Program for the Exceptionally Gifted

The Program for the Exceptionally Gifted ("PEG") at Mary Baldwin College is a radical acceleration program designed for girls ages 12 to 16 who have not completed high school. The program was founded in 1985 with a class of 11 students and now enrolls approximately 30 new students each year. Participants ("PEGs") attend classes with traditional Mary Baldwin students and typically earn a bachelor's degree in four years.

PEG strives to provide an environment in which gifted girls can reach their intellectual potential while forming close friendships in supportive surroundings.


PEG was founded with a $1.5 million grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund . The first PEG students, or "PEGs", were simultaneously enrolled at Mary Baldwin College and Stuart Hall School, a private boarding and day school in Staunton, VA. At that time, PEG was a five-year program. The Stuart Hall element was later eliminated. PEG students are still required to take an intensive composition class and more math and science courses than traditional Mary Baldwin students. PEGs are eligible to participate in Mary Baldwin honors programs and student clubs and organizations. They may also compete for academic merit scholarships. Entering PEG students typically receive either $11,000 or $13,000 as their merit scholarship.

Entering PEGs live in a supervised dormitory on the Mary Baldwin campus. In 2002, Mary Baldwin opened the new PEG Center The Center includes double-occupancy dorm rooms for students and apartments for live-in staff members. Resident staff enforce study hours, curfew, and other aspects of daily life for first-year students. Students gradually receive more independence as they demonstrate competence in the college environment. In their sophomore or junior years, PEGs may move into regular campus housing.

Application Procedure: Online Application:

Application Requirements: Full transcript with excellent grades 3 letters of recommendations (2 teachers and 1 administrator/counselor) 4 Personal Essays Detailed parent support and family background information Achievement test scores in the 90th percentiles PSAT, SAT or ACT scores comparable to entering college freshmen A family and individual interview on campus $35 application fee Students are selected based upon: giftedness, consistent achievement, maturity, the ability to benefit from the program, and a serious sense of purpose.

PEG Scholars

The first class entered in 1985.

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