New Jersey Scholars Program
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The New Jersey Scholars Program (sometimes referred to as NJSP) is a highly selective, residential summer program for academically talented high school students residing in the state of New Jersey. Held on the campus of The Lawrenceville School from June to July, the program is based on in-depth discussion of a seminar topic that changes biannually; the current topic is India, Pakistan and Bangladesh: One History. Three Countries. Shared Future. There is no tuition for selected attendees; room, board and all academic expenses for the five-week program are covered by private and corporate donations.
NJSP's stated mission is to "reach out to 39 able and enthusiastic residents of New Jersey who are rising seniors and who come from a broad socio-economic, ethnic and racial cross-section of the state's population. The Program creates an intense, interdisciplinary intellectual experience that will change their lives -- to awaken in them the awareness of their potential to achieve academic excellence." 
Admission to the NJ Scholars Program is selective, beginning as an in-school process in which up to three students can benominated to have their applications (consisting of an academic transcript, teacher recommendations and several essays) forwarded to the program for further consideration. After a thorough vetting process, only about 50% of applicants are selected for semifinalist status. In the next stage of the process, applicants are invited to The Lawrenceville School for a tour of the campus and an intensive group interview with the program administrators. Applicants are notified as to their acceptance or rejection by early April.
For the 2008 program, 39 Scholars were selected from an applicant pool of around 200 candidates nominated from their schools, garnering an acceptance rate of approximately 20%.
Founded in 1977, the NJ Scholars Program was created as an attempt to provide a "dynamic learning environment" for intellectually gifted high school students in New Jersey. The interdisciplinary nature of the program allows for the Scholars to approach the seminar topic from a number of different angles, aided by professors enlisted from a wide variety of postsecondary institutions. The daily schedule starts with a morning lecture, followed by morning and afternoon seminar sessions around the "Harkness Table", which is meant to foster equal discussion among the Scholars. The remainder of the day is utilized for leisure activities, or to complete the considerable readings and work assigned by the faculty. Culminating the program for the Scholars is the creation of a lengthy research paper on a specific topic.
Scholars reside in McClellan House on the Lawrenceville campus (with opposite genders living on different floors), and are free to visit the nearby city of Princeton, New Jersey, six miles away. Athletics also form a major part of the NJSP experience; the Lawrenceville School's excellent facilities are open for use, including tennis and basketball courts, a fully-outfitted weight room, multipurpose athletic fields, a golf course and a pool. Other highlights of the program include weekend excursions to amusement parks and beaches, and an Arts Festival.