GLL Advanced Placement Page Block with Video

Gifted LearningLinks allows high ability students to:

  • Access advanced subject matter, including credit-bearing honors and AP® level courses
  • Learn at an accelerated pace anytime and anywhere
  • Receive personalized guidance from expert instructors
  • Engage online with peers from around the world

Stay sharp!

"Thank you so much for a great educational course! I will definitely be recommending this to my fellow peers. I was able to complete my course in just a couple of months and pass the placement test at my school." – 2019 ASO participant

"CTD is such a wonderful educational center and we are so happy that the students from our school can have opportunities at CTD to enhance studies and academic interests." - 2019 ASO school administrator

"My daughter enjoyed the course and learned so much, not only about her course but also how to manage her time and take an active role in learning. Thank you for your guidance and support during the course!" - 2019 ASO parent

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Application Process & Deadlines

Applications are submitted using MyCTD, the online course application system.  You will be able to upload documentation in MyCTD and have access to the teacher recommendation link if necessary, once you have submitted your application. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are completed.  Incomplete applications do not "hold a spot" in the desired course.  

The Accelerated Summer Option (ASO) program welcomes applications from returning applicants as well as new scores and portfolio applicants. Before beginning the online application, determine which type of applicant you are based on the descriptions below.

Pre-qualified Review Applicant - Please read description carefully. Applicants must make sure they are qualified to apply as a returning applicant.

You are a pre-qualified review applicant if you are in grade 6 through grade 12 and you meet both of the following criteria: 

  • You have successfully completed a CTD course through the  Summer Program or Online Program at the  Indigo Tier within the previous twenty-four months. 
  • You are now applying for an Accelerated Summer Option course with the same qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) as a CTD course you previously completed.

New Scores Applicant
You are a new scores applicant if you are in grade 6 through grade 12 and you meet either one of the following criteria:

  • You have not attended any CTD program for the past two years and you have qualifying test scores (Verbal, Math or Science) for your desired course that are no more than two years old.
  • You have previously attended a course with the Summer Program or Online Program, but you are now applying for a course with a different qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) and you have qualifying test scores. 

New Portfolio Applicant

You are a portfolio applicant if you are in grade 6 through grade 12 and the following is applicable to you:

  • You do not have qualifying test scores because you have either:

             1) never taken the required above-grade-level test


             2) taken this type of test but not achieved a qualifying score.

 An Admission Portfolio includes the following documents:

  • Required: one teacher recommendation form indicating that the student is performing 1½ to 2 years above grade level in the subject area of the course to which the student is applying. 
  • Required: most recent grade report or transcript indicating exceptional performance in the subject area of the course to which the student is applying. 
  • If available: most recent state testing report (e.g. NWEA/MAP) or any results of a grade-level test.

Please note that students may apply to Accelerated Summer Option courses based on the grade they will be going into in the fall.

Applications are processed and reviewed by Admissions staff when all necessary documentation has been provided through the applicant's MyCTD account. 

It can take up to a week for our staff to first review newly submitted applications as well as any documentation provided to complete an application later. Until our staff has verified the documents it will not yet be reflected in what you see in MyCTD.  We kindly ask you to not call nor email our office to confirm receipt of documentation or application items within a week of submitting them.

It may take 2 to 4 weeks for an admissions decision to be made once the application is complete.  You will recieve an email once an admissions decision has been made.

Important Dates

Students submitting complete applications by May 28 will have access to their courses on June 1. Students with incomplete applications or who submit applications after May 28 will have course access on June 15. The end date for all ASO students remains August 17.


To qualify for Indigo Tier  Accelerated Summer Option Courses, students must be in grade 6 through 12 and must also provide one of the following:

  • Qualifying score on an above grade-level assessment in the required qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) for the desired course.
  • Student may use PSAT 8/9, ACT or SAT results taken as an above level test.  Specific test scores are available in the course descriptions visible via the Explore Courses tool.
  • 10th and 11th grade students may use on-level ACT  or SAT test results with the higher required scores.
  • Successful past completion of a CTD course, with the same qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science)  at the Indigo Tier within the past two years.
  • Submission of a portfolio application, consisting of a teacher recommendation and the student’s most recent report card demonstrating that the student is performing exceptionally well in the qualifying subject area. 
  • Students from India, UAE, Kuwait or Singapore who have tested with ASSET Talent Search may be able to apply as new students with qualifying test scores.

Prerequisites and Graded Writing Sample

Many courses require additional prerequisites for admission, listed at the beginning of the course description. Any student applying to a course with a prerequisite must submit documentation showing the prerequisite has been met unless CTD already has such information from previous applications, or if the prerequisite has been met via a CTD course.
Evidence that the writing sample has been assessed for academic purposes can be provided on the writing sample itself or by submitting an accompanying rubric or other feedback that is clearly tied to the writing sample.  Providing an ungraded writing sample will result in a delay of the application being deemed complete and may cause an applicant to miss out on a class that fills to capacity.

See CTD Eligibility for more details.


