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Summer Enrichment Program

In conjunction with the Curry School of Education, the University of Virginia announces the 39th year of its residential summer program for gifted and/or high ability students. Students enrolled in grades 4-10 during the 2016/2017 school year were able to apply to attend a twelve day session. SEP has three summer sessions:

  • Session I: June 18-29, 2017
  • Session II: July 2-13, 2017
  • Session III: July 16-27, 2017

Applications for the Summer program are available on this website every December 15th and are due on February 15th for that summer's program.


Students in the program spend the morning and afternoon engaged in learning experiences designed to foster critical thinking, creative thinking, and inquiry processes. Instruction is differentiated to meet the individual readiness, learning profile, and interests of each student. A variety of course offerings across fields and disciplines offer students the opportunity to engage in authentic learning experiences that model the work of experts. The teaching staff of SEP utilizes best practices to maximize potential in each student and ignite a passion for lifelong learning. Students will take one of the courses that are listed on the application in the morning. Once accepted to the program, students receive a second list of courses that they will choose from, for the afternoon course. The courses that are offered in the afternoon are different than the ones offered in the morning.

Residential Life

The residential component is an integral part of the SEP experience. Residential counselors strive to provide a comfortable and safe environment for living and learning, while meeting individual social and emotional needs. Campers are given the opportunity to build relationships with their gifted peers from different backgrounds and, most importantly, to have fun. The University dormitories are home to the campers for 12 days. Students live in suites that house eight campers and one residential counselor. Each suite is composed of four bedrooms, which allows each student to have one roommate and six other girls or boys of the same age to live with. Counselors live in a separate room within each suite to provide 24 hour supervision. 

When campers are not in the classroom, they have a full day of engaging activities planned and led by our residential staff.  Activities vary across a spectrum of mental to physical, individual to cooperative, self-elected to designated, as well as small group to whole group. Our typical daily schedule is as follows:

7:30 – 8:30       Breakfast
9:00 – 11:30     Morning Classes
11:30 – 12:30    Lunch
12:40 – 2:05     Special Topics
2:10 – 2:45       Large Group Activity
3:00 – 4:30       Afternoon Seminars
5:00 – 6:20       Dinner
6:30 – 7:15       Evening Activities
7:30 – 8:15       Recreation
8:30 – 9:00       Suite Time
9:00 – 10:00     Quiet Time 

Special Topics are two-day long seminars taught by our counselors. They are designed to be both fun and educational, covering topics outside of the normal academic offerings. Past topics include: the science of superheroes, film-making, architecture at UVA, DJ-ing, survival skills, etc.

Large Group Activity/Evening Activities are non-athletic recreational activities, created and led by counselors. They serve as interactive and fun opportunities for all campers to work together and get to know each other. 

Besides the normal daily activities, we offer many other fun and exciting experiences such as: swimming, movies, shopping, field day, mental challenge, a BBQ, and much more, all while enjoying the beautiful and historic UVA grounds. Since campers spend most of their time at SEP outside of the classroom, our counselors aim to ensure campers remain engaged and active all day long. Our residential staff is composed of creative, intelligent, supportive counselors who have a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for working with gifted children.

Residential life at SEP is where many fond memories are made.


The cost for the 2017 twelve-day program is $1300.  The cost includes tuition, room, board, materials, recreational activities and accident insurance. There is an application fee of $25. If accepted, you will see a payment link on your status page. The tuition is payable in two installments. The first, non-refundable payment will be due on May 1, and the second and final payment will be due on June 1. Financial Aid is available based on need. Applications are due no later than midnight on February 15th, 2017. For details about how to apply as well as a listing of last year's courses, please click here:

Summer Application Process

Financial Aid

Every summer SEP awards approximately $30,000 to $40,000 in financial aid to families who request it based on submission of a completed Financial Aid Form and the relative need of all those applying. The 2017 form will be available on the Summer Application Process page (link above.)

Submit the completed form and attachments no later than March 1, 2017 to be considered for aid for summer. Application for aid does not affect your chances for admission.

Selection Process

Applications are reviewed on a combination of test scores, a teacher recommendation, and a written response that reflects critical and creative thinking and are compared with other applications from students in the same age group and gender. Final acceptance numbers are based on dorm spaces available in each gender and age group. Applications are available beginning December 15th and will be due February 15th, 2017. Acceptance decisions  for on-time applicants will be communicated via email on or before April 15, 2017.

Employment Opportunities

The Summer Enrichment Program seeks teachers and counselors who are child-centered, enthusiastic, and are willing to be a part of a dynamic team. Positions are available in the junior camp (5-8 grade) and senior camp (9-11 grade). More about employment opportunities.

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