Online applications are now open for High School Summer College student applicants. Our online system uses the applicant’s email address in creating a student’s record, and it’s absolutely critical that all primary correspondence occur between the student and our office. Parent and Guardian contact information is also required, and critical communication will be shared with both the applicant and his or her family. Applications are processed as they complete, and students will receive an admission decision via email, approximately two weeks following submission of the complete application and all required supporting documentation.
Students who have successfully completed the program during a previous summer should contact the Summer Session Office for application details.
Complete application instructions, including “step-by-step” details, are included below.
2013 Application Deadlines
Each High School Summer College option has a specific deadline, noted below. For the residential and commuting options, an early application discount applied through January 31 reduces the application fee to $25. Beginning on February 1, the application fee increases to $75. Students who qualify for the Stanford Horizon Scholars program are not required to pay an application fee. No other application fee waivers are granted.
- Residential Option: Rolling deadline until filled. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. This program has limited capacity and fills each year with a wait list.
- Commuting Option: The deadline to start a new application is Monday, June 10, 2013, and the deadline to complete an existing application is Friday, June 14, 2013.
- Stanford Horizon Scholars Program: Applications open Monday, January 7, 2013 and are collected until Friday, March 1, 2013. Notification of acceptance to the Horizon Scholars Program will be made in mid-March.
English Language Proficiency Requirement for International Students
It is a stated requirement of the Stanford sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) that students studying in the U.S. be fluent in spoken and written English. The Summer Session Office requires prospective international students to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or Cambridge Exam scores or certificates as part of the application process (see the Step-by-Step section, below, for details). The following list indicates the minimum acceptable scores for students who have taken these tests:
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
• Minimum score of 233 for the computer-based TOEFL test (CBT)
• Minimum score of 90 for the internet-based TOEFL test (IBT)
• Minimum score of 577 for the paper-based TOEFL test (PBT)
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
• Minimum overall band score of 7.0
• Minimum score of 60 on the Cambridge Advanced English Test
• Certificate in Advanced English
• Certificate of Proficiency in English
International students may not be required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or Cambridge Exam scores if the primary language of instruction at their educational institution is English, or if the student is a native English speaker. When applying online, international students will be able to explain their individual situation. The Summer Session Office reserves the right to request additional information to verify proof of fluency.
Tracking the Application
Students track the status of their application and acceptance via their online account. Parents and guardians are provided with their own log in credentials which allow them to monitor the application and acceptance processes as well. Students are responsible for monitoring their account and contacting the Summer Session Office if the process seems to be delayed or if there are questions about specific application requirements. The Summer Session Office uses email to send important information and occasional reminders to students, their parents or guardians, and their recommenders. Students must ensure they provide valid email addresses when creating and completing their online application, and notify the office if these email addresses change. To ensure that important information sent via email is received, applicants as well as parents and guardians should be sure to add firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to their email address book. We are not responsible for delays in enrollment or missed deadlines for students who do not adequately monitor their online application process.
Summer Session Address and Contact Information
Summer Session Office
365 Lasuen Street
Littlefield Center, Garden Level
Stanford, CA 94305
Step-by-Step Application and Acceptance Process
The following itemized list highlights key portions of the application and acceptance processes, providing a general overview of what’s required to complete an application and how individual documents should be submitted for review. In most cases, instructions specific to a particular application ”Item” are explained within the online webform for that item.
1. Starting the application.
- To create an account, or log back in to an existing application, click on the Apply/Login tab on the Summer Session website. New applicants start by completing a Registration webform that asks for general information. Applicants are required to enter their name in all capitals, using unaccented alpha characters. This mirrors the name as it appears on a passport.
- Once the Registration data has been submitted, the student will log out and wait to receive a verification email. Using information in the email, the student will log back in to their account and select from the short list of programs that have been identified as providing the best fit for the student based on the information provided on the Registration webform. If no programs are listed, or if there are questions about the programs available, please contact the Summer Session Office for additional assistance.
- Once a program has been selected, an Application Checklist will open allowing the applicant to move through the process of completing their online application.
- One of the first items a student will be asked to enter is their parent/guardian contact information. It’s important to note that the Summer Session Office is only able to discuss application status with the parents and guardians listed within the application. If a student has more than one parent or guardian who will potentially call with questions, or handle application details on their behalf, then both names and contact details should be entered in the system. If a third party will be assisting with parts of the process, an email – from either parent/guardian on record – will need to be submitted to the Summer Session Office specifically granting them access to application information. At no time should someone other than the student’s parent or guardian be listed in the Parent/Guardian section of the online application. Once the applicant has entered their parent/guardian contact details, an email will be sent to the first name on record, inviting them to log in to the “Parent Portal.” The parent will be able to create their own password and access their son’s or daughter’s online checklist at any time. They will also be required to digitally sign the completed application, and make payment of the application fee when the time comes. Parents/Guardians should watch for their log in email, update their password when prompted, and keep their log in instructions handy for future reference.
- Students will need to ask a teacher or counselor to provide a personal recommendation. Only one recommendation is required, and only one will be reviewed, so students should think carefully about who they will ask to complete this part of the process on their behalf.
