2020 Academic Application Timeline

Early October: Applications and materials released by VDOE
October:
Information meeting held at each high school
October-November: Request teacher recommendations, inform building contact of your intent to apply
December 16 or earlier: Applications due to school point of contact
January 17: Applications reviewed by county committee
Late February: Applicants informed if their application moves forward to state
Mid-April: State informs students of results
June 21-July 18: Program Dates Agriculture and Humanities

June 28-July 25: Program Dates Math/Science/Technology and Mentorships


Academic Application Components

The application must be typed. All parent and student signatures must be "live" (not photocopied) and are on pages 1 and 4.

Page 1 Personal and Demographic Information

Page 2 Activities, Research, and Honors: Consult the Page 2 Scoring Rubric (Word) or Attachment H (PDF) from the State Administrator's Guide. All acronyms must be written out. Include detailed information about each item. Items must be linked to application area in order to receive points. Only 3 items can be used in each category. All items must be form the past 3 years (18 points total)

Page 3 Essay: The essay is limited to 500 words. The county committee will consider an essay up to 2 pages of 12 pt font, double space, 1 inch margins. The scoring rubric is in the application and in Attachment H (PDF). (24 points total)

Page 4 Student and parent signatures/initials

Teacher Recommendations Teacher A must be a current teacher in a subject area directly related to area of application. Teacher B can be any adult (non-parent) that can attest to your academic capabilities in your application area. Teachers must complete a rating scale and narrative (letter) Consult Attachment H (PDF) for scoring details. (26 points total)

Grades Current year GPA in core classes is considered. (8 points)

Course Challenge Level of course challenge is considered. Students completing an Early College Scholars Agreement (PDF) earn the full 8 points. (8 points)

Test Score 1 Aptitude or achievement test used in gifted identification. (8 points)

Test Score 2 Test score within the past 3 years. PSAT, SAT, ACT and other nationally normed achievement or aptitude tests are considered. SOL and AP tests are not considered (8 points)

If either test score is not available, the Gifted Education Resource Teacher for the school will administer tests to the student with parent permission.

Selection Process

Prince William County is limited to sending 25 agriculture applications, and 51 other academic applications for consideration by the state. A committee of teachers representing each school in the division scores the "Activities, Research, and Honors" page, the teacher recommendations, and the essay. Each application is scored by two readers separately. If readers have disparate assessments of the application, two new readers will review the application.

Because of the VDOE deadline and the VDOE limit on the applications sent forward, the decision of the committee is final. You can request to review the scoring of your application, and can do so by contacting overtojm@pwcs.edu.

It is recommended that you apply in 10th grade, and if not accepted, apply again in 11th grade. The application experience in 10th grade will help you understand what you need for a stronger application in 11th grade. 

The NASA, VIMS, and MHS programs are very selective. They are not introductory programs to engineering, marine science, and medicine. The students accepted to these programs already have extensive experience in activities in the field of application; often that experience takes place outside of school, such as volunteering in a hospital. If you are interested in one of these programs, you will need to start getting involved in activities 9th and 10th grade. Science fair experience is recommended for applicants to these programs.