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Preparation and High School Placement

The Journey

The Oliver Scholars Pre-Scholar Services and Scholar Services Teams provide knowledge, guidance, and support so that you and every young person in the Program has a chance to chart your her/his own course into the future. Let's talk about how it works:


All students seeking to become Oliver Scholars must successfully participate in the following courses:

Summer Immersion Program I - Summer Before 8th Grade. This full time, five-week program is where "the rubber meets the road" and where we begin instilling our core values of scholarship, leadership, and service. We use an internally designed curriculum that prepares our students to embrace the challenge of learning at the accelerated pace expected in the finest schools. Subject areas include Math, History, Literature, and Expository Writing. Students also participate in a seminar on the Independent School Admissions Process [ISAP], a course designed to help aspiring Scholars find a school that is the right fit.SIP I also emphasizes non-cognitive skills such as personal responsiblity and resilience. We are serious about such things because life is filled with challenges and every Scholar must develop the ability to deal with adversity.

Fall Focus is held from September through November of 8th grade. It provides intense preparation for the SSAT with a focus on vocabulary building, reading comprehension, pre-algebra, algebra and geometry. Classes occur once a week. 

Spring Seminar classes are between January through April. Spring Seminar offers students the opporutnity to engage in intellectually challenging work similar to seminar work at an independent school. Students participate in courses in two subject areas: The Arts and The Sciences. Classes occur once a week. 


Applying to Independent High Schools

By becoming an Oliver Scholar, you will have the chance to go to a top independent high school. In the winter of 8th grade, you will complete the high school admissions process. There are many things about independent schools that you need to know and many questions that you may have...

  • Will I prefer day school or boarding school?
  • This application is intense; how do I respond to all of these questions?
  • What kind of questions are the schools going to ask me and what should I say to them?  
  • The perfect school for me is very expensive. Is there financial aid available? 

We guide and support Pre-Scholar and their families throughout the independent school admissions process. We get to know our young people very well, paying careful attention to their personalities and learning styles so we can make informed recommendations when the time comes to apply to one of our partner schools.

The 55 independent day and boarding school partners in our consortium offer a wide variety of learning environments.  We work hard during the interviewing process and the Summer Immersion Program [SIP] to match our candidates with the right institution for their individual interests and learning styles. We require parents and guardians to be fully engaged in the process. 

School lists are composed by strong collaborative effort among Oliver staff, parents or guardians, and independent school administrators. Of critical importance are the initial orientation meeting, site visits to our partner schools, and the financial aid workshops. These activities are all designed to shed light on all of the elements involved in successfully gaining admission to the right school for each Scholar.


SIP II (The Summer Before 9th Grade)

SIP II is the capstone program for our Scholars who have completed the independent school application process and are now rising high school freshmen (9th graders). The advanced curriculum includes Algebra II, Geometry, English, History, Introductory Biology, Introductory Physics, and New Scholar Seminar [NSS], which ties all of the elements together as our Scholars begin their high school career in a very new environment.