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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Eligibility

How does my child take the test required for summer programs eligibility?

For students in grades 2-8, the first step is CTY’s Talent Search. Students in grades 9 and above who are new to CTY may also establish eligibility through testing.

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

Yes. Any child who earns qualifying scores on one of the required tests is eligible for CTY courses. Students may submit scores from the SAT suite of assessments or ACT even if they took those tests outside CTY’s Talent Search. Some tests are available only through CTY’s Talent Search.

Please keep in mind that when we assign students to courses, we assign returning students first, then Talent Search participants, and then other applicants.

Once my child is eligible, do they have to retest?

Retesting is not necessary. Once eligible, students will have course options through the end of high school. Which courses will depend upon test scores, grade, and age. Review eligibility requirements for CTY.

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 ranking used for course assignments.

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Questions about Course Assignments

How does my child apply for CTY?

Students may submit an online application through the MyCTY portal at

What is MyCTY?

MyCTY is the portal on CTY’s website through which parents and students can make secure 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.

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. For more details about this, please see How Courses Are Assigned

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 the 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. See How Courses Are Assigned for details.

How does the waitlist work?

The waitlist works the same way as our regular course assignment process. It is not first come, first served. Learn more about How Courses are Assigned.

Can my child attend for both sessions?

At most sites, yes. We delay registration for two sessions in order to accommodate all students who wish to enroll in summer programs. Students at the Johns Hopkins site may only attend that site for both sessions if they take a writing or humanities course for one of those sessions. Students may not take math or science courses at the JHU location for both sessions. For more information about requesting an additional session, please see “Attendance for Both Sessions” in How Courses are Assigned.

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 will only attend CTY if they get their first choice, then request only that course.

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 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?

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?

The typical class size is 15 students. Because of the limited number of available laboratories, the science classes are slightly larger, usually 18 students. Each class has a teaching assistant, as well as an instructor.

How much work will be expected?

CTY students spend at least 100 hours in class between Sunday evening and Friday afternoon over the course of the session. 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 feel 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 or placement based upon their own criteria. The process of requesting credit and/or placement through your school requires advance planning. CTY has developed a guide (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 in August.

Does my child need a computer for class?

No, except as noted in course descriptions. If needed, instructors take students to a computer lab on campus to complete specific assignments. Students are welcome to 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 computer or word processor in class, parents must contact summer programs staff at 410-735-6215 or to discuss appropriate documentation and possible accommodations.

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Questions about Student Life

My child has a disability, special need, or mental/physical health concern. 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 Information for Parents. Detailed information on Summer Programs Disability Services is also available.

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

A wide selection of foods is offered at every meal. All sites can accommodate vegetarian diets. Many campuses offer vegan and gluten-free options. Most sites can provide commercial frozen kosher meals for an added charge. If availability of a particular meal plan will determine your choice of site, please contact or call 410-735-6277 for more information prior to submitting your application. If you have further questions about special diets, contact your site’s program manager receiving a course assignment.

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 approximately 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, contact site administrators with your request.

Do CTY students ever have time for fun?

Yes! In addition to their engaging classes, all students participate in scheduled daily and weekend activities and enjoy a vibrant social atmosphere. Weekday activities span a variety of offerings, from arts and crafts to sports, and everything in between.

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 make new friends. 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 Wi-Fi?

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. Students should not expect to access the host institution’s Wi-Fi network. Please review CTY’s Honor Code with your child and discuss together how they will meet these expectations with respect to their use of technology.

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.

Do all sites have air conditioning?

Many of the classrooms CTY uses on site are air-conditioned and, to a lesser extent, so are the dorm rooms. For specific information concerning air-conditioned facilities on site, refer to Sites. For questions, please contact or 410-735-6277.

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 at a given site. CTY staff escort students to services and provide supervision.

We live in the same town as a summer program site. May my child attend as a commuter?

Residential life is an important part of the summer 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. While commuter students have successfully attended the residential sites, 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 talk to your child about starting the program as a residential student, then changing 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 their medication?

All medications are stored in the health office and dispensed by CTY health staff. Students may only keep emergency-use medications such as rescue inhalers and epinephrine auto-injectors with them. Please review Medical Information.

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 for completing and submitting CTY’s medical form. To complete the CTY medical form, you will need to provide emergency contact information, consent to treat, immunization records, medical history, physical examination results, TB screening and test results (if applicable), allergies and adverse reactions, medical and prescription insurance information (if available), consent for CTY staff to distribute non-prescription medications, and a list of any medications your child needs to take while at CTY. The completed form must be signed by your child’s physician. Parents and physicians must approve of all medications to be administered and fill out the appropriate portions of the form. Please review Medical Information.

Can I submit my child's school medical forms or equivalent documentation from another camp instead of completing CTY's medical form?

No. Every student must have a CTY medical form completed annually and signed by a physician. The CTY medical form is completed online via the link to the CampDoc system in MyCTY. Immunization records, physical exam results, and TB testing results may be uploaded to a student’s medical record.

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

The CTY 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. How are food allergies handled at CTY sites?

If your child needs special dietary arrangements due to severe food allergies or other medical issues, you must note this when you complete the medical form. You must contact the site program manager as soon as possible after receiving your course assignment packet. If residential or other accommodations are needed in addition to safe meal choices, you must also contact 410-735-6215 or by May 15. For information about food allergy management at CTY, please review the Allergy Management page.

For dietary requests unrelated to severe allergies or medical issues, contact or the site program manager after receiving the course assignment packet.

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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?

Each CTY site offers shuttle service from specific area airports and/or train stations. Available times and logistics vary between sites; therefore, please review the shuttle information in your site information packet before booking your child’s transportation.

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 wait for students outside of their gates’ security checkpoints, unless otherwise directed by airline or airport policies. The staff member will greet students, help them with their luggage, and ride with them to the site. More detailed information about traveling to site is included in the site information packet. A CTY travel guide (PDF) is also available.

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

We grant permission for students to arrive one day early or depart one day late only in the most extenuating circumstances. Additionally, no student attending session two or a site that runs one session only may depart late. In all cases, the permission of the site’s program manager is required. When available, there is an additional charge of $75 for this service.

If you have difficulty arranging transportation for your child or questions about arrival or departure, contact the site program manager to discuss your situation before you confirm reservations or purchase nonrefundable tickets. You may reach the program manager by calling 410-735-6185 or emailing the address provided in the site information packet.

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-U.S. citizens will receive information about visa and travel insurance requirements in the Course Assignment Packet.

Additional details are available on our International Students Resources page.

My child will attend both sessions. Is it possible to stay on campus between sessions?

We recommend that students spend the weekend between sessions with family or friends in the area, if possible. If your child needs to stay with us, however, we will provide a room, meals, and supervision for a fee of $75 per night. Contact your site program manager to request this service. If it is approved, you may then complete a request and submit payment for this service through your MyCTY account.

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 only.

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 by email 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. Review Tuition and Fees.

How do I make an online payment?

Log into your MyCTY account.

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

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

Where do I send correspondence not related to payment?

CTY Enrollment Services

Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth
McAuley Hall
5801 Smith Avenue, Ste. 400
Baltimore, MD 21209-3655

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