TERP Young Scholars Program: Our Review

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

University of Maryland front entrance

TERP Young Scholars Program: Our Review

The Terp Young Scholars Program is an opportunity for high school students aiming to get a head start on their college journey. This unique initiative by the University of Maryland promises an enriching academic experience and offers a significant advantage in college admissions. Here’s an in-depth review of the program, exploring how it prepares students for their future academic endeavors and beyond.

What is the Terp Young Scholars Program?

The TERP Young Scholars Program, set for July 8 to 26, 2024, offers a unique chance for high school students from 10th to 12th grade to get a preview of college life. It’s recognized among the top summer programs for enabling students to explore an academic interest, interact with enthusiastic faculty, and earn three college credits.

Group of students talking in a room.

Program Courses

This summer, the TERP Young Scholars Program offers in-person and online courses designed to foster growth, leadership, and creativity. Here are some of them:

In-Person Courses

  • American Studies (AMST213): Study the portrayal of heroes and villains in American cinema and their cultural significance across different periods, examining societal values around race, gender, and more.
  • Architecture (ARCH150): This hands-on course introduces architectural design and planning, allowing students to work on design projects and explore a career in architecture.
  • Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC365): Explore the global food system, focusing on the issues of world hunger, food supply, demand, and distribution, and sustainable solutions.
  • Arts and Humanities (ARHU275): Delve into scriptwriting for various media, engaging in workshops and exercises to hone writing skills and learn script analysis.
  • Business Management (BMGT262): Develop leadership skills and an entrepreneurial mindset, engaging in collaborative problem-solving and venture development.

Online Courses

  • Arts and Humanities (ARHU298J): This course invites students into fiction and poetry writing, fostering creativity and literary exploration in a supportive setting.
  • Business Management (BMGT120): Learn the accounting basics, including how to interpret financial statements and make informed business decisions.
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJS105): Get a comprehensive look at criminology and the justice system, exploring criminal behavior, crime prevention, and more.
  • English (ENGL294): Analyze the impacts of social media, looking at online identities, community formation, and social media as a tool for change.
  • Family Science (FMSC124): Discuss contemporary family law issues, focusing on parental rights and LGBTQ and transracial relationships.a female student listening to online class while at library

Customized Learning Experiences

The program presents both in-person and online formats, catering to various preferences. The in-person option allows participants to use the University of Maryland’s (UMD) facilities, while the online option offers virtual engagement from any location. However, it’s crucial to note the absence of housing options, requiring participants to arrange their accommodation.

Academic Engagement

Enrollees partake in a three-credit course that mirrors a college schedule, running Monday through Friday, typically from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., with potential afternoon sessions. This setup aims to familiarize students with the demands and structure of college-level education, balancing academic rigor with support.

Competitive Entry and College Credit

Admission to the TERP Young Scholars Program is competitive, reflecting the program’s quality and the educational value it provides. Accepted students are registered for a three-credit course, which adds to their academic portfolio and introduces them to college coursework.

How to Nail Your TERP Young Scholars Program Application

Applying to the Terp Young Scholars Program requires careful planning, strategic decision-making, and a full commitment to its academic standards. This competitive program, offered by the University of Maryland, allows high school students to earn college credits through college-level courses. Below is a guide on streamlining the application process to boost your chances of acceptance.

Start Your Application Early

Beginning your application well before the deadline can significantly increase your chances of getting into the Terp Young Scholars Program. Early applicants are more likely to get into their first-choice courses and have a better chance of receiving financial aid if needed. Given the program’s limited space and competitive nature, early action is beneficial.

Carefully Choose Your Course

The program offers in-person and online formats, each with unique benefits. The in-person option is ideal for those who prefer face-to-face interaction and can commute to campus, allowing them to experience the university’s facilities directly. The online option suits students looking for flexibility. Without housing options, planning your accommodation or daily commute is essential.

Commit to the Program

The Terp Young Scholars Program demands your full attendance for its three-week duration, emphasizing its intensive nature. Applicants must be prepared to dedicate themselves entirely, demonstrating maturity, focus, and a strong willingness to excel.

Demonstrate Your Academic Strengths

Admission relies on a competitive review of applicants’ academic achievements and extracurricular activities. Enrolled as non-degree-seeking students, participants take a three-credit course that becomes part of their academic record, offering a glimpse into college-level study.