- It is important that a student discuss the recommendation request with their teacher or counselor before submitting his or her name within the online application. The system immediately contacts the recommender digitally as soon as the student has submitting their name and contact address. It’s best if the recommender is anticipating this request.
- The message a recommender receives includes a unique login with instructions on how to access the Summer College application system. Our recommendation form must be completed online and includes a few short questions along with a request to upload or mail a letter of recommendation on the student's behalf. Students are able to track the receipt of the recommendation online.
- International students: If the teacher or counselor must write the letter of recommendation in a foreign language, please submit both the original recommendation as well as an English translation. The Summer Session Office reserves the right to verify translations of all application materials.
3. Extracurricular Activities
- Applicants may enter detailed information for up to eight extracurricular activities and interests, such as participation in academic and athletic clubs or teams, community or religious groups, volunteer work, employment, and so on. Students should include any leadership positions held and the time commitment for each activity.
4. Scholarship Application (Optional)
- High School Summer College Residential Option: Students who will be applying for one of the Summer Session optional partial scholarships will need to complete the online scholarship application before their academic application will be eligible for review. Students should mail or fax copies of their parent's/guardian's signed 2012 US federal (1040) tax returns. If the student is applying before April 15, 2013, the 2011 US federal (1040) tax returns may be submitted along with a statement indicating that the family's 2012 returns have yet to be filed. In the "Statement of Need" textbox, these students should briefly describe anticipated or known changes in family income during 2012. The student may be requested to follow up by submitting a copy of the family's 2012 tax returns once they have been filed.
- Stanford Horizon Scholars: 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 their county in lieu of a parent’s/guardian’s U.S. federal tax return. Otherwise, students should mail or fax signed copies of their parent's/guardian's most recent U.S. federal (1040) tax returns. In the "Statement of Need" textbox, students should briefly describe anticipated or known changes in family income during the year since the most recent filing (either in 2012 or 2013). Students may be requested to follow up by submitting a copy of the family's 2012 tax returns once they have been filed.
- Verification of uploaded materials: The verification section of the online application will show tax return(s) as “Not Received” until such time as the document(s) have been uploaded to the system or received in the office via fax, email, or mail. Once a document is in the Summer Session Office, its status will be updated to “Not Verified.” The verification process requires a visual review of submitted documentation, and is not instantaneous; however, if materials have been submitted and show as “Not Verified” for over a week (allowing for delivery time), a student may want to follow up with the Summer Session Office to check on the item’s status. Once a supporting document has been approved, its status will be updated to “Verified.” If the Summer Session Office needs additional clarification regarding an uploaded document, staff will contact the applicant directly, via email.
- Scholarship determinations are made by the Summer Session Office. An applicant's scholarship information is retained by the Summer Session Office and will not be shared with Stanford University or any outside group. Summer Session scholarships are awarded based on internal policies which are not the same as those used by the University in calculating student financial aid packages.
5. High School Transcript
- The High School Summer College program requires that an applicant submit a transcript or transcripts that cover all years of high school/secondary school education. The transcripts must include an explanation of the school's grading system, and include grades from the Autumn 2012 term. Transcripts do not need to be official.
- International students: transcripts must be submitted in English. If translated from another language, please forward both the original and translated versions. Please also include background information on the school, written in English. The school's website will usually be able to provide this information.
- Students may upload digital versions of their transcripts directly to our system. Alternatively, students may fax or mail transcripts to the Summer Session Office.
- Verification of uploaded materials: The verification section of the online application will show transcript(s) as “Not Received” until such time as the document(s) have been uploaded to the system or received in the office via fax, email, or mail. Once a document is in the Summer Session Office, its status will be updated to “Not Verified.” The verification process requires a visual review of submitted documentation, and is not instantaneous; however, if materials have been submitted and show as “Not Verified” for over a week (allowing for delivery time), a student may want to follow up with the Summer Session Office to check on the item’s status. Once a supporting document has been approved, its status will be updated to “Verified.” If the Summer Session Office needs additional clarification regarding an uploaded document, staff will contact the applicant directly, via email.
6. Standardized Test Scores
- Standardized test results are an important component of the High School Scores Summer College application, and students are required to submit their test results if they have taken one of the exams. Applicants who have not had the chance to sit for the PSAT, SAT or ACT should read below for specific instructions relevant to them.
- Most U.S. based students will have taken at least one of the standardized tests by the time they apply to Summer College. Acceptable tests include the PSAT, SAT, or ACT exams. The Summer Session Office does not accept scores for other standardized exams, and does not require SAT Subject Area test results.
- Please be aware that applicants cannot send us scores directly from the College Board or ACT websites. Using the Stanford code these sites provide will result in scores being sent to Undergraduate Admissions.
- To submit scores for the PSAT: Photocopy the top third of the printout showing the test results. Be sure the top line of the printout, showing the student's name and grade, does not get cut off of the photocopy. We do not need the entire score report, and the copy does not need to be in color. If PSAT scores are available online, please follow the instructions provided for submitting SAT and ACT test results.
