Higher Achievement is an open enrollment program. Students must apply and meet three criteria to be eligible (see below). All eligible students are entered into a random lottery that determines which students will be accepted to the program.

To be eligible for the Higher Achievement Program, a student must:

  • Be willing to commit 650 hours per year for three to four years.
  • Attend 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th grade. Most new scholars are rising 5th or 6th grade students.
  • Live or attend school in one of the Higher Achievement communities.

The application process also includes individual interviews, at which Higher Achievement staff explain the program’s expectations to students and their families and, of course, answer questions.

All applicants and their families must understand that:
Participation is required in all three elements of the Higher Achievement program: Summer Academy, Afterschool Academy, and High School Placement.

Consideration for Higher Achievement is not based on standardized test scores and grades; rather, commitment to our rigorous, multi-year program is the most important factor. On average, 50 percent of our incoming Scholars test proficient and above on standardized tests, and 50 percent test basic and below.

Application Process

  1. SSmiling Baltimore Scholarsubmit an application online.
  2. Schedule an interview. During the interview, we assess a student’s talents, areas of challenge, and his/her willingness to commit to our program.
  3. Be entered in a random lottery that determines all applicants’ acceptance into Higher Achievement.

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