Governor's School

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is eligible?

    The brightest and most talented rising junior and senior students* currently enrolled in Tennessee‘s public and private high schools. To be eligible, students can either rank in the top of their high school class in performance/capability, or be highly talented in the fields to which they are applying. Each student applying must submit confidential recommendations from his/her guidance counselor, and two teachers that identify the applicant as talented, highly motivated, mature, and dedicated.* Rising juniors will apply during their sophomore year of high school, while rising seniors will apply during their junior year of high school. 

  • What does it cost?

    The only costs to attend Governor's School include: transportation to and from the campus, personal spending money for outings and trips ($100 suggested), and personal items. All other living expenses - residence halls, university tuition & fees, and meals - will be provided. The Governor's School program is funded by the Department of Education through funds appropriated by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee. If transportation is a financial problem, applicants should contact the director of the school to which they are applying.

  • When is the deadline for applications?

    Applications must be received no later than January 17, 2023. NOTE: Guidance counselors may set an earlier deadline for materials to be returned to the student's home school in order to mail the applications by the required deadline. Guidance Counselors should send all application materials directly to the governor's school(s) to which the students are applying. Students applying to multiple schools must rank the schools in order of preference on the top right corner of the Certification of Application Form. Applications received directly from students will not be considered.

  • How will students be selected?

    The selection for the academic areas will be made at the individual school level. Committees appointed by the directors in consultation with the state Department of Education will need to receive all required application material, transcripts, personal data sheets, and recommendations. The committees will be looking for the most exceptional students in Tennessee. The committees will also select a number of alternates for each school. Applicants will receive a letter from each school to which they applied notifying them if they have been accepted, rejected or selected as an alternate.

  • Can students apply for more than one school?

    Yes, but the applicant must rank the schools (1 = most preferred, 2, 3, etc.) in order of preference. However, since the dates of the programs overlap, students accepted to more than one school will have to decide which program they would most like to attend.

  • If a student has already attended a Governor's School, may           they apply to attend again?

    No student who has previously attended a Tennessee Governor‘s School will be accepted. Also, no-shows and/or drop-outs from previous year (without prior approval) will not be allowed to reapply.

  • How does a student acquire specific information about        Governor‘s Schools?

    Each Governor‘s School has a website with school-specific information. Applicants may call or e-mail these individual schools; Guidance Counselors have contact information for each school and a list of directors. For general information, contact the state director AFTER reading the most frequently asked questions on pages F-H.

  • What are the activities outside of class?

    There will be lots of them - concerts, plays, movies, and special events scheduled for evenings and weekends. Students will be free to take part in all of the activities offered on campus such as: sports, swimming, running, etc. Students may want to also bring tennis rackets and basketball shoes!

  • Who are the instructors?

    Writers, language experts, historians, philosophers, artists, actors, conductors, expert musicians, scientists, distinguished professors, and career level teachers. All are the best in their fields.

  • Do students earn any special credits?

    All Governor‘s School students will be given the opportunity to earn three University credit hours. All students who complete the program will be awarded a certificate of merit signed by the Governor.

  • Is transportation provided to/from church?

    Applicants may obtain transportation information from the directors of the individual schools.

  • Does an up-to-date transcript need to be included?

    Yes. Since the deadline for applications may be before semester grades are distributed, schools should provide the most recent grades available.

  • If the school requires two specific types of teacher        recommendations and a student has only one, what should        he/she do?

    Applicants with this situation may contact the directors of the individual schools for more information.

  • Can students with disabilities apply?

    Yes, if they meet the necessary criteria.

  • Are students required to stay for the four week program?

    Yes. The program is intensive and highly individualized. Classes and special activities are planned for the entire four weeks, INCLUDING WEEKENDS. Absences from scheduled activities will not be permitted except in the case of emergencies or religious activities, with permission from the individual schools' director. Students will not be excused to attend other camps or seminars, take family vacations, attend weddings, have senior pictures taken, etc. Students should come prepared to stay, study, and have fun!

  • How many students will be selected?

    30 students will be selected for GSTIBL along with 10 alternate candidates.

  • When will students be notified of selection for participation or alternate status?

    Notifications will be mailed to all applicants in early February. Applicants will receive separate notification letters from each of the schools to which applied. If an applicant does not meet the Governor‘s Schools GPA requirement and/or other prerequisites, the application will go into an ineligible file, and the Governor‘s School will not send any correspondence regarding the ineligible application.

  • When should alternates expect the Governor‘s School to           contact them regarding open slots?

    In early March, the Governor‘s Schools will begin contacting alternates for any available openings.

  • Will students‘ home schools be notified?

    Yes. By the second or third week in February, lists of all students accepted, up until that point, will be mailed to public and private school guidance counselors. By the end of September, lists of students who attended will be mailed upon request to the state director.

  • If test scores are not available for applying sophomores, what should be used?

    Indicate type of test taken (ACT, SAT, etc.) and anticipated date of receipt. Include any available standardized test scores on the Test Data Form.

  • Other than grades, test scores, etc., what do reviewers look at           in this application?

    The recommendations from teachers are very important. For instance, if two applications are otherwise given the same rating, what the teachers have said may result in a higher score. Extracurricular and service activities are also highly considered. For GSTIBL, the video responses to the application questions as well as the written response will also weigh heavily on selection for participation.

  • Is the application confidential?

    Consistent with applicable law, no personally identifiable information will be released to non-authorized individuals.

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