High School

Horizon Scholars

Live and learn in the heart of Silicon Valley at one of the world’s leading research universities. Renowned for entrepreneurial innovation and academic excellence, Stanford enriches your curiosity, creativity, and knowledge with more than 170 summer courses in the Humanities and Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Engineering, to help you reach your full potential. Study alongside a dynamic, diverse student body from more than 30 countries in small classes with dedicated instructors, with the opportunity to earn credit and an official transcript from Stanford. Summer Session Students enjoy access to Stanford’s exceptional student-life resources, from state-of-the-art athletic facilities to world-class libraries, superior academic support, and more.

Program Details

Stanford Summer Session's Horizon Scholars program is a residential scholarship opportunity for low-income, high-achieving rising high school seniors who reside in the state of California to attend the High School Summer College program at little to no cost. 


Horizon Scholars students must enroll in and maintain 7 to 9 units of credit. You must take two academic courses, one of which is PWR 1HZ: Introduction to College Writing. This 3-unit mandatory course covers critical reading, writing, and research skills that are applicable to any area of academic study. Students may take no more than one 1-unit athletics course. Program participants will select courses from the list for High School Summer College students provided at the Summer Session website.

Advising and Academic Support

The Summer Academic Resource Center (SARC) offers tutoring, academic advising, and academic skills workshops to all students enrolled in summer quarter.  Academic advisors support summer students in their academic and intellectual pursuits and help facilitate visiting summer students’ transition to Stanford. Advisors help students select courses, navigate academic policies, and identify resources.

Tutoring and workshops are available in most subject areas. In addition, Horizon Scholars students participate in Pre-Summer Advising and Mid-Summer Advising sessions to support academic success and a series of workshops focusing on college-preparatory skills. Each Horizon Scholar is assigned a tutor based on the courses taken.

Horizon Fridays

In addition to High School Summer College activities, Horizon Scholars students attend “Horizon Fridays” each week. These workshops focus on topics such as the college admissions process, the transition to college life, and issues of diversity and access. During one of the Horizon Fridays, you will visit one or two college campuses in the Bay Area.

Program Features

The following costs are covered as a Horizon Scholars student:

  • Application fee
  • Program fees
  • Tuition
  • Room and Board
  • Books/required course materials (up to $500)*
  • Health insurance fee**
  • College-preparation programming
  • Horizon Scholars-only gatherings

*Textbooks and course fees will likely first need to be covered by the student. The $500 stipend will be issued as a reimbursement from the program.

**All Horizon Scholars students are required to maintain Stanford’s Cardinal Care insurance for the summer and may not waive coverage -- even if they have their own health insurance plan.

Note: Travel to and from Stanford is not covered. 

Program Requirements

Admission is a selective process, and applications are reviewed in accordance with the Application Deadlines listed in the Admissions section. Final admission offers will be distributed on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. All applicants are required to complete an online Horizon Scholars application. 

To be eligible to apply, students must:

  • Be a current junior at the time of application.
  • Be at least 16 at the start of the program, June 20, 2020, and no more than 19 by the last day, August 16, 2020. There are no exceptions to these age restrictions.
  • Be a resident of California.
  • Be eligible or 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 2019–2020.
  • IF YOU ARE NOT A NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER: Be able to verify fluency in the English language, using one of the methods described in the English Language Proficiency section.

In addition to submitting an online Horizon Scholars application, you must upload your most recently completed semester grades, submit standardized test scores, compose three personally written essays, and receive a letter of recommendation through the application system. 

For more information, visit the Admissions section in the main menu.

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