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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the pre-college program admission rate?

We generally admit about 85-90% of students who apply. Because we expect applicants to have an academic average of B+ or better as well as other application requirements, students who would not be competitive tend not to apply. We do have rolling admission, and many of our programs fill before April 1, so we encourage applicants to apply early.

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, (taken courses at a local college, music lessons, etc.) 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.

As for the transcript, you may submit a list of the courses taken with final grades, and your parent's certification of mastery. 

What if my standardized test score does not meet the eligibility requirement for High School Summer Scholars?

If your standardized test score does not meet the required eligibility, then we would still encourage you to apply. We review the entire academic performance of applicants, so your test scores alone will not prevent you from being admitted to the High School Summer Scholars Program.

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

It is important to note that acceptance into one of our programs does not guarantee acceptance into WashU. We do send a list of students who successfully completed our programs to the admissions office at the end of each summer, and your participation is noted in your admission file.

How do I submit my teacher recommendation?

Once you submit your application you will receive directions on submitting your supplemental information, including the link to the teacher recommendation form. We do not accept teacher recommendations before a program application is submitted.

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

No. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable as long as they include your name, school, and all grades received to date. We do not require that the transcript be emailed from the school, so you may email our office your transcript directly.

I'm applying for the High School Summer Scholars Program. How do I submit my test scores?

We do not require you to submit a copy of an SAT/ACT score as part of the application process. You just self-report your scores and test dates as part of the application. Once you are admitted and deposited, then we may request you send us a copy of your score report. 

What if I want to apply to High School Summer Scholars, but I don't have any standardized test scores?

We will accept the PSAT in place of the SAT or the ACT Aspire in place of the ACT, or you may submit an additional teacher recommendation if you do not have any standardized test scores to report.


For more information on program fees, scholarships, deposit, 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 the April 1 deadline. 

Our programs are not eligible programs for aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Scholarships are determined by family income and monthly housing payment. There are no income cut-offs for scholarship assistance; all students are welcome and encouraged to apply. Scholarships typically start at $500 and full scholarships are available. Scholarships do not include travel to and from the program, textbooks, or personal expenses. Please note that scholarship assistance is not available for course taken through Early College Scholars. 

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 High School Summer Scholars Program. You are only allowed eight semesters worth of tuition assistance per child and the High School Summer Scholars Program 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. This discount applies to all of our programs which include: High School Summer Scholars, High School Summer Institutes, Middle School Summer Challenge, and Early College Scholars. 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. A completed WashU Employee Discount Verification Form must also be submitted to our office by May 1. 

We do offer need-based scholarship assistance for our programs and employees are eligible to apply in addition to the employee discount. The Application for Scholarship Assistance is due April 1, and scholarship awards typically start at $500. Please note that scholarship assistance is not available for course taken through Early College Scholars. 

Residential Life

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

Are the summer programs residential only or can I commute to campus?

Our high school summer programs (High School Summer Scholars and High School Summer Institutes) are designed to be residential only. We have a number of academic and social activities planned in the evenings and on weekends to support students during their time here at WashU. Creating and belonging to our pre-college residential community is key to the success of our students. Not being part of that residential community would definitely inhibit a student’s success both academically and socially. 

We do have another option for students not interested in a residential program. Early College Scholars allows students to enroll in select WashU undergraduate courses during the day or evening while commuting from home. 

I play a musical instrument, are their practice rooms available for me to use?

The music department practice rooms are available for use by students. You can contact the music department for more information at 314-935-4035.

What is the supervision for pre-college students?

For residential students, program assistants live in the residence hall with the students to oversee residential aspects of the program. All staff members have passed federal background checks, are CPR/First Aid certified, and participate in online and in person training program designed for working with youth. Our staff provides academic support, plans social activities, and ensures the rules and regulations of the program are followed. Our staff enforces the program Code of Conduct, which students and their parents must all sign. 

For our High School Summer Institutes and Middle School Summer Challenge programs, program assistants are present throughout the day to lead activities, chaperone field trips, and provide academic mentoring. 

Parent and students are provided the phone number for our on-call supervisor who is available 24/7 in the event of an emergency.

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. 

Other Questions

Do you provide health insurance to purchase?

We are not able to provide short-term health insurance to students. One online option we recommend is Travel Insure. As you search for options, be sure that you purchase short-term medical insurance, not to be confused with “travel insurance.” Please note that, whatever company you use it must have a U.S. mailing address and phone number. 

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.


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