Application Guide

This is a step-by-step guide to the High School Summer College application. We have provided it here to better prepare you for the application process, with an overview of the materials required to apply, and answers many questions that may arise during the application process.

NOTE: Students who have successfully completed a Stanford Summer College program during a previous summer should contact the High School Summer College office for application details.

1. Start the Application

  • Create an Account by visiting the application page.
  • Open the Verification email to confirm your email address and to start your application. Select from the short list of Summer College programs. If no programs are listed, please contact the High School Summer College Office.
  • Enter parent/guardian contact information. The listed Parent 1 will receive an email giving access to the Parent Portal. The High School Summer College office can’t disclose an applicant’s information to anyone not listed with in the application.

2. Teacher/Counselor Recommendation

  • Enter the contact information for your preferred recommender; be sure to notify your listed recommender that they will be notified on your behalf. The listed recommender will receive an email, which includes instructions on how to submit the recommendation materials. All recommendations must be in English.

3. Extracurricular Activities

  • Fill in your extracurricular activities. These may include academic and athletic clubs or teams, membership organizations, communities or religious groups, volunteer work, employment, leadership positions, etc.

4. Financial Aid Application (Optional)

  • Complete the Financial Aid Section. Students will need to upload copies of the parent/guardian’s signed tax documents. Financial aid is available to both domestic and international students.
  • Note: High School Summer College financial aid is awarded based on internal policies which differ from those used by the Stanford University in calculating student financial aid packages for matriculated students.

5. High School Transcript

  • Submit your high school transcript. Transcripts must include the school’s grading system and the most recent completed semester grades. Previous High School Summer College students must submit their grades from the summer. Transcripts don’t need to be official. They must be in English.

6. Standardized Test Score (Optional)

  • Submit your test scores. These don’t need to be official, but must clearly show the student’s name and date the test was taken and scores. The High School Summer College office requires only the page showing the score summary. PSAT 8/9 test scores are not accepted. The PSAT (pre-2015), PSAT 10 and the PSAT/NMSQT are accepted.
  • Note: Standardized test results aren’t a required component of the Summer College application, but students who have taken these tests are encouraged to submit them for consideration as an indication of their preparedness for college-level courses. 

7. English Proficiency Requirements (International Students Only)

  • Submit TOEFL/IELTS/Cambridge Exam Scores. Scores with the applicant's name must be uploaded within the application or a photocopy may be sent by mail, email, or fax.
  • Note: If you attend a school in which English is the primary language of instruction, please indicate this on your application instead of providing test results.

8. Essay

  • Complete the two Essays: The Summer College program requires all applicants to submit two personally written essays, in English, on a specific topic.  Both essays must be 200 to 300 words long.
    • All students must answer this question:

 Stanford students are widely known to possess a sense of intellectual vitality. Tell us about an idea or an experience you have had that you find intellectually engaging.
    • All students must choose one of the following:
      • Reflect on a difficult decision you have made recently. How did you go about making the decision? What was the effect of your decision?

      • Write a top five list (to be interpreted by you). Explain your list and your choices.
      • If you had a day to spend as you wish, how would you use your time?

9. Completing the Application

  • Review all completed checklist items and digitally sign the application.
  • Parent/guardian digital signature. A parent/guardian signature is required via the Parent Portal after the student application is complete.
  • Payment via credit/debit card. Payment may be made only via the Parent Portal after the parent/guardian has reviewed the student’s application.

10. Check Your Application Status

  • Uploaded documents will show as “Unverified” until the High School Summer College office staff has reviewed them. The verification process can take several days depending on the volume of applications.
  • Applications move to “In Review” status when admission review process starts.
  • For more information regarding all applications statuses, please visit the Application Statuses page.
  • Note: Students, Parents/Guardians, and Recommenders will receive an email with important information and reminders to complete application items.

11. Admission Decision

  • Applicants will receive their admission decision approximately three weeks after receiving their completion email. These emails sometimes go to a spam/junk folder.

12. Acceptance & Securing a Spot

  • Accept Admission Offer. In the event that a student is offered admission, it is the student’s responsibility to formally accept the offer.
  • Complete Acceptance Checklist. Upon acceptance of the admission offer, students must complete the Acceptance Checklist. Parents/guardians must review the checklist, provide a digital signature, and submit the program fee via the Parent Portal.
  • Complete Acceptance Checklist/International Students. Those international students requiring a Stanford-sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) must submit their visa-related documentation as part of the acceptance process.
  • Receive Stanford ID Number. After the High School Summer College staff verifies all acceptance checklist items, students will receive their Stanford ID Number.
  • Important Note: Your spot in the program isn’t secure until you have received your Stanford ID number; we advise against making travel plans until then. An email confirmation will be sent from the High School Summer College office when your spot in the Summer College program is secure and your Stanford ID number is created.
  • Important Note/International Students: You will receive your Stanford ID number when your visa-related paperwork has been forwarded to Stanford’s Bechtel International Center for processing of the I-20. Once the I-20 is generated, it will be sent to your mailing address via Express Delivery service.