Requests for Grade Advancement/Acceleration: CTD course content is advanced or grade-level accelerated, as reflected in course descriptions and the standard admission requirements. Though course content is advanced, students can engage with intellectual peers who are also age- or grade-level peers. Therefore, most students should apply for courses aligned to the grade-level in which they are currently enrolled. Still, for some students demonstrating a need for an even higher level of instruction than CTD’s advanced and accelerated courses already provide, further acceleration may be an option. Visit the Requesting and Accelerated Placement web page for more information about the process, timeline, and required materials.

Fees, Financial Aid & Withdrawals

Tuition fees for ASO 2021

Early application tuition discount through June 1, 2020
  • $1,215 Two-credit courses
  • $1,215 AP® two-credit courses
  • $750 One-credit courses
  • $750 AP® one-credit courses
Tuition for applications submitted after June 1, 2020
  • $1265 Two-credit courses
  • $1265 AP® two-credit courses
  • $800 One-credit courses
  • $800 AP® one-credit courses



Financial Aid

CTD offers need-based financial aid awarded as requests are received. Families are encouraged to apply early because the amount of aid available is limited. Please see the Financial Aid page for details. 

  • The deadline to complete a financial aid application for Accelerated Summer Options programs is May 31st, 2020. However, our financial aid may be fully dispersed before the deadline.
  • You will recieve the FACTS application link in your application confirmation email once the 60 dollar tuition deposit is paid and the application is submitted.
  • It is imperative that you complete the financial aid application as soon as possible as it may take FACTS up to ten days to process your information.
  • If you previously completed a FACTS application for the 2019-2020 academic year for CTD, you must still attach the 2020-2021 FACTS application to your FACTS account.  You will be able to link your FACTS account to this new FACTS information.  You may need to update financial information.
  • If you experience difficulties with the FACTS process please call the FACTS helpline at 866-412-4637.

Course Environment

Students will work independently, guided by an instructor providing rigorous coursework and feedback.

Students should be active learners, able to learn without face-to-face interaction, communicate regularly and meet academic and technical challenges.

While courses are designed for flexible pacing, students must be able to dedicate up to 30 hours per week for timely completion. Gifted and high ability students who enroll in one-credit honors elective or AP® courses should plan to spend 10 to 15 hours per week working on class assignments, and those who enroll in two-credit honors or AP® courses should expect to spend 20 to 30 hours per week working on class assignments. Because of the intensive nature of ASO courses, families of ASO students are encouraged to explore the pacing guide provided at the beginning of each course together and work with enrolled students to allocate sufficient time for study in the student’s and family’s summer schedule.

The ability to manage deadlines, stay focused and persevere will be essential to a successful experience.

Students must be able to work at an accelerated pace.

If the course requires a proctor for assessments:

Each student must identify someone to serve as a proctor, someone impartial to facilitate the testing process.  The proctor must be an adult but cannot be a family member, close family friend, member of another student’s family or a student’s tutor.  Proctors are most often someone on the staff at the student’s school or at a local library. Proctors are expected to print out the exam, administer it in a quiet place, scan it, either with a scanner or digital/smartphone photography, and email images electronically for grading.

Program Orientation

  • Acceptance notifications are sent via e-mail upon receipt of a completed application.
  • 24 - 48 hours prior to the course start date, students receive login information allowing them to gain access to the learning management system (LMS), Schoology, which houses GLL courses.
  • Course access begins on the official start date.
  • The GLL experience starts with a virtual online orientation for all new students (returning students are welcome to repeat the orientation).
  • Syllabi, assignments, timelines, discussion boards, links and more are found on the course site, which is available 24/7.
  • Primary communication with the course instructor and/or classmates occurs within the learning management system.  Depending on the nature of the subject matter and student preferences, instructors may use additional tools including, but not limited to, discussion boards, the phone, and online class meetings.
  • ASO courses utilize the same textbooks as their full-term counterparts, available through the CTD online bookstore.
  • Students will receive one or two high school credits upon successful completion of the course. Students who are unable to complete their coursework in nine weeks, but have made significant progress in the course, may apply for and purchase up to three one-month extensions ($100 each month).  Students should contact their instructor for further information.
  • Students who would like to start a course in the summer but who would like a less intensive pace can also choose from regular (non-ASO) one and two semester courses with summer start dates.


A transcript will be mailed to the student following completion of the course. Due to the compacted nature of the program, narrative evaluations will not be available. Students will receive one high school credit for each semester successfully completed with a grade of C- or better.

As an accredited institution, CTD issues credits to students successfully completing honors and AP® courses. However, acceptance of CTD credits is a local school decision. Students should discuss this option with their academic counselor or school administrator.

For Schools

Gifted LearningLinks offers special group tuition rates to schools, regional and state education agencies, gifted parent groups, and homeschooling organizations that sign up five or more students.

GLL’s online learning platform allows local teachers, gifted coordinators, or counselors to communicate with their students and monitor their progress and grades in credit-bearing courses, making GLL courses easy to integrate with in-school learning. 

Schools and groups may apply for a School Group Code, which allows students to bypass the payment section of an application.

For more information on how schools can partner with Gifted LearningLinks, visit our Partner Opportunities page.

Technical Requirements

  •  Students need access to a stable internet connection and updated web browser.
  • Participation in “live” online sessions may require a computer microphone or headset.
  • While iPads and tablet computers may be sufficient for most coursework, some web tools and/or websites may require the use of a computer or laptop.
Copyright 2014 Northwestern University Center for Talent Development