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CTY is experiencing heavy communications and application processing volumes. We appreciate your patience and will respond to queries as quickly as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions - Carlisle

Questions about Eligibility

Is my child eligible for summer programs without participating in the CTY Talent Search?

Yes. Any child who earns the required qualifying scores is eligible for CTY. Please keep in mind that when we assign students to courses, we assign returning students first, then Talent Search participants, and then other applicants.

Does my child need to retest every year?

No. Once students establish eligibility for CTY courses for seventh grade and above, they remain eligible until they reach our upper age limit, even if they choose not to attend the program immediately.

Although retesting is not required, some students do choose to retest. Many are interested in tracking their academic progress or in qualifying for classes for which they are not currently eligible. In addition, higher scores will place a student higher in the computer ranking used for course assignments.

My child participated in the CTY Young Students program. Is retesting necessary?

That depends upon their grade when they last tested. Students with scores from fifth grade or before must retest. Students with scores from sixth grade (Advanced SCAT) may use those scores for seventh grade and above programs also. For more information on accepted tests and eligibility requirements, review CTY's Admissions Information.

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Questions about Course Assignments

How is my child assigned to a course?

We use a computerized ranking system based on test scores and previous participation in our programs to assign courses. Learn how courses are assigned in Admissions Information.

What is MyCTY?

MyCTY is the portal on our website through which parents and students can make payments, update program applications and contact information, view course registrations and enrollment history, and request an Official Academic Record showing a student’s CTY participation. Students and their families are given a MyCTY login name and password upon registering for the first time with CTY, whether for the Talent Search or a particular program. If you do not have your MyCTY account information, you may obtain it using the links provided on MyCTY’s login page.

My child had a change of heart about course preferences after submitting the application. What can I do?

If your child is not yet assigned a course, you may re-rank the preferences on his application through your MyCTY account. If your child has been assigned a course, you may request different courses through your MyCTY account. You may include both open and closed courses. Your child’s updated application will be included in the next regular weekly course assignments. When changing course preferences, keep in mind the following:

  • Placement in a different course is not guaranteed. The number of students requesting a course could exceed the space available.
  • Once you update the course preferences, your child’s course assignment will change when any course on the requested course list is available, as long as registration is open. Review how courses are assigned.

How does the waitlist work?

The waitlist works the same way as our regular course assignment process. It does not work on a first-come, first-served basis. Please see "How Courses are Assigned" on the Admissions page.

Should my child sign up for additional courses if they only want their first choice?

No. Each course you request represents a commitment on your part. If your child would rather not come to the program than attend a course other than the first choice, then request the first choice only.

What is the site information packet and where can I get it?

The site information packet includes detailed information about the site, including directions, a packing list, and a tentative opening and closing day schedule. It also contains instructions for submitting required forms and student services requests. The site information packet will be available in your MyCTY account as a PDF file within two weeks of receiving your course assignment notification.

I need more information in order to complete my application. Whom can I contact?

Please contact or call 410-735-6277.

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Questions about the Classes

Who teaches at CTY?

Our instructional staff bring expertise in their disciplines to our courses. Outstanding teachers from public and private schools and universities, graduate students, and professionals teach at CTY. Advanced undergraduate students with subject expertise assist with instruction.

How large are the classes?

Fifteen students is the usual class size. Each class typically has a teaching assistant as well as an instructor.

How much work will be expected?

CTY students spend seven hours a day, five days a week, in class and evening sessions. They work hard. Our students enjoy academic challenge and rigor, and we design our course work to engage and inspire them. All academic work is limited to instructional times so students may also enjoy the social experience of attending CTY. If students are feeling overwhelmed, our staff are available to provide support.

Does my child receive school credit for completing CTY courses?

CTY itself does not offer credit for its courses, but schools may decide to grant credit based upon their own criteria. The process of requesting credit and/or placement through your school requires advance planning. CTY has developed a Parents’ Guide to Requesting Credit and/or Placement for Your Child’s Course Work (PDF) to facilitate these discussions between families and schools.

What will my child receive upon completion of the course?

CTY instructors write one-page evaluations of each student’s work. These evaluations include examples of students’ participation, areas for growth, and suggestions for further study. A course evaluation and certificate of participation will be mailed to your child beginning in August.

Will my child need a computer for class?

No, excepted as noted in course descriptions. If needed, instructors take students to a computer lab on campus to complete specific assignments. Students are welcome to a bring a laptop, though they assume all responsibility if it is damaged or stolen.