- To submit scores for the SAT and/or ACT: Log in to the SAT or ACT system and locate a copy of the score report. The report does not need to be "official," but it must include the student's name, the date the test was taken, and the scores. The Summer Session Office only requires the page that shows the score summary.
- Some schools will automatically include standardized testing information on their transcripts. If a school does this, we are happy to accept the scores in this manner.
- Verification of uploaded materials: The verification section of the online application will show test scores as “Not Received” until such time as the document(s) have been uploaded to the system or received in the office via fax, email, or mail. Once a document is in the Summer Session Office, its status will be updated to “Not Verified.” The verification process requires a visual review of submitted documentation, and is not instantaneous; however, if materials have been submitted and show as “Not Verified” for over a week (allowing for delivery time), a student may want to follow up with the Summer Session Office to check on the item’s status. Once a supporting document has been approved, its status will be updated to “Verified.” If the Summer Session Office needs additional clarification regarding an uploaded document, staff will contact the applicant directly, via email.
- For students who have not yet taken the PSAT, SAT or ACT exams: Please select the option "I have not taken any of the above tests" from the drop-down menu in the application.
7. TOEFL/IELTS/Cambridge Exam Score (International Students Only. US-based students should move to Step 8).
- International students are required to submit TOEFL/IELTS/Cambridge Exam scores, or to indicate their specific exception as noted and instructed within the online application. For students who are submitting test scores, the scores may be uploaded directly within the application, or a photocopy may be set by mail, email, or fax.
- Please be aware that applicants cannot send scores directly from the TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Exam websites. The institution code for Stanford will result in scores being sent to Undergraduate Admissions.
- To submit TOEFL scores: Log in to the TOEFL system and open the “View Scores” option from the “Scores” menu. Download the score report as a JPEG or PDF. Log in to the online Summer Session application and upload the document directly to the system.
- To submit IELTS scores: Upload the score report, received from IELTS, as a PDF or JPEG file directly to the Summer Session system via the online application. Alternatively, send a copy of the report as an email attachment. The Summer Session Office only requires the page that displays the score summary.
- To submit Cambridge Exam test results: Upload the score report and/or certificate as a PDF or JPEG file directly to the Sumer Session system via the online application. Alternatively, send a copy of the score report and/or certificate via fax or as an email attachment. The Summer Session Office only requires a copy of the score report and/or certificate. Do not forward personal ID Codes or Secret Numbers required to access the Cambridge Exam website.
- Verification of uploaded materials: Scores that are uploaded within the online application will show as “Unverified” until such time as they’ve been reviewed by Summer Session Office staff. The verification process is not instantaneous, and can take several days; however, if materials have been submitted and show as “Unverified” for over a week (allowing for delivery time), a student may want to follow up with the Summer Session Office to check on receipt.
- Stanford's High School Summer College program requires all applicants to submit a personally written essay, in English, on a specific topic. The essay topic for Summer 2013 is: If you were given all the money you would ever need, and were free to do absolutely anything with your life, what would you choose to do and why?
- The essay must be 500 to 700 words in length. When preparing the essay, be sure to follow the submission instructions provided in the application.
9. Completing the Application
- Once a student completes the entire online checklist, they will be prompted to digitally sign their application. This step can be completed whether or not supporting documentation, such as copies of transcripts or test scores, has been received or verified, and whether or not the teacher’s recommendation has been submitted. Once signed by the student, the application then needs to be signed by their parent or guardian. This is done by having the parent/guardian log in via the Parent Portal, digitally sign the application, and pay the application fee. (Parents/Guardians should have already received their log in details via email.)
- A few comments about application status: As the application is being worked on, its status will show as In Progress. Once all checklist items have been completed and the application has been signed by both student and parent/guardian, the status will be updated to Submitted. The Submitted status is a temporary status, and means that supporting documentation, including the teacher’s recommendation, still need to be received or verified. Only after all checklist items have been completed, all signatures and payment recorded, and all supporting materials verified will the application status be updated to In Review. This status verifies that the application is complete and ready for evaluation. Once In Review, the applicant will receive an email notifying them that their application is being evaluated and that a decision will be available within approximately two weeks.
10. Admission Email
11. Acceptance Materials
- Applications are reviewed by Summer Session Office staff. All admission decisions are communicated via email, and sent directly to the applicant. For students who applied for a partial scholarship, the admission decision and scholarship offer will be available at the same time – usually within two weeks of the application moving to the review stage.
- In the event an applicant is offered admission, it is their responsibility to formally accept the offer. This is done online, via the application interface, and opens a new checklist called the Acceptance Checklist. Specific information regarding the Acceptance Checklist will be communicated via email and made available within the application interface. International students requiring a Stanford-sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status), will submit their visa-related documentation as part of the acceptance process.
12. The Stanford ID Number
- Students will receive a Stanford ID number via email, typically within a few business days of completing the acceptance process. This ID number is critical for moving forward with the University processes of registering for courses and applying for housing.
- International students will receive their Stanford ID number as soon as their visa-related paperwork has been forwarded to Stanford’s International Center for processing. The I-20 will be generated and sent to the applicant via express delivery service. Information regarding shipping date and tracking details is included within the student’s online account.