Summer Challenge: Frequently Asked Questions
What year do I need to be entering in fall 2023 to participate in Summer Challenge?
You need to be entering your sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school in fall 2023.
Is Summer Challenge a commuter or residential program? What if I cannot travel to campus or want the flexibility of participating in Summer Challenge from home?
Summer Challenge is a residential program and you are required to live in the dorms on campus. You must be 14 years old by the time the program begins in order to participate.
Students interested in the program who cannot stay on campus might consider Summer Challenge Online, which offers a limited selection of remote seminars presented synchronously.
Can I earn college credit by participating in Summer Challenge?
No. Summer Challenge is noncredit. Students will receive a certificate of completion and evaluations from their instructors during the month of September after the program concludes.
What is the cost of Summer Challenge?
The total charge includes tuition, housing, meals, scheduled activities, and textbooks. Please visit the Tuition & Payment page for a detailed description of the cost of attending the Summer Challenge program.
How do I pay?
There are several methods of payment. Please click here for a description of your options.
Can international students participate?
Yes, international students are welcome to join the program. You can find more details about applying as an international student on our Information for International Students page.
How do I apply for Summer Challenge?
You can find application instructions and a link to the online application on the How to Apply page.
What are the admissions criteria?
We are looking for motivated high school students who are taking a college preparatory curriculum. Your high school transcript and personal statement are both taken into account when admission decisions are made. See the How to Apply page for details.
Is financial aid available?
There is no financial aid for the Summer Challenge program.
How long after I send in my application should I expect a response?
You will receive an email confirmation once your application is complete. Within three weeks of our receipt of your completed application, we will send an admission decision via email.
What classes are offered as part of Summer Challenge?
Summer Challenge students enroll in two seminars. Click here for a list of our 2023 seminars.
How many students attend Summer Challenge?
The number varies by session, ranging from 100 to 400 students. There are typically between 10 and 30 students in each seminar.
What is the schedule of activities for Summer Challenge?
The full schedule of activities will be emailed to participants two weeks in advance of the program. You can find out more information about the types of activities we offer here.
Is there a curfew?
Yes. You must be in the dorm by 11 pm during the week (Sunday through Thursday) and midnight on weekends (Friday and Saturday). You are then free to visit with friends in the common areas until 1 am during the week and 2 am on weekends.
Am I free to leave campus?
Many planned activities are mandatory. However, during free time, you can leave campus as long as you are accompanied by at least one other student in the program and you let your program assistant know you are leaving.
Can a parent visit me during the program?
If a parent or guardian is in town and would like to spend time with you, that visit must be scheduled during your free time when there are no activities planned. They are welcome to visit with you anywhere within our campus boundaries.
If a parent or guardian would like to take you off campus, they must submit an electronic leave request form. This request must be received at least 48 hours before you are planning to leave campus and no later than 5 pm on Friday. Your parent or guardian will need to provide details about the visit, including the time that you will be picked up and dropped off at campus and the mobile phone number of the relative or family friend you will be with. You are authorized to leave only after our office sends your parent or guardian approval via email. You must return to the dorm before curfew.
Can I visit with relatives or family friends in the Boston area during the program?
If you would like to visit relatives or family friends within city limits, that visit must be approved by your parent or guardian and scheduled during your free time when there are no activities planned. You must return to the dorm by curfew.
In addition, your parent or guardian must submit an electronic leave request form. This request must be received at least 48 hours before the student is planning to leave campus and no later than 5 pm on Friday. Your parent or guardian will need to provide details about the visit, including the time that you will be picked up and dropped off at campus and the mobile phone number of the relative or family friend you will be with. You are authorized to leave only after our office sends your parent or guardian approval via email.
Is there a fee for visiting Student Health Services?
Yes, there is a $25 fee each time you visit Student Health Services.
What are your COVID-19 policies?
In alignment with Boston University COVID-19 guidelines, all Summer Term pre-college students will be required to follow University-wide vaccination requirements and other health and safety policies.
Can I request to room with a friend?
No, we believe that learning to live with someone new is an important part of the pre-college experience. Program activities and free time provide plenty of opportunities to hang out with friends, who will also be living in a residence hall on campus.
Who can I contact at Boston University if I have more questions?
We are happy to help you. You can find all of our information on the Contact Us page.