Student in class with laptop

College Readiness

Skill Development

Through our challenging and innovative programming, students develop skills that prepare them for college success, both inside and outside of the classroom. These skills include:

  • Independent living
  • Networking
  • Time management
  • Group collaboration
  • Self-reflection
  • Communication
  • Decision-making
  • Critical thinking
  • Cultural understanding
  • Self-advocacy

These skills serve as the foundation for all of our daily activities. In 2019, 90% of our students reported a significant increase in these skill areas after attending our program.

    Learning Badges and College Readiness Certificate

    Our learning badges are awards issued to students for displaying skills and knowledge in a particular focus area. In order to earn a learning badge, students must successfully complete specific tasks and activities assigned to that specific badge. Our current learning badges are: Focus on Research, Become a Leader, Prepare for College, and Discovering Diversity.  For students who complete all four badges they will earn a College Readiness Certificate.

    Special Activities

    Over the summer, we offer a variety of college readiness enrichment activities open to all high school participants. Activities are held on WashU's campus (and most are available remotely for nonresidential students) and are led by current WashU students, faculty, and staff. These activities are a great compliment to our academic and residential programming, and aid students in their skill development outside of the classroom. All of these activities are optional to attend. Students can choose to attend all activities or only the ones that most interest them.


    Whether a student has just begun the college search or is ready to submit applications, our lectures are designed to support and provide insight on the college application process, choosing a college, majors, and professional tracks. Students walk away from lectures with a list of action items and valuable resources that can guide them on their journey. Past topics have included:

    • Preparing for Your College Application
    • Acing Your Interview
    • Financial Aid 101
    • Writing the College Admissions Essay

    College Forum

    One of the most popular activities of the summer, our College Forum is a "town hall style" event where undergraduate and graduate students share their personal experiences in choosing colleges and majors as well as the college application process. Students also share why they chose WashU, how to balance social and academic life, self-care, and developing friendships.

    College Coffee Chats

    Are you wondering what sets WashU apart from other schools? Want to know how to effectively network with top school officials? Need advice for an upcoming interview? Answer these questions and more as you share a coffee with a member of our WashU community.