If a student has a documented disability that requires the use of a word processor in class, parents must contact summer programs staff at 410-735-6215 or to discuss appropriate documentation and possible accommodations.

How much should we expect to pay for textbooks and other class supplies?

The cost of books per course averages $75 but can be as high as $300. You will receive a list of required books and course materials on arrival day. To minimize expenses, bring basic school supplies from home. Common items include pens, pencils, crayons or colored pencils, notebooks, three-ring binders, loose leaf paper, USB drives, and/or rulers. For math and science courses, consider bringing a scientific calculator, protractor, and/or compass.

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Questions about Student Life

My child has a disability. Where can I find information about possible accommodations for students with disabilities or special needs?

Please see "Students with Learning, Physical, or Medical Needs" in the Information for Parents section.

My child requires a special diet. Are special meal plans available?

The dining services at Dickinson College offer a wide selection of food at every meal, and menus are varied enough to accommodate vegetarian and other diets. Commercial frozen kosher meals are not available.

Who supervises students outside of class?

Resident Assistants (RAs) supervise students and are available for questions or concerns students have outside of class. Each RA lives with and supervises about 15 students in a residence hall group. RAs also plan students’ weekday and weekend activities. Students are expected to wake themselves, maintain personal hygiene with minimal reminders, and keep track of their belongings. RAs may assist in providing some structure and direction with these tasks; however, students are expected to take responsibility for themselves and their belongings.

Will I be able to communicate regularly with my child's instructor and resident assistant?

Instructional and residential staff are extremely busy during their time at CTY between supervising students and preparing for class and activities. Because of this, parents communicate directly with the administrative staff on site about any concerns or questions. On opening and closing days, parents may meet with students’ instructors, teaching assistants, and resident assistants. If, before the program has begun, there are extenuating circumstances in which you feel more direct communication with the student’s instructor, TA, and/or RA is needed, this should be discussed with the site program manager. If this need is related to a learning, medical, physical, or other disability, please contact CTY Disability Services at or 410-735-6215. If direct communication is needed during the program, it can best be arranged through site administrators.

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Do CTY students ever have time for fun?

Yes! In addition to their engaging classes, students participate in scheduled daily and weekend activities and enjoy a vibrant social atmosphere.

What do students do on the weekends?

Weekends are spent on campus, and activities may include dances, talent shows, carnival days, movie showings, sports tournaments, and water days. Weekends also include time when students can rest, do laundry, bond with others on their residence hall, and/or attend religious services.

How are rooms in student residences assigned? Is my child guaranteed a roommate? Are single rooms available? May I make a specific roommate request?

We assign students to rooms according to age and course. Whenever possible, roommates—and the hall as a whole—are similar in age and academic interest.

Most students live in double rooms, but some may be in singles or triples. We cannot guarantee a particular housing arrangement.

We discourage roommate requests because we find that students benefit from the opportunity to befriend new people. Further, because of the variety of factors involved in making room assignments, we can rarely honor roommate requests.

May my child bring electronics to the program? Will my child have access to WiFi?

Students may bring laptops, tablets, and smart phones; however, students are solely responsible for their belongings. CTY and the host institution cannot be held responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged devices. Please review CTY’s technology policy with your child and discuss together how they will meet these expectations.

Dickinson University provides guest wireless internet access for students.

Will my child have time to complete outside coursework during the session?

No. CTY students enjoy a structured day of learning and recreational activities, all of which are required. We cannot accommodate requests for students to work on other courses while attending our program.

Does the site have air conditioning?

The residence halls are air conditioned, as are the classrooms.

Can my child attend religious services?

We welcome students of all religious beliefs. At each site we provide opportunities for interested students to attend worship services on or off campus. We cannot always guarantee that a specific type of service will be available. CTY staff escort students to services and provide supervision.

We live in or near Carlisle, Pennsylvania. May my child attend as a commuter?

Residential life is an important part of the program, and we urge all students to live on campus. The residence halls are a place where students have the opportunity to form close bonds and build a community with their peers. They learn to take responsibility for their daily schedules, to manage their time, and to get along with people from different backgrounds. Most importantly, it is our mission to develop a community of learners at CTY. While commuter students have successfully attended the program, they tend to feel more as if they are observers of the community rather than full participants. In fact, it has been our experience that students who begin as commuters often change their minds after the first few days and ask to switch to residential status.

