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Frequently Asked Questions


With so many programs, how can I choose the right one for me?

Our "Which Program is Right for You?" web page is a great tool for students who need assistance choosing the right program.


What is the WashU community like?

We are a community where you can be an individual and achieve exceptional things. We are committed to learning and exploration, to discovery and impact. 


Will attending one of these programs help me get into WashU for undergraduate studies?

It is important to note that acceptance and participation in pre-college course work and activities does not imply or guarantee acceptance into a degree program at WashU. Our pre-college programs and undergraduate admission process are entirely separate.

Pre-college participants do receive a fee waiver for the undergraduate application and can choose at any time to opt out of communications from the Undergraduate Admissions office.

We encourage students with questions about the undergraduate admission process to contact Undergraduate Admissions.

Is the credit earned in the for credit programs transferrable?

Upon completion of for credit course work, students may request a transcript from WashU that will list their coursework and grades earned. Every university has its own pre-matriculation transfer credit policy and we encourage students to do their research as they make future plans. For current guidelines on pre-matriculation credit at WashU, please review the Pre-Matriculation Units section of the WashU Bulletin.

If students intend to use credit earned for high school graduation requirements, that must be arranged by the student with their high school. 

What are the class and program sizes?

Programs range from 40-80 students depending on the program. Individual courses can range from 5-20 students.

Can I miss a few days of my program due to other commitments?

We strongly encourage students to commit to the full length of the program and to schedule other commitments when the program is not in session. Missing any part of the program can impact the student's experience and academic performance. 

How can I learn more about your programs?

Throughout the fall and spring, we will be offering a series of in-person and virtual events to introduce students to our programs. A list of our virtual events is available on our Events page. All events are free to attend. 

Do you have specific questions about our programs and would like to chat with someone? Our staff are available via Zoom. Email our office at precollege@wustl.edu to set-up a meeting.


Do you require SAT or ACT scores?

We do not require any standardized test scores for our pre-college programs.

Does my transcript have to be an official copy from the school?

No. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable as long as they include your name, birth date, name of high school, and all high school courses enrolled and grades received to date. We do not require that the transcript be sent from the school, so you may submit your transcript to our office directly. You will receive information about how to upload your transcript through your portal once you submit your application.

How do I submit my teacher recommendation?

When completing your application you will be prompted to enter the contact information (name, phone number, and email) of your recommender. Once you submit this information, your teacher will receive a link via email to complete a recommendation form even before you officially submit your application.

We do not accept letters of recommendation in lieu of the recommendation form. Only one recommendation is required for the application; no additional recommendations will be accepted or reviewed.

I am a home schooled student, can I still apply?

We welcome home schooled students into our programs. We ask that your teacher recommendation be completed by an individual who can speak to your academic abilities, and is preferably not the parent. If you have done any study elsewhere, that instructor or tutor would be a good source for a recommendation. We're looking specifically for someone who can comment on your level of maturity as well as your academic and personal abilities.

How do you review applications?

We take a holistic approach to the application review process in order to understand each student’s educational aspirations and academic readiness to ensure the student can thrive in our programs. 

We review all applications after the deadline. Submitting early does not affect a student's admission decision. However we do encourage you to apply early to ensure all of your supplemental information is received by the deadline.

Can I apply to multiple programs?

Students are not permitted to submit applications for multiple programs. We ask that students choose instead the program that best fits their educational goals.


Why is legal sex a required question on the application?

We welcome and encourage students of every sex and gender to apply. We define legal sex as your current marker on your government documents, such as your birth certificate, state ID, or driver's license. If you would like to share more about your gender or sex, you may use our gender and pronouns questions. 

Details on the University's Preferred Name Policy are available here.

I am a returning student, do I need to submit the full application?

If you have previously attended, and successfully completed, one of our pre-college programs you do need to reapply. You will need to submit new essay responses and updated transcript, but we will waive the teacher recommendation and application fee. You'll receive an email at the beginning of the application cycle about how to submit your reapply application.

If admitted, you will receive the 10% returning student discount.

When will I get my admission decision?

