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Program Overview

The foundation of the Aim High program is an intensive five-week summer session that is supported with monthly meetings on Saturdays during the academic year (September-April).  Approximately 400 Aim High students are enrolled in our tuition-free middle school program for four years. The program targets the crucial middle school years when students are forming life-long attitudes and goals. Aim High increases young peoples’ chances of finishing high school by equipping them to make positive choices for themselves through the improvement of their academic skills, supporting positive personal development and improved self-esteem. Check out our video to see the Achiever experience in action!

Who, When, & How


Aim High enrolls students through a comprehensive nomination and application process. In general, we look for students who:

  • Are finishing 5th grade and entering the 6th grade in the fall. We occasionally admit qualified students finishing 6th grade and entering 7th grade in the fall;
  • Are average performing academically (B-C average students) with potential to achieve at higher levels;
  • Have a good attendance record;
  • Have one or more adult caregivers who will support their full four-year participation in the program;

We give preference to applicants who qualify for the free or reduced meal program or who are potential first-generation college students (neither parent completed a four-year post-secondary education).

First Priority is given to students applying from a school within a Promise Zone district or partnering districts: St. Louis Public Schools, Normandy, University City, Ferguson-Florissant, Jennings, Hazelwood, Riverview, and Ritenour School Districts. Fifth grade students applying from other private and public schools in the St. Louis area and outside our primary recruitment districts are also eligible for admission. Admissions decisions are made based on eligibility and available space.


Aim High enrolls between 150 – 180 new students each summer across two campuses. New students are enrolled each summer and not during the school year portion of the program. They are assigned to a campus based on grade, with rising 6th and 7th graders attending John Burroughs and rising 8th and 9th graders attending Washington University in St. Louis. Every Aim High Achiever is guaranteed free bus transportation to and from campus.


Once a student becomes part of the Aim High Family, full participation is expected for all 4-years of the program, including regular attendance at the Saturday Sessions during the school year. Students who do not attend regularly may be dismissed from the program in order to allow the participation of another student who will take advantage of the full scope of this opportunity




First-time applicants will need to complete the 2024 New Student Application (available January 1, 2024) to be considered for the Aim High Program. The application is an online form that includes contact information, demographics, parent information, and some writing. There is a small section for parents or caregivers to complete. Each applicant will also need to identify a teacher, counselor, or principal who will provide a recommendation. Aim High will reach out to those identified to complete a recommendation form and to upload grade reports. If you are unable to complete the online application, please contact us at for further assistance.


Achievers who participated in Aim High last year will need to complete the 2024 Returning Student Application (available January 1, 2024). This application does not include the written portion and is primarily used to gather contact and demographic information that may have changed. Returning achievers do not need an additional recommendation. If you are unable to complete the online application, please contact us at for further assistance.


Saturday Sessions

Saturday Sessions


Aim High reinforces our summer program with monthly Saturday Sessions that take place once per month from September to April. In these sessions we continue to expose, enrich and provide additional opportunities for greater learning for our Achievers. Sessions typically run from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, and snacks and bus transportation are provided.

Our 2023-24 Saturday Sessions will begin this September.


In addition to the high-quality math, science, and humanities instruction that Aim High delivers, we also offer electives that allow Achievers to choose an expansive class based on their own interests. These courses are taught by staff with expertise in these subjects. Electives from the 2023 Aim High Summer Session included:
  • Creative courses like Comic Illustration, Storytelling, and Songwriting
  • Performance courses like Theater and Talent Show
  • Sports courses like Golf and Tennis
  • Loads of others, from Chess and Board Games to Cooking to Conspiracy Theories!

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