Students most likely to profit from immersion in this environment are selected by the UTM staff committee. While the selection of the participants will be on a competitive basis, preference will be given to scholars who can demonstrate a commitment to maximizing their and who want to play assertive, dynamic leadership roles. This program will seek to expose these students to a cadre of like-minded learners. Some criteria that will be used in the selection process include:

  1. Intellectual potential; Established GPA and test scores.
  2. Outstanding ability or potential in at least two areas of academic emphasis;
  3. Personal characteristics, such as creativity, motivation, maturity, leadership skills, and flawless disciplinary records.

These qualities are deemed essential for a student to cope successfully with the curriculum of the Young Scholars Academy.  Evidences of  personal characteristics, from achievements to standardized test scores, may be used by school personnel to identify students with the intellectual potential to have a successful experience at YSA.

Equal in importance to the student's academic potential is the student's motivation level and maturity. Students must be willing to remain on campus for the entire week, to obey rather strict social rules, and to participate in a cooperative exploration of intellectual issues with a group of gifted and talented peers.

The young people chosen to participate in this program are expected to be mature and to take responsibility for their actions. The strict enforcement of social and residential regulations is a reflection of the high degree of dedication to a sense of community expected of students and an indication of the seriousness of the program's commitment to an intensely academic environment. In a similar way, the transition of expectations in a college environment ? in class attendance, freedom from grading, testing, and credit signals an expectation that the students, under careful supervision, will display their motivation toward the development of their natural abilities.

Students should approach the Young Scholars Academy with the expectation that they are embarking on an intense, exciting week-long intellectual adventure in which they must be active participants. Because of the brevity of the program, all classroom activities will focus around a central theme. Because of this, the discussions may be open and conversational in style. YSA instructors will not merely present ideas and theories; they will attempt to utilize these ideas and theories (using the theme for the program as a common starting point) to heighten students' awareness of the world around them and help them in utilizing these skills in their development as leaders. This process requires eager, active students.