Financial Planning

Understanding the financial aspects of the program is crucial. Review the fees for both participation options and the availability of competitive scholarships. Ensure you are financially prepared before applying.

Adhere to Deadlines and Application Procedures

The application opens on January 9 and closes on May 1. Staying on top of these deadlines and thoroughly completing your application is crucial. Choosing your course, agreeing to program policies, and submitting required documentation are key steps in proving your eligibility and readiness for this academically challenging experience.

By focusing on these strategies, you can enhance your application to the Terp Young Scholars Program, securing an opportunity to advance your academic goals and experience college-level education ahead of your peers.

a group of student standing having a background of a calendar

Academic Rigor and Course Effort

The TERP Young Scholars Program reflects the University of Maryland’s commitment to offering high school students a real insight into college-level study demands. It’s not just a program that enhances a student’s academic resume but deeply involves them in the kind of academic effort and focus required at the university level.

The immersion adheres strictly to the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s standards, ensuring participants engage in a manner fitting for a university student.

A structured commitment to learning and application marks the program’s academic intensity. Each three-credit course follows the Commission’s policies on “contact hours.” This measure quantifies the time a student must dedicate to their course work to earn credit, encompassing time spent in lectures and the comprehensive effort required outside of class for studying project work or exam preparation.

Specifically, students are expected to attend about 15 hours of class per week. Beyond classroom instruction, students should dedicate approximately two hours outside of class for studying for every credit hour of class time. This means a weekly commitment of about 45 hours for a three-credit course, reflecting the self-discipline, motivation, and dedication needed to excel in college-level courses, which the TERP Young Scholars Program aims to instill from an early stage.

This program challenges students to manage their time effectively, transitioning from the structured high school environment to the more independent college experience. It teaches participants self-management, planning, and the importance of setting limits—a vital skill for success in college and future endeavors.

Furthermore, the program’s focus on academic rigor is evident in its grading system. With the University using a plus/minus grading scale, students gain a realistic understanding of college grading and its impact on their GPA. The grade earned in the program is a permanent record on the student’s UMD transcript, reflecting their early college achievements and serving as a learning experience in managing academic expectations.

Program Fees, Scholarships, and Financial Assistance

The TERP Young Scholars Program has established its fees to encompass a broad range of necessary expenses, ensuring a seamless and enriching educational experience for all participants. For students opting for the commuter option, the total package fee is set at $2,500. This fee includes tuition for the three-credit course, mandatory summer fees, and additional program-specific costs.

The online participants, on the other hand, must pay a total package fee of $1,500. This difference in cost accounts for the varied nature of resources and support provided to each group, reflecting the program’s flexibility in catering to diverse student needs.The breakdown of these fees is meticulously designed to cover all essential aspects of the program.

For both options, the course tuition is calculated based on the Maryland in-state tuition rate, amounting to $1,236 for three credits. The commuter option includes a summer campus fee of $205, which supports access to university resources such as transportation, student union, recreation, and registration services.

Online participants are charged a summer distance learning fee of $96, facilitating the digital infrastructure required for a comprehensive online learning experience. The program fees vary between the two options, with $1,059 allocated for commuter activities and mentor supervision and $168 designated for online activities and mentor support.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance: Opportunities for Support

Understanding that the financial aspect can be a significant consideration for many families, the TERP Young Scholars Program offers a limited number of partial financial scholarships. These scholarships are competitive and based on the availability of funds, with the maximum award not exceeding 30% of the total program fee.

This initiative underscores the program’s commitment to accessibility and inclusivity, ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder talented students from benefiting from this unique educational opportunity. Applicants interested in scholarships must navigate a separate application process, emphasizing the program’s rigorous selection criteria. The scholarship application opens on February 15 and closes on April 1, with notification of decisions announced by April 15.

Applicants must submit their program application and receive admission before applying for a scholarship, as incomplete scholarship applications or those from students not yet admitted to the program will not be reviewed. This structured approach ensures that scholarships are awarded to committed and eligible participants, aligning with the program’s standards of excellence.

Moreover, the program encourages students to explore additional avenues of financial assistance. Many public school districts offer dual enrollment or early college programs that may provide financial support for courses like those offered by the TERP Young Scholars Program. These opportunities vary by district and may have specific eligibility criteria and deadlines. Students are advised to consult with their school’s guidance office for detailed information, ensuring they fully understand their options for financial support.

