until all custodial parents have signed and submitted a Parent Agreement Form, and the Recommender Form has been submitted.

Step 5: Receive application decision.

You will be notified of your application decision within 2 weeks of the end of your application’s submission period. That is, if you submit your application within the application period ending February 28, you will hear back by March 14 (two weeks after the February 28 due date). Please do not contact staff to check on an applicant’s status during the review month as this delays the process for all applicants.

Thanks for Applying!

See our Frequently Asked Questions for additional application information or please contact for assistance. You are also invited to join us for our next live Young Scholar Application Q&A.