At the same time, we recognize that in certain circumstances, commuter attendance is an appropriate option. In order to attend as commuters, students must participate in the full range of activities, including an evening class session which ends at 9 p.m. As long as students can make this commitment, they may attend as commuters. Lunch and dinner are provided as part of the commuter tuition.

Note: Sometimes students apply as commuters because they are anxious about living away from home for the first time. If this is a concern, we recommend that you try to persuade your child to start the program as a residential student, then switch to commuter status if needed. Switching from residential to commuter status can always be accommodated (the reverse is not always possible), and we will provide a prorated refund of the room and meals portion of the tuition.

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Questions about Medical Issues

What are the arrangements for my child to take medication?

All medications are stored in the site health office and dispensed by CTY health staff. The only medications students may keep with them are some emergency-use medications such as rescue inhalers and EpiPens®. Review Carlisle Medical Information for more details.

What medical forms or medical information do I need to submit for my child to participate at CTY?

Upon receiving a course assignment, you will receive instructions on completing and submitting medical forms. In general, CTY medical records must include emergency contact information, immunization records, physical examination results, medical insurance information (not required), medical history, allergies and adverse reactions, and a list of any medications your child needs to take while at CTY. The forms must also include consent for CTY staff to distribute non-prescription medication. Parents and physicians must approve of all medications to be administered and fill out the appropriate portions of each form. Please review "Medical Information" for more information on medical care.

Can I submit my child’s school medical forms or equivalent documentation from anther camp?

No. Only immunization records, physical exam results, and TB testing results may be replaced by equivalent and current documentation signed by a physician. All other sections of the forms must be completed and signed as indicated using the forms provided by CTY.

My child recently had a complete physical examination. Is another physical examination required to participate in the programs?

The medical form must be signed by your child’s examining physician within the year prior to the start of the program. The physical exam must have taken place within two years of the start of the program. Ask your physician whether another visit is necessary.

My child has food allergies. What accommodations are available?

Just note this when you fill out the Medical Information Form. You should also contact CTY staff at 410-735-6215 or by May 15 in order to discuss reasonable accommodations in the context of the CTY program and site your child is attending. For dietary arrangements requests unrelated to severe allergies or medical issues, contact For information about food allergy management at CTY, please review Allergy Information.

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Questions about Traveling to and from the Site

How do students traveling without an adult get to the site? Who will meet them at the airport or train station?

CTY offers a shuttle service from Harrisburg International Airport and the Amtrak Station in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Shuttle service may be requested and paid for through MyCTY. Shuttle service costs $100 (one way or round trip) and may only be used by students traveling alone.

On arrival day, a staff member wearing a CTY t-shirt will be waiting for students outside of their gates’ security checkpoint, unless otherwise directed by airline or airport policies. For students arriving via train, the staff member will meet them at the station. The staff member will greet students, help them with their luggage, and escort them to the site.  You will receive more detailed information for making arrangements in the site information packet.

Is it possible for my child to arrive a day early or depart a day late?

We can grant permission for early arrival only in the most extenuating circumstances (generally international travel). To arrive one day early, students must request permission from the site’s program manager and, if the request is approved, pay a fee of $75 per night. If you have difficulty with transportation schedules, contact the site program manager to discuss your situation before you confirm any reservations or purchase non-refundable tickets. Students may not depart late.

My child lives in and is a citizen of a foreign country. What visa is required and how do I go about getting it?

Non-US citizens will receive information about visa and travel insurance requirements in the course assignment packet.

Can I get the names of other families in our area who are sending students to our site?

You may opt in to sharing your contact information with families of other students enrolled for the same site and session on CTY’s Family Connect board available in MyCTY.

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Questions about Payment

What credit cards does CTY accept?

Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

Will I be notified of any remaining balance due after I have made the initial deposit and received the Course Assignment Packet?

The balance of tuition and fees will be invoiced at the time of your course assignment. Payment is then due in accordance with the invoice, unless you are enrolled in the Installment Payment Plan.

How do I make an online payment?

Log into MyCTY to pay

Where do I send the application, checks, and all other payment information?

Johns Hopkins University
Center for Talented Youth
P.O. Box 64434
Baltimore, MD 21264-4434

What address do I use for all correspondence not related to payment?

CTY Registration

Johns Hopkins University
Center for Talented Youth

McAuley Hall
5801 Smith Avenue, Ste. 400
Baltimore, MD 21209-3652

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