*Please be advised that themes and curriculum are subject to minor changes or updates from summer to summer.

A day in the life of an Odyssey Scholar

New Students


1. Each new scholar applying will be admitted based on their own merit. Odyssey does not give precedent to any child, regardless if they have siblings in the program.
2. Odyssey actively recruits students from low-income or under-performing Atlanta-area schools. Odyssey vows to serve competitive scholars from these schools as a priority.
3. Odyssey is able to offer transportation within the Perimeter for every scholar. Scholars coming from outside the Perimeter should check their transportation needs prior to applying.

Division Hours:

Odyssey Grades 1-6

6 weeks | Monday-Friday | 8:30AM-4:45PM

Grades 1-6 have access to school bus pick up and drop off available at various elementary schools throughout the city

Odyssey Grades 7 and 8

6 weeks | Monday-Friday | 8:30AM-2:45PM

Odyssey Grades 9-11

5 weeks | Monday-Friday | 8:30AM-2:45PM

Odyssey Rising Seniors (R12th)

4 weeks | Monday-Friday | 8:30AM-2:45PM

Grades 7-12 are provided with weekly pre-loaded MARTA cards. Odyssey will pick up and drop off scholars at the MARTA Arts Center Station downtown Atlanta.

We highly recommend reading the following list BEFORE filling out the New Student Application online:

To submit a successful application, please read the following list:
  1. Write your essay and have it ready to copy & paste into your application. 2017 Essay topics are available above for reference. Applicants need to write only ONE essay over a topic from the above choices as their RISING grade level. (i.e. current 6th graders complete their essay and application as a RISING 7th grader (R7th)).
  2. Have your New Student Recommendation Form submitted by your desired community leader or teacher by the deadline.
  3. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and preferred that you save your report card as a DIGITAL file on your computer so it can be uploaded easily into the online application.
  4. Have your Student ID Number ready (this is not your card) . These are located on your progress/report cards and on the student-parent online portal. ALL students have a Student ID number, this is not a photo identification card. If you are unable to locate the student ID number on the progress/report cards, please contact your school for further instruction.
  5. Fill out the New Student Application, ensuring spelling and grammar mistakes are minimal. Please do not use ALL CAPS or all lowercase while completing the application. Capitalize proper nouns, addresses, etc. Provide a valid email to receive your confirmation email.
  6. Email inquiries to Carissa Engelbert at: carissaengelbert@odysseyatlanta.org. Emails are preferred. We are always willing to help dedicated applicants complete a thorough and expressive application.



Thank you for your interest in Odyssey. Odyssey’s application season begins mid-November and will close mid-February each year. All Odyssey applications are now digital! Fill out your application with the click of a button.
*Prospective applicants are invited to contact our office as early as September 2017 to request being added to Odyssey's Prospective Scholar Email list. Email Carissa Engelbert after Sept. 1st, 2017 at carissaengelbert@odysseyatlanta.org if you'd like to receive an emailed application.


NEW STUDENTS: Getting Started

Students will need to fill out the New Student Application if 1) it is their first time applying for Odyssey; or 2) they did not successfully complete a previous Odyssey summer program; or 3) have applied before but did not receive an acceptance letter. New student acceptance will be determined by the student’s ability to properly and authentically represent themselves in their application, submit their most recent report card, submit a student recommendation form, and complete an essay or other visual project (depending on grade level).
New Student Applications do NOT have to be submitted with an application fee. The nonrefundable application fee of $35 will be requested only when the applicant’s space in the program is confirmed. The submission of the acceptance fee then guarantees the student’s space in the summer program. A space cannot be confirmed without payment. A late $15 fee will only accrue only if the acceptance fee is not submitted within the first month of acceptance into the program.
*Please note, we are no longer able to accept applications by fax.  Paper applications will be made available by emailed or mailed requests only.

What you should know:

New Students will fill any remaining spaces in their RISING grade level that has not already been claimed by a returning applicant. New students: be aware that competition is strong, and has continued to grow dramatically within the past several years. In some cases, applicants may find they are competing with more than 40 other applicants to fill less than 10 available spaces. Over 600 prospective students will apply for Odyssey’s program annually. Be sure your application is complete, with all supporting documents submitted by the deadline for favorable consideration. Each student must be accepted on their own merit. Odyssey does not provide priority or preference to new students of Odyssey siblings.



Odyssey will notify applicants on or before March 15th, 2018 via email and mail. Confirmed applicants will be emailed a link to read over and agree to Odyssey's rules and submit their one-time $35.00 acceptance fee. THIS IS THE MOST CRUCIAL PART! Odyssey cannot add you to our roster, unless you accept your invitation. If you have decided you no longer want to attend, please notify Odyssey right away.
Applicants that are wait-listed may be notified up until the first-week of Odyssey of their acceptance. All applicants, regardless of status, will be invited to reapply for next summer's program as soon as applications become available again in the fall. Please do not contact Odyssey asking for reasons toward the selection committee's decisions. A wait-listed applications means you "have what it takes," but Odyssey is lacking space for admittance.
Odyssey typically recruits an additional 150+ students per year; another 300+ students will be held on our waiting list. In short, roughly 1 in 5 applicants will receive an acceptance letter. Competition is fierce, be sure your application is filled out properly, and accompanied by all the necessary supporting documents (most recent report card, student recommendation form, and essay/project). All applicants are encouraged to contact the office with any questions regarding proper application submission. We are here to help! You will not be penalized for contacting Odyssey staff. 
Application fees will not be collected until the applicant has been confirmed for participation. Application fees are nonrefundable, even if the applicant decides not to attend. Students chosen to participate in Odyssey 2018 will be notified by March 15th, 2018.
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