Application Process - Scholar

How do I apply to VASTS?

Complete instructions to apply to VASTS are located on the Application Instructions page.

By what time is my application due?

Applications will be due November 12, 2017 by 11:55PM. Please contact Mr. Ian Cawthray (ian.m.cawthray@nasa.gov) if you have any questions regarding the application.

Do I have to be a Virginia resident in order to apply?

Yes, all applicants must be residents of Virginia.

Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen in order to apply?

You need to be a U.S. resident or citizen to participate in the online course. You MUST be a U.S. citizen to attend a Summer Academy at NASA Langley Research Center.

Do I need to submit my official transcript from the guidance department?

No Transcripts are required to apply to this program. Your application will ask you for the contact information for your Guidance Counselor, who will submit the following information on your behalf:

  • You are attending a Virginia High School
  • You are in the 11th or 12th Grade
  • You have at least a 2.7 GPA

Do I need to be a high school junior or senior to participate in VASTS?

Yes, all applicants must be current high school juniors or seniors at the time of application.

Why does it take so long to know if I'm accepted after I apply to the program?

None of the applications can be processed until after the application deadline passes. Then all applications must be reviewed to determine if each applicant meets the requirements to participate. There are just a few people on the application review committee; therefore, the process takes time. We notifiy participants as soon as we review all the applications to determine eligibility and make our selections.

What does it mean to be “conditionally accepted” into the VASTS program?

You are sent a conditional acceptance notification via email (for students) and U.S. mail (for parents) on or before November 18, 2017. In that notification you are given instructions to complete the following pre-course requirements before you are formally accepted into the VASTS program:

  • Log in to the online course
  • Create your profile
  • Complete the course pre-assessment
  • Return the signed forms

You must complete all of those pre-course requirements by early December or you will not be formally accepted into the program. The sooner you complete the requirements, the sooner the coursework will be available for you to begin.

Why do I need to indicate my Legislative Districts? (State House of Delegates, State Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives)

We receive state funding that was voted upon by the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate. Congress votes on NASA funding, and this is a NASA program. Making these legislators aware of the VASTS program by requesting their nomination helps to sustain the funding of this program.

How should I format my application essays?

Follow these guidelines for writing a business letter.

Does my teacher or counselor need to actually sign their Letters of Recommendation for me?

This is not required. They can simply upload the text of their letter. However, they can add their electronic signature OR provide their signature, scan, and save the letter as a .pdf to upload into the application system. Any of the options above will suffice.

When will I know if I've been accepted into the program?

You will be notified of your acceptance by email on November 18, 2017. There are a number of requirements set forth to begin this course in this message. If you complete all of the requirements detailed after you receive your conditional notification, you can consider yourself accepted. The actual course material will be released Saturday, December 4, 2017,through the online course system.

What should counselors fill in for my GPA if it is weighted and higher than 4.0?

The guidance counselors will fill in 4.0 in the GPA field. This information is provided to verify that you have a 2.7 GPA or higher.

When will I know if I have been chosen to participate in the distance learning course for VASTS.

Typically students will be notified within three weeks of application deadline.

Why do I need to provide my guidance counselor's information?

You need to provide your guidance counselor's name and email address so that we may contact him or her to verify that you are a high school junior or senior and have met the minimum GPA requirement for the program.