How Do I Apply?

Now that you know a little about the the program, read on for details on how to apply.

While you're waiting to see if you're selected, look forward to the next step.


Nominations must be completed by a school official. Parents may not nominate students.  All Iowa Students enrolled in public or approved private schools who are currently in grades 7 or 8 are eligible for participation. Students do not have to be identified by, or enrolled in, a talented and gifted program to be nominated.

All nominated students should be highly motivated and possess high levels of task commitment and emotional maturity.

In addition, some of the special qualities that are desirable for each of the courses are:   

Advanced Science

  • Inquisitive mind
  • Good problem solving skills
  • Outstanding performance in science classes/activities

Math Problem Solving

  • Strong analytical reasoning and problem-solving abilities
  • Unusually high math reasoning ability
  • Outstanding performance in math classes/activities

Social Sciences

  • Awareness of social issues 
  • Appreciation for social relationships
  • Understanding of institutions and functions of society

Global and Cultural Studies

  • Awareness of global issues
  • Sensitivity to values, customs, and traditions of diverse peoples
  • Appreciation for the richness of culture throughout the world

Creative Writing

  • Ability to convey ideas in writing
  • Enjoyment of the writing process
  • Good imagination

Invention and Innovation

  • Good mechanical ability and a tendency to tinker
  • Willingness to see things differently
  • Perseverance on projects

Visual Arts

  • High quality portfolio
  • Enjoyment of the artistic process
  • Ability to express and convey ideas through visual arts

Performing Arts

  • Enjoys performing
  • Ability to express and convey ideas through drama, dance or music
  • Good imagination

    Nominate a Student

    Schools must develop their own selection process to determine the final eight students.  We will only accept one application (grades 7 or 8) in each course from your school. All nominations must be made by school officials, not parents.

    Once a student is nominated, they must apply for the class. When they apply online, they will need to submit the following

    • Personal information for student being nominated

    • Emails for two letters of recommendation: one from someone who know the students abilities and another mentor who can speak to their character (this may not be a family member or friend). They will be sent an electronic form which must be completed and submitted to the Belin-Blank Center

    • 250-500 word essay on your interests and achievements in your nominated area (Talented students may manifest their talents through involvement in co-curricular activities. Nomination committees will pay special attention to hobbies and other interests that may demonstrate ability or talent in the course areas. Awards or participation in competitions or contests (i.e., science fairs and art contests) are evidence of the extra effort talented students exert in areas in which they excel.)

    • 250-500 word essay on your interest in attending BSI

    In addition, students applying must supply:

    For CORE Courses (Math, Science, Social Sciences, or Global Studies, or Invention)

    • Grades
    • Test Scores

    For CREATIVE Courses (Writing, Performing Arts, or Visual Arts)

    • Portfolio - please upload two examples of your work in electronic format. (This can be writing samples, audio/video files, photos, etc.) 

    Nominations will be forwarded to the Belin-Blank Center where the final selection of the scholarship students will be made.

    Please refer to our Deadlines page for important dates.


    Information and nomination forms available online:
    December 15, 2018

    Students send completed applications to the Belin-Blank Center:
    February 16, 2019

    Final selection and notification of selected students:
    March 1, 2019

    Online acceptance due:
    March 22, 2019

    Other Significant Dates:
    BSI Opening - Sunday, June 23, at 4 p.m.
    BSI Closing - Friday, June 28, at 1 p.m.

    Cost & Payment

    Each student selected for the Institute will receive a $325 scholarship which covers a portion of the Institute's costs. Each student will pay a fee of $700 to cover the remaining costs. Together, the scholarship and the student fees cover all instructional costs, room, board, books, and admission to all regularly scheduled activities. Students and their families will assume responsibility for transportation to and from the Institute and incidental expenses, such as souvenirs and snacks. Consideration for financial aid, in addition to the Scholarship, will be made after the students are selected. You will be able to apply for financial aid when you register for the program.

    Families have three options for payment of fees:

    1. Pay the entire amount on a credit card.
    2. Pay in three equal installments using a credit card.
    3. Set up an individualized payment plan.

    Financial Aid

    You may apply for a Wallace Grant for financial aid when you register for the program. Information, including parent(s)/guardian(s) salary, enrollment in free/reduced lunch, or other federal or state assistance programs will be collected at that time. Those that apply for financial aid will initially only be charged half the cost of the program. However, after your information has been reviewed, a decision will be made, and you will receive an email regarding the amount of your award.

    H.B. and Jocelyn Wallace of Scottsdale, Arizona have been longtime supporters of the Belin-Blank Center. Their generous donation has enabled us to make grants available to students in our summer programs. The grants are for up to one-half the cost of the program and will be applied directly to the registration fees for the summer.

    H.B. WallaceJocelyn Wallace