Pre-College Program Admissions
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Information on this page applies to 2019 programs only. Our 2020 program information will be online mid-fall. Join our email list, and we’ll contact you when the information is updated.
Eligibility for 2019
The admissions committee is looking for mature, academically motivated students who meet both of the following criteria:
- Will graduate in 2020 or 2021
- Are at least 15 years old by December 1, 2018, and will not turn 19 years old before July 31, 2019
How to Apply
Complete an online application and provide supplemental materials, including:
- The $75 nonrefundable application fee
- Counselor report: you can request a link be sent to your counselor in the application.
- Transcripts from 9th grade to fall 2018 grades: this can include progress reports, report cards, and educational summaries from your high school.
- If English is not your native language, submit scores from the TOEFL iBT or IELTS language proficiency exam along with your application.
The account must be created, and the application must be completed, by the prospective student and not by parents/guardians, agents, counselors, or anyone else.
- No fee is required to start your application. You will be asked to pay the nonrefundable application fee only upon submitting the application.
- Review expectations for TOEFL and IELTS tests (non-native English speakers only). The scores of successful applicants are typically above 103 on the TOEFL with 25 on the written section; IELTS are at least a 7.5 score with 7 on the written section. We do not accept Cambridge English Exam or TOEFL iTP test scores. Be sure to schedule your test appointment as early as possible, so that the test does not delay your application. You can also submit an interview and writing sample from InitialView to supplement your application, but these cannot replace the TOEFL or IELTS scores.
- Choose your program before you start. Keep in mind that you may only apply to one program: the Pre-College Program or the Secondary School Program.
- Use a desktop or laptop when completing your application. You will be asked to write short essays as part of your application. This may be challenging to do on a mobile phone. Therefore, we advise using a desktop or laptop computer for completing your application.
- Watch your inbox—you’ll receive an email prompting you to log in to check your application status approximately three weeks after you’ve completed your application.
Admissions decisions are only valid for the summer term in which you apply. You may not defer admission to the program to a subsequent summer term.
We are no longer accepting applications for Summer 2019.
New student? To get started, you will need to create an account through the DCE Single Sign-On portal. The create account option can be found in the top right corner of the login screen.
Already have a Harvard Key or DCE account? Simply log in to access the application.
Early application deadline
Submit your application by this date to receive a decision before course registration begins.
|Friday, February 1, noon|
Regular application deadline
Submit your application by this date to receive a decision before the full-payment deadline.
|Friday, March 15, noon|
Late application deadline
Full payment is due upon registration for all accepted students.
|Wednesday, May 15 at noon, or earlier if all course waitlists are full|
Financial aid application deadline
Submit both your program and financial aid application by this date*
|Friday, February 1, noon|
*All materials must be submitted in order for an application be considered complete
We will evaluate all information submitted—including transcripts, current grades, counselor reports, and your short essays—when considering your application.
Admissions decisions are made on a rolling, first-come, first-served basis, and the selection process is competitive. Once an application is complete, it takes approximately three weeks for a decision to be made.
According to US State Department guidelines, international students participating in the Pre-College Program do not qualify for F-1 student visas as this is a non-degree program that requires less than 18 hours per week in the classroom.
Participants should apply for the B-2 tourist visa (citizens of some countries may not need visa stamps but will need pre-approval through the ESTA system) which allows for brief stays—usually less than six months—that may include participation in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree.
Consult the US embassy or consulate in your country if you have any questions about visas, country-specific policies, or the necessary documentation for your visit.
Please visit the US Embassy website to locate the embassy in your country.