For applicants to the High School Summer Scholars Program who submit by March 1, you'll receive an admission decision by March 5. All other admission decisions are released on April 8, 2024.


For more information on program fees, scholarships, and cancellation policy please visit Fees and Scholarships.

Do you offer scholarship assistance?

We do have need-based scholarships available for our summer programs. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete an Application for Scholarship Assistance and submit to our office by semester deadlines. For more information on scholarships, please visit Fees and Scholarships.


I am a WashU employee, can I use my tuition benefit for these programs?

It is possible for employees to use their WashU tuition benefit to help pay for the for credit programs. You are only allowed eight semesters worth of tuition assistance per child and our programs would count as one of those semesters. Please contact the Office of Human Resources for further information. Our noncredit programs are not eligible for this tuition benefit.

We do offer a 10% discount to all admitted students of benefits-eligible WashU employees. In order to qualify for the discount, a student must be admitted to an eligible program and be a dependent child both by relation (birth, legally adopted, or step-child) and financially to a benefits-eligible WashU employee. For more information on the employee discount, please visit Fees and Scholarships.

Do you offer an application fee waiver?

We are happy to waive the application fee when it presents a financial hardship. For more information on requesting an application fee waiver, please visit Fees and Scholarships.

Do you offer travel stipends?

Our need-based scholarships do not include travel to and from the program.

Residential Life

For more information about the residence hall, curfew, security and social activities visit Residential Life.

How secure is WashU's campus?

WashU has put into place a number of mechanisms for protecting and alerting our students about security threats on campus. These include additional security measures in our residential areas (video surveillance at building entrances and door peephole viewers in every residential hall room); a messaging system that can instantaneously send a short message to the computers and cell phones of students, faculty, and staff; and an Emergency website and telephone hotline. We have an excellent university police department that is state certified and trained to deal with emergency situations, and coordinates with other law enforcement and emergency responders throughout the region.

Do you provide chaperones from the airport?

Because of the number of students we have flying into the airport throughout the day for our various programs we are unable to arrange shuttle services for students upon arrival. Students will need to arrange their own transportation to campus via taxis or other airport shuttle services. A list of transportation options is available at: www.flystl.com/parking-and-transport/transportation.

What is the supervision for pre-college students?

Living in the residence hall are our program assistants, current WashU students who provide academic advice, plan social activities, and ensure the rules and regulations of the program are followed. Our program assistants participate in online and in person training programs designed for working with youth. All staff have passed background checks and are CPR/First Aid certified. We also have a program supervisor living on campus to oversee the residential aspects of our programs and act as an emergency contact for students and parents.

Can I commute to campus?

Our high school summer residential programs (High School Summer Scholars, High School Summer Launch, and High School Summer Institutes) are designed to be residential only. 

We do have another option for students not interested in a residential program. Early College Scholars allows St. Louis area students to enroll in a WashU undergraduate course while commuting from home. 


What is a waitlist?

We often receive more applications from talented and qualified students than there are spots available in our programs. When this happens, we create an unranked waitlist for a selected group of students to see if room becomes available. We closely monitor enrollment in our programs, and if space becomes available we reach out to students on the waitlist.

I have been offered a place on the waitlist, what do I do?

If you have been offered a place on the waitlist and are interested in attending the program, please accept your spot on the waitlist no later than May 3, 2024. You can accept your spot on the waitlist by completing the waitlist form located in your application portal.

How many applicants are on the waitlist?

The number of students on our waitlist varies year to year and by program. We will not know how many applicants have chosen to be on the waitlist until after May 3, 2024.

Have students been admitted from the waitlist in previous years?

Every year is different. Unfortunately, we are unable to predict whether we will have the opportunity to admit applicants from the waitlist in any given year. 

Can I transfer my application to another program that might have space?

You are welcome to transfer your application to another program if there is space available. We recommend you contact our office to determine which programs may be available.

Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of admission from the waitlist?

At this point, our ability to admit students from the waitlist depends on space availability in the program. If you have any updates that you would like to share, you are welcome to email those to our office.

When will I know if I will receive a spot off the waitlist?

We will contact applicants no later than May 5 if a spot becomes available.

Can't find the answer to your question?

Contact our office