Apply to Avenues Online

Save the World Challenge

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

— Steve Jobs

Traditional admissions processes are good at predicting who will do well in traditional schools, but poor at predicting who will go on to change the world after class has ended. These “misfits,” “rebels,” and “troublemakers” are exactly the students we’re looking for. And that’s why admission to AON is different: solve one Fermi problem. Take your time. Get it right. Have fun. That’s it. We look forward to seeing your submissions. Good luck!

What is a Fermi Problem?

A Fermi problem is a unique kind of estimation and reasoning problem named after Enrico Fermi, a renowned physicist known for his ability to make good approximate calculations with little or no data. Fermi famously estimated the strength of an atomic bomb detonation based on the distance traveled by pieces of paper he dropped from his hand during the blast. If you have ever done a back-of-the-envelope calculation based on estimated quantities, then you have solved a Fermi-type problem.

Why a Fermi Problem?

At Avenues, our goal is to graduate worldwise leaders uniquely equipped to understand and solve global-scale problems. As such, Avenues Online is seeking students who not only care deeply about the future of the world, but who also possess the unique combination of intellectual curiosity, emotional maturity, and strength of character required to take on its greatest challenges. Fermi problems like the ones below are representative of these kinds of challenges, and seeing how you solve them a better predictor of fit and success at AON than traditional measures.

Ready to Apply?

If you think you have what it takes to join us at AON, complete the steps below. Students entering grades 6–12 anywhere in the world are eligible to apply.

Step 1

Solve the Fermi Problem

  • If you're applying to the middle grades, solve the Fermi Problem Grades 6–8. If you're applying to the upper grades, solve the Fermi Problem Grades 9–12. See videos below.
  • Create a three-minute video of yourself presenting your solution, including your reasoning and calculations. Feel free to be creative with your approach, presentation, and video editing.
  • Click the apply button, complete the form, upload your video, and pay the $100 application fee. You will receive an auto-notification by email to confirm that we received your submission and payment.

Step 2

Get Feedback and Iterate

  • We review submissions in the third week of each month. We’ll contact you with feedback by the end of that month.
  • If your first submission doesn’t meet the admission requirements, you can resubmit your video based on our feedback one time for no additional fee.

Step 3

Let’s Talk

  • If your submission does meet the admission requirements, the final step is an online video interview lasting about one hour.
  • You will be notified of your admission status within a week of the interview.

Avenues Online is still accepting applications for the 2019-20 school year in select grades.

Annual tuition for Avenues Online is USD $30,000, which includes the cost of books, materials, technology (Apple MacBook Air, iPad, and Pencil), software, and service subscriptions.
Indexed tuition options are available.

Please email for more information.

The first day of school is August 19, 2019.

Apply to Avenues Online