Breakthrough scholars get a tuition-free rigorous academic and life-skills enrichment program that fosters their love of learning and commitment to succeeding in education. All in a place where it’s cool to be smart.
New Streamlined Application & 3 Forms (May 2022)
If you’ve started your application using the older links below, you can complete it anytime in May 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should my student apply to Breakthrough?
Our application is available in October. Students can apply anytime between October through May for enrollment in our four-year program, which starts in June. We encourage students to apply early as spots tend to fill up as May approaches.
We seek 5th grade applicants so students can start our program during the summer before 6th grade and take advantage of all Breakthrough has to offer over the course of four consecutive years. We welcome applications from current 6th and 7th grade students as well, but have more limited seats.
Who are Breakthrough students?
Breakthrough students are highly motivated and under-resourced students who have above-average grades, are good citizens in their schools. Breakthrough students embrace hard work, challenging tasks, and honest feedback. They support and encourage their peers, are excited to explore and learn new things, and set goals and meet them.
What is the commitment?
Breakthrough families are expected to participate actively in the program starting the summer before sixth grade. The program consists of school-year Saturday programs at least twelve times throughout the school year and a six-week, intensive summer session, before a student’s sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth grade years.
Is it okay to miss a few days of the summer program for a vacation?
Attendance in the summer program is mandatory, except in cases of illness. With a limited number of days in the summer program, students who are absent will fall behind quickly and miss valuable instruction. If your family is planning an extended vacation and your student will miss more than three academic days, you should not apply to the program.
After our family submits an application, what’s next?
Within one week of the submission deadline, we’ll review your records. If accepted to the next stage, we will contact you for an interview within a week.
Where is Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia?
The Breakthrough office is located at Germantown Friends School, 34 W. Coulter St., Philadelphia, PA 19144. We hold program activities at Germantown Friends School.
Is transportation provided?
We are able to provide support for transportation costs via SEPTA for the summer program and Super Saturday program on a financial aid application basis. Students who are unable to take SEPTA will need to be responsible for their own transportation to and from their program site.
Any important advice?
Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia is a highly selective program which means that there are many strong applicants who submit applications and only 150 students will be admitted. While you may or may not be admitted, this will be a great learning process for you regardless. Put in your best effort. Be yourself and have fun!