THINK Summer Institute at Davidson Institute

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Close up of students smiling at the camera.

THINK Summer Institute at Davidson Institute

Picture a place where your boundless curiosity isn’t just welcomed—it’s the norm. Every conversation could lead to the next big idea, and your thirst for knowledge is quenched with a deluge of academic challenges that match your pace. Welcome to the THINK Summer Institute at Davidson Institute, a cerebral playground for the gifted minds of tomorrow. Buckle up, future world-changer—everything you need to know about this program is in this comprehensive blog.

What is the THINK Summer Institute at Davidson Institute?

The THINK Summer Institute, orchestrated by the Davidson Institute, presents a stimulating and rewarding summer adventure for academically gifted students. It’s an opportunity for deep, interdisciplinary exploration in the company of peers who share the same passion for learning.

Imagine a place where your intellectual curiosity isn’t just nurtured but celebrated—a summer experience that transforms learning into an adventure. That’s what the THINK Summer Institute offers!

Why Should You Go to the THINK Summer Institute?

Step into a world where your brightest peers become your friends, where your classes challenge and excite you, and where your dreams of the future start taking shape. Selecting the THINK Summer Institute can be a pivotal decision for your academic journey, and here’s why:

Accelerate Your Education

One of the standout benefits of the program is the ability to earn college credits ahead of your peers. This not only gives you a head start in your higher education journey but also provides a rigorous academic environment that can set the tone for your college experience.

Immerse in College Life

Living on a university campus is about more than just academics; it’s a taste of independence. It’s an early peek into college life, where you learn to navigate the freedoms and responsibilities that come with being a university student.

Forge Lasting Connections

At THINK Summer Institute at Davidson Institute, you’ll meet and bond with other students who are as driven and intellectually curious as you. These friendships often span the entire country, offering a diverse network of connections that can last a lifetime.

students listening and talking to male teacher

Engage in Personalized Learning

Small class sizes mean you get to interact closely with university professors, ensuring personalized attention and mentorship. This intimate learning environment is conducive to asking deeper questions and exploring subjects at an advanced level.

Financial Accessibility

Cost is a significant consideration, and THINK stands out because it offers a more affordable option for earning college credits compared to similar programs. Additionally, financial aid is available to those who qualify, ensuring that financial barriers do not hinder talented students from taking advantage of this opportunity.

Choosing THINK is an investment in your future, opening doors to new challenges, friendships, and a deeper understanding of your academic potential.

Navigating the Path to THINK: Courses Offered

Immerse yourself in the world of higher learning with the THINK Summer Institute’s diverse range of courses. Each class offers a unique glimpse into an academic field, complete with hands-on experiences and expert instruction. The courses featured in this blog were provided during the 2023 session. So stay tuned for the course offerings for the year 2024.

Anthropology 102 & 110L 

Step into the shoes of early humans with “Introduction to Physical Anthropology & Laboratory.” You’ll earn four credits as you unravel the biological and evolutionary mysteries of our species, diving into population genetics and the fossil record. Get hands-on with inheritance mechanisms, bone analysis, and evolutionary comparisons in the lab sessions. You don’t need any prerequisites to embark on this anthropological adventure.

History 208

Travel back in time with “World History I,” earning three credits as you explore the foundations of civilizations across continents up until the year 1500 CE. You will gain a panoramic view of historical societies, their cultures, and innovations. No prerequisites are needed to enroll in this historical journey.

test tubes with different chemicals

Chemistry 121A & 121L

Delve into the elemental world with “General Chemistry I & Laboratory.” This 4-credit course, covers the essentials of chemical reactions, atomic theory, and molecular structures, with a lab component to solidify your knowledge through practical experiments. To join, you’ll need to have finished Precalculus and ideally have some background in high school chemistry.

Geography 121

Explore the pressing issue of “Climate Change and Its Environmental Impacts” over this 4-credit course. This will lead you through the past and present climate scenarios and their significant impacts on the environment. You’ll gain practical experience working with climate data and predictive models in the lab. There are no prerequisites. Just bring your enthusiasm for understanding the planet’s climate intricacies.

Math 176

“Introductory Calculus for Business and Social Sciences” presents three credits worth of calculus applied to real-world scenarios. You will master the fundamental concepts of analytic geometry and calculus, including derivatives and integrals, to understand their applications in business and social contexts. Be sure you’ve completed Algebra II by mid-May to enroll in this mathematical expedition.

