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SAVY Frequently Asked Questions

What programs does SAVY offer?

Saturday Academy at Vanderbilt for the Young offers programs for qualifying gifted children in grades K–6. This program meets for three (Fall) or six (Spring) consecutive Saturdays and is offered in the fall and spring of each year.

Summer Academy at Vanderbilt for the Youngoffers programs for qualifying rising 1st-6th grade gifted students. Summer SAVY is a weekday program that offers a variety of courses throughout six different sessions. All sessions are one week-long and students take only one course for the week. Students may register for multiple weeks.

Career Connections at SAVY – offers programs for qualifying rising 7th grade gifted students. Career Connections is a weekday program that offers a variety of courses throughout three different sessions during the month of July. All sessions are one week-long and students take only one course for the week. Students may register for multiple weeks.

How can my child be eligible to take part in SAVY?

Students who test around the 95th percentile on a standardized achievement or ability test are eligible to participate in SAVY courses in their area(s) of strength. We accept a variety of standardized achievement and ability tests including, but not limited to, the following: RIAS, CogAT, TCAP, ERB, Stanford Achievement Test, OLSAT, Woodcock Johnson, WISC. Out-of-level standardized assessments are also accepted. While scores around the 95th percentile are typically a strong indication that SAVY is an appropriate curriculum match for a student, feel free to contact the PTY office for questions about scores that do not meet these criteria, as alternative documentation may be acceptable. Returning SAVY students do not need to resubmit test scores unless their scores are more than three years old. Students without test scores should work with their schools to obtain documentation of their assessments.

For more information about assessment (including out-of-level), contact the SAVY Assistant Director, Emilie Hall, at 615-322-8261 or

Why does SAVY use test scores to determine eligibility?

Our courses are specifically designed for academically gifted learners. Our instructors teach their courses at an accelerated pace and at a level of depth which research suggests works particularly well with academically gifted students. We use these test scores to ensure that our courses are a good fit for a student.

How should I select courses?

The best way to help your child select appropriate courses is to consider your student’s area(s) of strength and interest. If 
your child is interested in taking more than one course, please rank the courses in order of his or her preference. Ranking courses increases your child’s chance of admission to the SAVY program. When ranking courses, keep in mind that your child could be placed in any class that you rank. Thus, only rank classes your child is willing to take. Classes fill very quickly, so we sometimes have to place students in lower-ranked classes. Even if a student is placed in a lower-ranked course, he or she will automatically be placed on the waitlist for the higher-ranked course(s).

What does it cost to take part in a SAVY program?

Fall or Spring: $425 (plus an additional $40 for the nonrefundable application fee, which is due at the time of the application).
Summer: $550 (plus an additional $40 for the nonrefundable application fee, which is due at the time of the application).

How does SAVY determine financial aid eligibility/awards?

PTY is committed to making programs available to academically gifted students regardless of a family’s ability to pay the full tuition. Therefore, need-based financial aid is available based on income. The PTY application review process is need-blind and does not consider financial status when making admissions decisions. If you plan to apply for financial aid, please indicate this on your application. You may access the financial aid application online or as a PDF on the How to Apply page. In order to determine eligibility and award amount, families should submit a copy of their household’s most recent tax return along with the completed financial aid application. Partial tuition scholarships and payment plans are available.

I am applying for financial aid. Should I send the aid application along with my child’s application for admission?

You may apply for financial aid at any point in the application process. The financial aid application, along with a copy of your household’s most recent tax return, may be submitted online or via mail. Your student may be offered admission before receiving a financial aid quote. You are not obligated to officially enroll your student until you receive a financial aid award. When your financial aid quote is received, you may accept or decline the amount and placement in a course.

When are applications due?

While most classes fill within the 48-hour Application Priority Window, we will continue to accept applications after this date until all classes are filled. We also maintain waiting lists for full courses. Please check our course pages here to learn more about course availability.

What is the “Application Priority Window”? How does it effect my student’s application?

Our admissions process is intended to facilitate an equal opportunity for all potential participants to be placed in a course of interest.

Each application period begins with a 48-hour application priority window. All qualifying applications submitted during this window have the same opportunity for placement. All applications received during the 48-hour priority window will be considered part of the primary applicant pool regardless of the specific time submitted. Upon the close of the window, all applications received will be randomly assigned a number determining their order in the review queue. Applications of siblings will be reviewed and placed simultaneously, space permitting. Applications received after the application priority window will be time and date stamped upon arrival and reviewed in order of receipt.

Applying during the 48-hour application priority window does not guarantee admission, but it increases your child’s chances. We strongly recommend applying during this window.

If course space remains after the 48-hour application priority window, courses will be filled on a first-come, first-served system, based on availability and eligibility. A waitlist will be maintained for full courses.

How does the waitlist work?

SAVY maintains waiting lists for courses that have reached maximum enrollment. The status of each course (full- waiting list closedfull- waiting list only, available- limited space, available) can be seen on our course pages. Students who have not been placed in their first-choice course are automatically placed on the waiting list for that class. Students may be placed in a second-choice (or third-choice) course, if ranked, as an option or may be placed on the waiting list in lower ranked courses if these course options are also full. We move students into their higher-ranked courses if space becomes available; however, there is no guarantee that spots will open in a class. If space becomes available, or if PTY determines that the program can no longer accept additional students from the waiting list, we will communicate with families via email. The application fee is not refundable to families of students who are not admitted from the waiting list.

If your student has been waitlisted, and you have questions about his or her status, please contact PTY at 615-322-8261.

What if I need to cancel? Will I be refunded?

Cancellations made before the tuition due date will be eligible for a 100% tuition refund. Cancellations made after the tuition due date and before the refund deadline will be eligible for a 50% refund. After the refund deadline, no tuition refunds will be awarded. The application fee will not be refunded for any reason. Please see our General Information page for specific due dates.

What other forms are required?

Before the start date of the program, admitted students will receive a packet of required forms. These required forms include emergency contact information, medical and allergy information, medication forms, and a media release. All students who participate in programs through Programs for Talented Youth must also have health insurance documentation on file with PTY prior to the start of the program. Starting in the fall of each academic year, new required forms must be submitted by all students, even if students have previously participated.

Will I receive a grade for my class?

No, SAVY instructors do not give grades. We want to stretch your child’s intellectual capacity without fear of failure. Your child’s instructor will evaluate student progress, and you will receive a course evaluation report from your child’s instructor after SAVY concludes. The report will detail your child’s progress on a variety of factors and aims to give you a broad picture of your child’s academic growth in the course.

Are meals included?

For Fall and Spring SAVY, a pizza lunch will be included. Students are also welcome to bring a snack and water bottle. Students enrolled in the Summer program should bring a snack and a lunch each day.

Will I get to meet my child’s instructor?

Yes, if you wish. An optional classroom open house will be available to parents and guardians during a publicized time on the last day of each SAVY session.

How can parents get involved?

SAVY typically offers parents the opportunity to attend one complimentary SAVY chat during the Fall/Spring sessions. Parents can also get involved by enrolling in PTY’s parent support groups, when available, which are offered during the Fall and Spring sessions. If offered, Parent Support Group meetings take place on three consecutive Saturdays on Vanderbilt’s Peabody campus during the Fall and Spring SAVY sessions. Parents may learn more about support options in the For Parents section of our website. Additionally parents can stay in the loop by reading our SAVY blog or following us on Facebook (Vanderbilt SAVY and Vanderbilt PTY), Instagram (@vanderbiltpty), or Twitter (@vanderbiltpty).