NH Academically Talented Students Program

The Challenging Academically Talented Students (CATS) program is open to motivated and academically strong high school seniors and juniors who want to enrich their academic experience with an introductory college level course (400-500 level).  It is designed to supplement the high school curriculum; NOT replace courses offered at the high school. High school students must submit a completed application, an official high school transcript, and SAT or ACT (if available) to the Office of Admissions no later than one week before classes begin. The CATS coordinator will then review it for approval. Spaces fill on a first-come, first-served basis, so early registration is recommended.  Students are allowed to take one class per semester during the fall, spring, and summer and must reapply for each term.

Criteria for CATS Approval

  • Enrollment in a strong and balanced selection of college preparatory coursework, including mathematics, laboratory sciences, and foreign language.
  • An overall “B” average and rank in approximately the top 25% or higher of your class.
  • Typically, a combined SAT Critical Reading and Math portion score of 1120 or higher.
  • Ultimately, the student must be on track to be admissible to a 4-year college.
  • Exceptions are made for home-schooled students who may have less than junior or senior standing and elect to take laboratory sciences or world languages that are not as easily accessible to a home-schooler.

When approved, students should bring a completed registration form, along with their CATS approval, to Registration in Stoke Hall, 11 Garrison Avenue or mail it in with a copy of your CATS approval. Spaces fill on a first-come, first-served basis, so early registration is recommended.


CATS students pay the continuing education per-credit cost for courses. In addition to the cost of the course, students are required to pay a registration fee of $20 and a technology fee of $24.00 (1-4 credits), a $15.00 Student Services Fee, as well as course specific lab fees and the cost of required text(s).

Oyster River High School students, or students who are homeschooled from Durham, Madbury, and Lee, qualify for a one course per semester tuition waiver. Students are eligible to take up to two courses each semester. If a student takes a second course during a semester, the student is responsible for a reduced tuition rate of $800, which will be charged at the time of registration.