Horizon Scholars

The Stanford Horizon Scholars Program offers up to 15 low-income, high-achieving, Bay Area high school students the opportunity to attend High School Summer College at little to no cost. 

Horizon Scholars attend Summer College as commuting students. In addition to a generous financial aid package, Horizon Scholars have access to special programming during the summer and, as alumni of the program, quarterly events during the rest of the academic year.

2017 Application Deadline: March 1

Benefits from Being a Horizon Scholar

As High School Summer College commuting students, Horizon Scholars enjoy these opportunities:

  • Take Stanford college courses for Stanford University credit, and have their work recorded on an official Stanford University transcript.
  • Select from more than 145 courses in 30 departments.
  • Access Stanford’s world-class libraries and athletic facilities.
  • Attend Summer College events, speaker series, and workshops.
  • Access to academic advisors and tutors at no cost.
  • Experience college life at one of the world’s leading higher education institutions.

Financial Aid package includes:

  • Application Fee
  • Program Fees
  • Tuition for 3 to 6 units of coursework, four of which must be academic in nature
  • Books/Required Course Supplies (up to $500)
  • Public Transportation Pass for duration of the Summer Quarter (amount varies)
  • Health Insurance Fee (if ineligible for health insurance waiver)
  • College Preparation Programming
  • Horizon Scholars-only gatherings
  • Quarterly meetings on-campus for Horizon Scholars alumni during academic year


To be considered for the Stanford Horizon Scholars Program, students must be:

  • Eligible to attend High School Summer College.
  • A permanent resident of Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, or Alameda counties.
  • Receiving free or reduced lunch in their county’s public high school system or within the criteria for the California Department of Education’s Income Eligibility Guidelines for Reduced-Price Meals or Free Milk in Child Nutrition Programs for 2016–2017.

Application Process

Students who meet the Horizon Scholars eligibility requirements should complete the High School Summer College online application designated for Horizon Scholars. To apply, interested students should:

  • Begin an application from the Summer College Apply page. 
  • Select the “Stanford Horizon Scholars” application when presented with the list of program options. 
  • Follow the instructions on the application, taking special note of any instructions directed at Horizon Scholar applicants.
  • When arriving at the financial aid section of the application, students may submit a copy of a signed letter from their high school counselor or principal on school letterhead confirming that they are eligible for free or reduced lunch in lieu of a parent/guardian’s U.S. federal tax return. Otherwise, students should mail or fax signed copies of their parent/guardian’s most recent U.S. federal (1040) tax returns. 
  • In the “Optional” textbox, students should briefly describe anticipated or known changes in family income during the year since the most recent filing. Students may be asked to follow up by submitting a copy of the family’s 2016 tax returns once those have been filed.
  • Review of Horizon Scholars applications begins after the March 1 application deadline.
  • Students not selected for the Horizon Scholars Program may still be offered admission to Summer College as a commuting student and may receive a corresponding Commuting Student financial aid package. No separate application is required.