Academy 8.5 is a program designed to be a full school year of academic and athletic preparation before entering secondary school. The program is essentially a gap year before students start high school. Academically, this program enables students to improve their academic profiles by engaging in higher level core courses, recovering lesser grades in core courses, and/or advancing into higher level academic courses that would not have otherwise been attainable. Athletically, students will use this opportunity to further advance their athletic skills and physical abilities before entering high school. Many of the Academy 8.5 participants will be passionate student-athletes who are seeking to drastically increase their chances of having a high-achieving high school career both athletically and academically, thus, optimizing his opportunities to continue playing his sport at the collegiate level after graduating high school.