FAQs – High School Achievers Program

1. Am I eligible to apply for the High School Achievers program?

If you are studying in grades 9th to 12th and are no more than 18 years of age, you are eligible to apply. Students who are moving into class 9th or those who have just completed their class 12th exams are also eligible.


2. What are the selection criteria?

We look for talented students who wish to change the world around them. There are no prerequisites as such.


3. How will the High School Achievers program help me?

The High School Achievers program is designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills and explore their leadership potential. It widens their perspective by giving them exposure to liberal arts, especially debates in philosophy, political science, sociology and economics. Field visits and internships give students an opportunity to directly engage with communities, apply their skills to address social issues and enhance their learning.

The broader aim of the High School Achievers program is to inspire people to think about their social context and to find their purpose in the larger society – be it in the public sector or the private. The exposure also helps students strengthen their profile, build a stronger resume and open up avenues and opportunities for higher education.

Still have questions? See this short video where the founders of YLAC speak about the High School Achievers program.


4. What is the internship model? Is everyone required to do an internship? Do I get to choose the organisation where I intern?

The High School Achievers program has a two week internship built into the schedule. The aim of the internship is to help students apply their learning to real life problems and get hands-on experience. During this time, students are placed with our partner organisations to work on specific campaigns/ projects. These internships are result-oriented and tightly managed by the YLAC team to ensure the most enriching experience for our students.

Signing up for the internship is not mandatory. While applying to the High School Achievers program, students have a choice to pick between Module I (YLAC sessions only) and Module I and II (YLAC sessions and internship).

In terms of the assignment of internships, we seek preferences from students and try our best to match students to an organisation (and project) of their choice, but a specific allocation cannot be guaranteed. We also attempt to place students with organisations that are close to their place of residence, so as to reduce travel time to office.


5. What are the internships like?

Students are placed in internships with YLAC partners. We establish partnerships with prominent NGOs and social enterprises that work across a range of subjects and social issues such as education, health, women and child rights, environmental and wildlife protection, livelihoods generation and urban governance. During the internship, students assist the partners in their ongoing projects and campaigns.

You can read more about our partners here. To see what our students had to say about their internship experiences last year, please click here.


6. How long is the program?

The overall duration of the program is three weeks.

However, your engagement will depend on the modules you pick. Module I is a week long program of YLAC sessions and field visits. Module II includes a two week internship with a partner organisation. You can opt for either Module I, or Module I and II together.

For the detailed schedule, please click here.


7. What are the session timings?

YLAC sessions start from 10:00 am in the morning and go up till 5:00 pm in the evening, with breaks in between. For the duration of the internship, students are required to adhere to the office timings of the organisation that they are placed with.

Timings for the two field visits depend on the site being visited and are communicated to the students closer to the date.


8. Will this program be fun?

Absolutely! At YLAC, we believe that learning should not be boring. Our teaching methods are not the usual chalk and duster lectures; we use role-plays, group exercises, peer evaluations, videos and games to make the classroom come alive. Rest assured, we’ll make it fun!

You can also watch some of our student testimonials from last year here to see how they enjoyed the program.


9. Who is going to facilitate and teach the sessions?

The sessions are taught and facilitated by the YLAC team, including the founders. During the course of the program, a number of external speakers are also invited to interact with our students, and engage with them on a range of issues and subjects.

For the profiles of the external speakers who have interacted with our students in the past, please click here.


10. What is the class size for the High School Achievers program?

Typically, the class size is 30-40 students.


11. Do I get any certificate for this program? Are there any attendance requirements?

Yes, students are given a certificate of successful completion at the end of the program. Successful completion requires that a student not miss more than three days during the entire duration of the program. Special circumstances can be considered on a case by case basis, but YLAC facilitators must be informed in advance.


12. How much does the program cost? Are any scholarships available?

The program fees depends on the modules you pick. Module I (YLAC sessions only) costs Rs. 20,000 plus taxes and and Module I and II (YLAC sessions and internship) costs Rs. 28,000 plus taxes.

Need and merit based scholarships are also available for students: we offer two 50% scholarships and two 75% scholarships in every city that we conduct the program. To be considered for the scholarship, applicants must submit an additional essay explaining why they wish to participate in the program and why their application should be considered for a scholarship, as well as a short letter of recommendation from a teacher at school.


13. What is the refund policy?

In case any unforeseen circumstances prevent you from joining the program, you can request our office to initiate the refund process. YLAC will refund 100% of your payment if the request is received 20 days before the beginning of the program. For requests received 10 days before the program, the refund amount shall be 50% of the payment received. YLAC shall not be able to issue any refunds in case the intimation reaches us at a shorter notice.