Mission Statement

PALCS University Scholars Program (USP)

The University Scholars Program (USP) embraces the individual scholar. With an understanding of the complexities of high aptitude learners, both their phenomenal strengths and very real challenges, we believe that these students, like all students, have a right to an appropriate education that helps them to reach their fullest potential. The University Scholars Program creates a setting where like-minded scholars and teachers encourage and inspire.

Within the University Scholars Program, we:

  • Tailor instruction and opportunities to the individual need and goals of the scholar

  • Expand the capacity of the individual to think critically

  • Encourage scholars to abandon the box – what box?

  • Foster authentic scholarship – true investment in the process and products of learning

  • Value scholars’ quest to understand why and to know more

  • Believe in the importance and power of student / peer / teacher collaboration

  • Empower learners to be resourceful

  • Develop leaders with the understanding that leaders lead in diverse ways

  • Support the social and emotional well-being of our students

Program Profile

General Information

  • Established 2005

  • Accelerated and college preparatory courses for eligible PA Leadership Charter School students

  • Grades 6 through 12

  • Average class size 12

  • Average enrollment 275

  • Highly competitive entrance requirements

  • Onsite and/or virtual pathways available with classes approximately 80 school days each year.

  • The University Scholars Program has scholars from across the state of Pennsylvania. The program has students from 87 school districts, 108 towns and cities, 30 counties, and 21 intermediate units.


  • Middle school courses contain high school level content and rigor yet are developmentally appropriate

  • High school courses are honors and Advanced Placement (AP)

  • 24 AP courses
  • Students are not required to take AP Exams

  • STEM program option for middle school and high school participants


  • 95th percentile or higher on standardized intelligence and aptitude tests

  • SAT Score Means for the Class of 2022: Total Score Average 1370 • Math Average 689 • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Average 682

  • ACT Mean for 2021: Composite Score 31 • Math 31 • Science 30 • English 31 • Reading 33

  • Merit Scholarship Program: Commendations, Semi-finalists, and Finalists

  • AP Awards: Letters of Commendation for Outstanding Performance, AP Scholars, AP Scholars with Honors, AP Scholars with Distinction, National AP Scholars

College Acceptances

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