As of 2011, Center for Academic Advancement (CAA) was renamed to CTY: Academic Explorations (CTY AE). "Regular" CTY is now CTY: Intensive Studies (CTY IS).
CAA/AE is a program run by Johns Hopkins University that is similar to CTY, but with a broader range of entrance scores. For example, a 7th grader interested in a CTY humanities course must have a verbal score greater than 510. For CAA, they need a score greater than 410. CAA offers a different set of courses from CTY.
While in CAA, staff typically still refer to it as CTY. Lanyards and shirts say CTY on them as well. Because of this, many CAAers aren't even aware that they're in CAA.
It should also be noted that the differentiation between CTYers and CAAs will be COMPLETELY non-existent until 5th to 6th grade, when CTYers are allowed to start Residential sites, because at day sites, CTYers and CAAs share sites and classes. This doesn't tend to change people's experiences, although there tends to be less tradition.
Some popular CAA courses are Zoology, Crafting the Essay/Writing the Expository Essay, Biotechnology, Foundations of Psychology, Computer Science, Nuclear Science (now defunct), Race and Politics (now only offered at Princeton), The Mathematics of Money, and Chemistry in Society. Bristol also offers the course Whales and Estuary Systems (usually once a summer) in which students split their time at CTY between living on a boat and living on campus.
Some CTYers call CAA the "Center for Average Adolescents" or "Center for Almost Accepted" (Bristol). Despite the fact that people that go to CAA generally score lower, they tend to be more chill. CAAers are just as smart as CTYers, and they are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. In addition, the students who attend CAA come from a range of diverse backgrounds and provide other students with a new, cultural experience. If one ever attends CAA, their life will probably be changed forever.
Because of the more lax prerequisites, CAAers tend to be less quirky than CTYers. At these CAA sites, you are more likely to meet the stereotypical "popular" girl or guy than at a CTY site. Also, whereas CTY contains a broad spectrum of nerd types and certainly of ideas and beliefs, CAAers may not share as many interests or the same nerd pride. In particular, there tends to be more athletes, so activities like Dodgeball and Basketball are more popular at sites like Easton and Bristol. However, this is only true in some cases. Many CAAers do indeed share a sense of tradition and nerd pride.
After going to Easton and Baltimore, it is easy to testify that the kids at Easton are simply more laid back, more likely to want to play foursquare, soccer, and other sports, more likely to get really down at the dances, and overwhelmingly are more "normal."