Higher Achievement is an intensive summer and after-school program that began in its current form in 1999 in Washington, DC. Today there are Higher Achievement programs in Washington, DC/Alexandria, VA; Richmond, VA; Pittsburgh, PA; and Baltimore, MD. The study includes the five Higher Education Achievement Centers that were operating in DC and Alexandria when the study began.
Each center serves about 85 students, or "scholars", recruited mainly through school referral. Starting the summer before youth enter fifth or sixth grade and extending through eighth grade. Higher Achievement provides scholars with up to 650 hours of academic instructio0n per year, as well as enrichment activities and targeted, academic mentoring.