Governor's Schools of ExcellenceApplications for the Governors Schools of Excellence are now available online at http://www.pgse.org/ or contact Mrs. Kremer at the high school.
The Governors Schools are competitive, tuition free, 5-week summer residential programs at various universities across the state. There are eight schools of excellence:
Information, Society, and Technology
Top 10 Reasons for Applying to a Governor's School of Excellence
Access to exclusive merit scholarship opportunities. Each year, many colleges and universities in Pennsylvania set aside merit scholarships available only to those admissions candidates who are Governors School graduates. These range from as little as $750 to as much as half and full tuition. Some are renewable for each undergraduate year depending on academic progress.
PGSE graduates are prized by admissions panels. Colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and beyond are familiar with the name Pennsylvania Governors Schools. Admissions panels know that a candidate who has successfully completed a Governors School is committed to learning beyond the norm, is focused, exercises critical thinking, is a leader, and possesses above average organizational skills. A Governors School graduate has demonstrated the maturity to handle campus living.
PGSE graduates have access to references from college-level teachers and other professionals.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania underwrites the students participation. Tuition, room and board for five weeks, program materials and activities are underwritten for all students selected to participate in a Pennsylvania Governors Schools. Families are responsible for getting the students to the programs, leaving them there for 5 weeks, getting them home, and for their pocket money. There is a residential life deposit that is returned if the student returns all university property. Families are also responsible for health care expenses and damages incurred by the student. (Note: In the last 20 years, there has only been one instance of a parent covering damages.)
The Governors School is an opportunity to explore a subject with adventure. Health care delivery in a major hub of headlining hospitals; cutting edge science experiments conducted in professional labs with research scientists as mentors; life in an arts colony; the excitement of the stock exchange; behind the scenes tours of technological industries not available to the general public; teaching children . . . depending on the Governors School, students experience the real world for five weeks.
The Governors School is an opportunity to indulge interests without the pressure of grades. Governors Schools do not grade or rank students competitively.
The Governors School is an opportunity to sample college life safely. With the guidance of a trained residential life staff, students learn to negotiate campus facilities and independence. Parents often remark on how their children have matured.
The Governors School community offers friends for life. Students rave about finding friends who are interested in the same things. They learn from each other and each others differences.
Governors School is unique to high school students. This is the only time in a persons life that an experience like Governors School is available.
Governors School is only 5 weeks. Students have all of August to attend athletic practice, band practice, go on vacation or hold down a job.
Helpful Hints for Applicants
1. CHOOSING PROGRAM(S) TO WHICH TO APPLY: Think about what you want to spend your time doing. Do not worry about prestige or which program is located closest to home. For example, do you like Science but would like to be outdoors this summer? Consider the Governors School for the Agricultural Sciences. Remember, too, that you can apply to up to 2 Governors Schools in a year.
2. DO NOT LEAVE THE APPLICATION PROCESS TO THE LAST MINUTE! The Governors Schools are competitive, and to be competitive, make sure the application represents your best work and form. The Governors School deadlines (hard and fast!) fall in winter, when weather and flu can slow down processes. Recommended: Begin working on the application in November, put the final touches on it in December, submit it before the December holidays. You want to enjoy the holidays and not have to worry about the application.
3. TAKE TIME TO LOOK AT WHAT THE GOVERNORS SCHOOL IS LOOKING FOR IN A CANDIDATE. Go online and read the selection criteria at www.pgse.org. Read the course descriptions, to get an idea of what goes on in the program and how it fits with what intrigues you.
4. TAKE TIME WRITING THE ESSAYS: With the exception of the Governors School for the Arts, which has different procedures and criteria, the programs rely on applicants essays to get a sense of who the applicant is, what matters to the applicant, how the applicant thinks and how well the applicants outlook fits with the programs. It is very important that the essays be written in good form, and that the writer shows a sense of ownership in the ideas presented. Remember: an essay is more than one paragraph; each paragraph should expand on an aspect of the central theme. The essay should build to a satisfying conclusion.
5. NOT SURE WHAT TO WRITE? Stuck on what to write for the essays? Ask yourself, why did I pick this program to apply to? What in the description of the program appealed to me? Why? Jot down some ideas and you will see themes emerge.
6. ASK A TEACHER, ADVISOR, COUNSELOR OR PARENT TO REVIEW YOUR APPLICATION CRITICALLY. Ask someone to review what you have put together for the applicationan essay or, for the Arts, an artistic work samplefor constructive criticism. Share the application directions with this person and ask, have I followed the directions, have I produced a piece of writing in good form or an artistic work sample that best represents what I know and can do? Take the time to do it over, if necessary.
7. KEEP COPIES OF EVERYTHING! You have put effort into an application. You should keep a record of it to measure your progress. The resume and essays can be helpful in starting the college application process in the future. Also, if something gets lost along the way, you will have a copy to refile. Creative writers submitting manuscripts to the Pennsylvania Governors School for the Arts must keep copies because their work is not returned, unlike the visual and performing artists who get theirs back. Those applying to the other Governors Schools do not get applications returned.
8. FOLLOW-UP ON SUBMISSIONS: If you are applying to the Governors School for the Arts, you take your application to the local Intermediate Unit. Make sure you know when and how your application materials will be returned to you. (Creative writers do not get materials back.) If you are applying to the other Governors Schools, you must give your essays and resume to your guidance counselor to submit. Review the checklist with the counselor, and check in periodically to make sure the teachers have submitted references and the application is mailed on time. If you have attached a receipt postcard and have not received it 2 3 weeks after the application was sent, call the PGSE Information Line, (570) 524-5244, for help in tracking the application.