The Study of Exceptional Talent (SET) provides counseling to students who have been identified as having advanced reasoning abilities and may not yet be ready to enter our nation's most selective colleges and universities, but who also may not be well served by the typical middle or high school curriculum. We also seek opportunities for SET members to meet intellectual peers who share their interests and abilities.

Our services focus mainly on SET members who have not yet graduated from high school, as we help them find resources and opportunities to be optimally challenged. As SET members enter college, graduate school, and the work force, CTY continues to be a resource for them, and they in turn become resources for younger SET members.

Precollege SET members receive the following benefits:

  • Access to educational counseling aimed at helping SET members find challenges through supplemental educational activities and flexible curricular programming.
  • Opportunities to connect with other SET members by organizing and/or attending informal local gatherings of SET families in members’ homes, where they can meet and interact with other SET members who live in their area—possibly leading to friendships among the students or advocacy efforts among the adults.


Due to a change in policy by the College Board, students under the age of 13 are no longer able to register for the SAT. They cited federal regulations and other logistical challenges as reasons for the change. As a result, CTY is suspending ALL new admissions to SET for students who do not have a qualifying SAT score dated before July 1, 2021 while we research other testing options for SET eligibility. SET counseling and services will continue for current SET students.


SET provides counseling to its members upon request by phone, email, or in-person. SET members or parents who wish to speak with a SET counselor should email SET’s staff at Our counseling focuses on finding solutions to problems presented by students, as we consider their individual strengths and weaknesses, interests and motivation, and available resources in the school and community. SET’s staff can also help with school and college choice, identify strong summer programs and extracurricular opportunities, and help address social, emotional, or learning issues, and more.

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Study of Exceptional Talent JHU/CTY
5801 Smith Avenue, Suite 400
Baltimore, MD 21209-3611