Making Informed Decisions

The financial planning for participation in the TERP Young Scholars Program is a critical step in the application process. The program aims to equip students and families with all the necessary information to make informed decisions by offering a transparent breakdown of fees and highlighting scholarship opportunities.

Whether opting for the commuter or online experience, participants can look forward to an academically rigorous and rewarding summer supported by a structure that acknowledges the importance of financial accessibility and support.

Pros and Cons of the TERP Young Scholars Program

The TERP Young Scholars Program offers high school students a preview of college life, complete with the chance to earn college credits. This initiative by the University of Maryland has many benefits but also presents challenges. Here’s a look at what it entails.

Two students talking in their dorm room.


  • Earn College Credits Early: One of the biggest perks is gaining three college credits, offering a head start on higher education.
  • Stand Out in College Applications: Joining this program shows colleges a student’s ambition and capability to handle advanced coursework, providing a competitive edge in admissions.
  • Real College Experience: Students get a real taste of college, including academic demands and the independence needed for success.
  • Wide Range of Courses: The program’s diverse course offerings allow students to explore various interests, from architecture to business and criminology.
  • Develop Essential Skills: It focuses on building critical thinking, time management, and independent learning skills, all crucial for college success.
  • Networking: Meeting faculty, mentors, and fellow students provides valuable insights into college life and different academic fields.


  • Selective Admission: The competitive nature means not everyone interested can join, which may discourage some applicants.
  • Cost: While the program offers great value, its price could be a barrier for some families, even with available partial scholarships.
  • Time Commitment: The intensive three-week program requires a significant time investment, possibly at the expense of other summer plans.
  • No Housing Provided: In-person participants must arrange accommodation, adding extra planning and potential costs.
  • Academic Pressure: The rigorous coursework could overwhelm students unprepared for such a demanding schedule.
  • Permanent Record Impact: Grades are recorded on the UMD transcript, so poor performance could have lasting effects.

The TERP Young Scholars Program is an enriching opportunity that can significantly benefit a student’s academic journey. However, it demands careful consideration of its intensity, costs, and the participant’s readiness for the challenge.

It’s a commitment that offers a taste of college life and academic advancement but requires readiness for its rigor and investment. It can be a rewarding step toward future academic and personal success for those prepared to join.

How can the TERP Young Scholars Program help you in college admissions?

The TERP Young Scholars Program at the University of Maryland offers high school students a unique opportunity to stand out in the competitive field of college admissions. As college admissions grow more competitive, students seek ways to differentiate themselves.

Participating in the TERP Young Scholars Program does precisely that, showing a student’s willingness to take on challenges and engage with college-level coursework.

student using touchpad holding books at university

Enhancing College Admissions Profiles

The program enables students to tackle college courses, earning three university credits before finishing high school. This shows academic readiness and a dedication to learning. These accomplishments are recorded on the student’s UMD transcript, proving their capabilities to college admissions officers.

Competitive Advantage

Admissions officers look for students who demonstrate initiative and ambition. Being a part of the TERP Young Scholars Program signals a student’s proactive approach to their education and ability to manage the demands of college-level work. This is especially important in admissions, where unique achievements can set students apart.

College-Level Experience

Transitioning from high school to college comes with a change in academic expectations. The TERP Young Scholars Program introduces students to this new environment, previewing the independence and depth expected in college studies. This early exposure makes the transition to college smoother.

Skill Development

The program goes beyond just earning credits; it helps cultivate essential skills crucial for college, such as managing time effectively, thinking critically, and studying independently. These skills are developed through the program’s challenging coursework.

Networking and Growth

The TERP Young Scholars Program also offers networking opportunities with faculty, peers, and mentors, providing insights into college life and academics. Furthermore, the program fosters personal growth, building resilience, independence, and self-confidence.


The Terp Young Scholars Program presents an invaluable opportunity for high school students looking ahead to college. Participants gain a competitive edge in college admissions by immersing themselves in a collegiate environment, earning university credits, and developing essential academic skills.

Beyond the immediate benefits, the experience fosters a deep love for learning and prepares students for the challenges and opportunities of higher education. The Terp Young Scholars Program is not just a summer course; it’s a stepping stone to future academic and personal success.

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