Choose your academic path and prepare to expand your horizons with these enriching courses, designed to challenge and inspire the bright minds of high school students at the THINK Summer Institute.

a globe with a bookshelf blurred in the background

Schedule and Activities at THINK Summer Institute at Davidson Institute

THINK offers an intensive academic schedule where students dedicate their days to classroom learning and evenings to study. Yet, the program also emphasizes the importance of leisure and social interaction. Various evening and weekend activities are available, ranging from sports and shopping to campus events and themed parties.

Students not only gain educational insights but also have the chance to forge lasting friendships with peers who share similar interests, as they live together in dorms and mingle during leisure time.

On weekdays, participants can engage in group sports, visit local attractions, or relax on campus. For weekend fun, they choose their preferred events, with past favorites including talent shows, water games, and dance nights.

Additionally, the program provides access to a state-of-the-art fitness center, though some areas are restricted to younger attendees. Plus, exciting off-campus excursions to places like Lake Tahoe and Virginia City are organized, offering students a blend of adventure and cultural enrichment.

Group of students looking at a laptop while talking.

How Do I Get Into the THINK Summer Institute at Davidson Institute?

Admission to THINK is competitive, focusing on your academic prowess, passion for learning, and readiness for college-level coursework. You’ll need to demonstrate exceptional ability, typically through standardized test scores, grades, and personal statements. The THINK Summer Institute is calling your name, but first, you need to check a few boxes to join this exclusive intellectual party:

Age Requirement: You have to be at ages 13 to 16 during the program.

Citizenship: Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident residing in USA.

Scores: Got SAT or ACT scores? Great! Show them those numbers. And if the pandemic or other snags have kept you from these tests, no sweat. Give the THINK team a shout—they’re open to discussing alternative options this round.

Group of students working on a table with strewn papers.

Northwestern + Khan Academy = Your Testing Hack: Thanks to a cool collab with Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development, you can take an official practice SAT that Khan Academy powers. Ace it and use those scores to throw your hat in the ring for any Davidson Institute program, THINK included. Get the scoop and sign up!

Recommendation: You’ll need at least one raving recommendation that paints you as the next Einstein or Marie Curie.

Full-Time Student Commitment: Commit to being all in. No skipping out; this is a full-time student commitment.

What About Test Scores and Other Davidson Programs?

If you’re part of the Young Scholars tribe or the Davidson Academy family, you can skip the SAT/ACT score hustle. And don’t sweat the minimum scores—THINK’s team looks at you in 3D, weighing everything that makes you awesome. Your essays, age, and other abilities are all part of the mix.

Young woman answering a test in a desk.

How to Apply to the THINK Summer Institute at Davidson Institute?

If you’re eyeing the THINK Summer Institute, here’s the express lane to securing your spot:

Step 1: Do You Fit the THINK Mold?

Checklist: Are you eligible? Look up the THINK website to make sure you fit within the age and residency requirements.

Tuition Deadlines: Know what you’re investing in! Get the lowdown on tuition, fees, and when those dollars are due.

Step 2: Prepare Your Application Materials

  • SAT/ACT Scores
  • Transcripts: Ensure your transcript is up to date and in PDF form. For the mathemagicians and chem wizards, proof of enrollment or completion of Algebra II or Pre-Calculus is a must!
  • The Perfect Recommender: Find a mentor who’s seen your brilliance in action recently and can vouch for your readiness for the THINK challenge.
  • Three Short Response Essays: Unleash your inner Shakespeare with three short essays, all neatly packed into one PDF, showcasing who you are, how you’ve overcome challenges, and what ignites your passion.

Students talking while sitting near a school building.

Step 3: Submission of Application 

Online Hustle: Jump onto the Online Application when it opens and fill out all the sections.

Upload Documents: After you apply, upload your masterfully crafted essays, transcript, and scores right where it says “Forms & Documents.”

Program Fees: Don’t forget to pitch in the $50 application fee to make your application official.

Step 4: The Waiting Game

Cross Your Ts: Make sure every part of your application is in, including the recommendation.

First-Come, First-Served: The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the first review. So be quick!

The Judgment Day: A panel of wise folks will pore over your application to decide if you’re THINK material.

And there you have it, the roadmap to your THINK application. Get ready to impress, inspire, and even innovate. Your summer at THINK Summer Institute at Davidson Institute could be the beginning of something extraordinary. Good luck!

a girl attending her online class

Program Cost Breakdown

The comprehensive fee* for the THINK program encompasses academic credits, lodging, textbooks, classroom supplies, laundry services, and expenses for scheduled activities.

