Frequently Asked Questions - Students


Why should I attend ATS?

  • Experience a collegiate environment, gain self-confidence and independence, and try out potential career paths while being treated like “college students” on the Sac State campus.
  • Explore interactive hands-on classes designed to encourage critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical skills.
  • Learn from college professors, public and private school teachers, and leading industry professionals.
  • Make new friends from across the region who share your enthusiasm and desire to explore subjects more in depth than is often possible in regular school.


Cost and Financial Matters

How much does this cost?
Class fees range from $150 to $455 depending on the program and length of the course. Because ATS receives no federal, state, or University funding, the program is supported primarily by student fees.

I can’t afford this – do you have scholarships?
Yes! Each year, ATS provides fee reduction scholarships to students from economically disadvantaged families who otherwise might not be able to attend due to costs. Applicants whose family income levels are lowest are awarded larger scholarships than those reporting higher incomes. Over $20,000 in financial support is awarded to students each year.

In addition, several schools in the area, including Cristo Rey High School, Lake Canyon Elementary, and Smythe Academy have previously provided scholarship support for their students to attend ATS classes.

Do you pay for all my classes?
No. Due to limited funds, ATS financial aid awards are toward one class only. This allows the program to offer support to the greatest number of students who want to attend but who have limited finances to do so.

Can I pay online?
The University's Bursar's Office is currently accepting payments for the ATS Qualifying Exam processing fee and the Summer 2019 application fee.  Because online payments are made to the University and not directly to ATS, a copy of the payment receipt must be submitted to the ATS office.



How do I get to classes? Do you have a school bus?

Unfortunately, Sac State does not provide transportation from area schools to the University.

  • For those in Sacramento county, the campus is a major hub for Sacramento Regional Transit. Multiple routes make stops at Sac State, and light rail passengers can use the University/65th Street station to catch a bus to the campus.
  • Students in Yolo county can take Yolobus to Sacramento and connect with an RT bus or light rail train to get to the University.
  • Some students arrange carpools with their classmates or friends from other schools who also plan to attend ATS classes.
  • As a courtesy, ATS also generates a list of 6th - 9th grade participants interested in carpooling. Lists are included in student admission packets, allowing them the opportunity to contact other families in their area to set up carpool arrangements.

Do you have any housing or residential options?
ATS is strictly a commuter program – participants are responsible for making their own arrangements to get to and from the Sac State campus. In some cases, students from other parts of the state (or from other states or countries) have friends or relatives in the Sacramento area they stay with while attending ATS classes.


Qualifying Exam

Do I have to go to summer school if I take the test?
No. Taking the test gives you the option of applying for classes. Participation in classes is not mandatory.

I took the test last year – do I have to take it again?
If you are in grade 6 or above and last took the test in 4th or 5th grade then you will need to retest to will take the Advanced Level exam (previously you would have taken the Intermediate Level test). Otherwise, retesting is not required. However, because class placement is made top score down, many students choose to take the test every year to try to raise their scores and increase their chances of being admitted into their first choice.

What score do I have to get to pass the test?
There is no minimum score required to "pass" the test. All current 4th through 9th graders who take the test are automatically eligible for admission to ATS, and there are classes available at all score levels. The higher you score on the exam the more classes you have to choose from.

Do you have a study guide or practice test?
You can find a test preview on the Johns Hopkins CTY website.

How do I know if I got a good score on the test?
Whatever score you get is a good score. The ATS Qualifying Exam is an out-of-level test. In other words, unlike the tests you take in regular school which are designed for students in your grade level, the ATS test is normally taken by older students. So 4th and 5th graders are taking a test which would usually be taken by 8th graders while 6th - 9th graders are taking a test which would usually be taken by high school seniors. For more information about your scores, look at your score report which provides local and national norms for your reference.

If I meet the score requirement for the class I want does that guarantee I’m going to get in?
Unfortunately, no. Because some classes have more applicants than seats available, it’s not possible to guarantee admission. If you apply by the priority admission deadline and meet the score requirement for the course, you’ll be in the first group considered for placement. The higher you score, the better chance you have of being admitted as students are placed top score down until all seats are filled.


Summer Program

I’m not very good in math. Will ATS classes help me catch up?
ATS is not a remedial program. Students attend ATS classes to further their learning in subjects in which they excel, not to help them improve in areas of weakness. Classes are fast-paced and move through the curriculum at an accelerated pace (for example, the Algebra 1 class completes a full academic year's worth of material in five weeks).

I have another activity the same time as the class I want to take. Is it okay if I miss a couple days of class?
Because absences are detrimental to class progress, students are expected to attend every class session in its entirety. All classes are fast-paced so missing one day of class can be like missing a month of regular school. You might also be impacting other participants (group projects, etc.) If you know you won’t be able to attend every class session due to other commitments you should look at a different class or session.

Do I get college credit for the classes?
No. ATS courses do not count toward college credit. However, some courses in the 6th - 9th grade program may be recommended for high school credit. Most students attend ATS classes for the learning experience and not for credit. However, if credit is an important consideration for attending, then students should talk to their high school registrar or counselor about school requirements before applying for ATS courses. Credit recommendations are included in each course description printed in the Summer Catalog. Many schools accept ATS' recommendations for advanced class placement, transcript annotation, and/or credit.

Can I sign up online?
You can complete the Summer 2019 application for classes onine, however, your application will not be complete until you submit all required items, including your report card and application processing fee.
Application for 4th & 5th Grade Program
Application for 6th - 9th Grade Program