Students must also budget for their own travel to and from the venue and any personal expenditures, as Davidson does not offer transport services.

To confirm enrollment, a non-refundable deposit is required within two weeks of acceptance. The balance of the program fee is due by April 28th, with an automatic charge to the provided credit card on May 1st if payment has not been made. Here’s how the fees stack up:

  • An application fee of $50 is to be paid when you submit your application.
  • A deposit of $1,000 is due within two weeks following the acceptance notification.
  • The remaining balance of $3,300 must be settled by April 28.
  • The total cost for the program amounts to $4,350.

*The comprehensive fee for the year 2023.

Financial Aid Opportunities for THINK Summer Institute at Davidson Institute

The Davidson Institute offers financial aid to support families in need of the THINK program. This aid can partially cover tuition and transportation costs. Due to a rise in applications for aid, the Institute prioritizes fund allocation based on available resources. It’s important to note that full coverage of any expense is not provided by these financial aid awards.

If your participation in the program hinges on financial aid, be sure to submit your Financial Assistance Application at the same time as your program application and do so no later than March 1, 2023. Adhering to this deadline is critical to ensure you receive information about your financial aid status in time to meet any deposit requirements for the program.

A woman opening a letter in a table.

How Hard Is It to Get Into the THINK Summer Institute?

This isn’t your average summer snooze-fest. THINK is intense, like intellectual boot camp minus the push-ups. You need to be the crème de la crème, with brains to match. We’re talking about students who ride the academic wave one to two grades above the norm and hit that sweet spot around the 95th percentile on tests.

But it’s not all about brains on paper. You’ve got to have the heart, the drive, and the organizational skills to tackle a three-week residential program without breaking a sweat. So, if you’re motivated, mature beyond your years, and ready for a fast-paced educational joyride, let’s make this summer unforgettable!

When Is the Deadline to Apply to the THINK Summer Institute at Davidson Institute?

Mark your calendars and set your alarms! The window for submitting online applications generally spans from December to March, with the exact timeframe subject to annual adjustments. For detailed deadlines, refer to the How to Apply section on the David Institute website.

Due to the finite number of spots, applications are processed in the order they’re received. To increase the chances of securing a spot in their desired courses, candidates are advised to apply at their earliest convenience.

When Do I Find Out About My Application?

The wait can be as nerve-wracking as a cliffhanger in your favorite series. You will receive an email with the admission decision within four weeks after your application is fully submitted. If you’re accepted into the program, they will follow up with an email to both you and your parents detailing the subsequent steps.

Students talking in the stairs.

Where is the THINK Summer Institute at Davidson Institute located?

The THINK Summer Institute unfurls its academic tapestry at the University of Nevada, Reno, each summer. It’s set against the backdrop of a full-fledged university campus, providing a vibrant atmosphere that’s ripe for exploration and learning.

When Does the THINK Summer Institute at Davidson Institute Take Place?

The program dates for THINK Summer Institute at Davidson Institute for the year 2024 are set from Saturday, July 13th, to Saturday, August 3rd.

How long is the THINK Summer Institute at Davidson Institute?

It’s a three-week residential program designed for gifted students aged 13 to 16, providing college-level courses for academic credit. At THINK, you’re not just a student; you’re part of a community of like-minded individuals all striving to push the boundaries of their potential.

The Takeaway

The THINK Summer Institute at Davidson offers a unique blend of rigorous academics and enriching social experiences. Here, young minds converge to challenge themselves, explore new ideas, and build lasting friendships. With its diverse course offerings, from anthropology to calculus, students get a taste of college life and learning, all while being supported by a team of dedicated educators and staff.

For high school students looking to push their intellectual boundaries, meet peers from across the globe, and experience personal growth within a supportive environment, THINK stands out as an exceptional opportunity. Whether you’re delving into complex scientific theories, pondering over historical civilizations, or collaborating on creative projects, THINK promises an unforgettable summer full of learning and adventure.

Young man smiling while on a hallway.

As the curtains close on another summer, students leave THINK not just with academic credits but with memories, skills, and friendships that will last a lifetime. The THINK Summer Institute is not just about the weeks spent on campus; it’s a stepping stone to a future of limitless possibilities.

Looking for expert advice on navigating the admissions process for pre-college programs? Partner with the professionals at AdmissionSight. Our years of experience have empowered many students to gain entry into prestigious universities worldwide. Begin your educational journey today – schedule a consultation with us!


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