Admitted Students

Accepted into the Pre-College Program? This page will help you stay on top of important deadlines and procedures for participating in the Pre-College Program. Check back frequently for updates and reminders.

Upcoming Deadlines

Course registration  Please see the Pre-College Calendar for all important deadlines
For early applicants: 

Thursday, February 27 at 9 a.m. ET

For regular applicants Tuesday, April 7
Financial aid recipients deadline: 

Early: Friday, March 13

Regular: Wednesday, April 15

Your award may be rescinded if you do not register for classes by this date.

Program payment deadline Thursday, April 30


Upon acceptance, be sure to complete the following requirements to reserve your space in the Pre-College Program.

1. Enroll in Pre-College Program

Accept your admission to the program at the bottom of the admission letter. Once you respond yes to our offer an email will be sent to you with next steps.

2. Register for course(s) and submit payment

Register for your course(s) using your DCEKey.

Payment: Log in and pay in the Student Finance Portal in your Online Services account with a credit card. Once you have selected your course(s) you will submit full payment for the program fee of $4,750 (plus $100 if you need health insurance) no later than April 30. 

Please note: You must pay for all courses for which you have registered or placed yourself on the course waitlist prior to the payment deadline. Harvard Summer School reserves the right to remove you from courses for nonpayment. If you intend to only attend one course, please drop yourself from all other courses and waitlists prior to payment deadline.

3. Make your travel arrangements

Once you are registered in a specific course, you will know the session and course dates and times. This enables you to make your travel plans.

  • Check-in occurs the Sunday before the first day of class, from 1 to 3 p.m., followed by a required orientation for students. Parents and legal guardians are welcome to attend the Family Orientation session at 4 p.m.
  • Check-out is the last Friday of class, by 7:30 p.m. 
  • You must attend all of your classes in their entirety to receive a passing grade of AR, so your travel plans must be made accordingly.

You live on campus during the session, but you may need to reserve accommodations elsewhere when you travel to and from the program. Please note that in Massachusetts, minors (under the age of 18) may not check into a hotel alone. This may require a parent or guardian to make travel arrangements that align with your post-program and travel schedule.


Pre-College Program courses are an extraordinary opportunity for you to stretch yourself academically and intellectually. 

To select the best course for you, we encourage you to:

  • Consider your interests, goals, and previous experiences. What have you already studied? Is there a subject that you do not have the opportunity to learn about in high school? What might you want to study in college? Keep in mind that all courses will be academically rigorous.
  • Consider course availability for each session. If the course you are interested is full in one session, check to see if it is offered during another session. If you can’t decide between two courses, you may have the opportunity to take both courses by attending multiple sessions.
  • Check the prerequisites. Be sure that you meet the requirements to register for the course that interests you.
  • Create a list of several courses that excite you—and register early. Most courses are limited to 12 to 18 students and fill up quickly. Be sure to register as soon as possible and have several alternative courses in mind in case your top choice is not available.


All Pre-College Program courses are designed to be small in number. Once a course is full, you may be able to sign up for the same course in another session or choose to join the course’s waitlist. Students who have not paid the full program fee by April 30 are removed from both courses and waitlists. Be sure to drop any extra courses or waitlists if you only paid for one course. Once the program payment deadline has passed, course spaces may open within five to 10 business days.


The Pre-College Passport: The Guide to Life Outside the Classroom helps you make the most out of your two weeks on campus. You will have opportunities to engage with faculty, develop critical college skills, and explore sights around New England.

You can choose from dozens of co-curricular and social activities to participate in each week. Your “passport” serves as a record of the events you attend while on campus. Information on how to sign up will be emailed to you on Wednesday, May 20. 

Sign up for activities will begin on Monday, June 1 and will close on Wednesday, June 17. Activity sign ups are on a first-come, first-served basis.

To ensure that you have a well-rounded experience, you are required to attend two events in each of the following categories:

  • Academic exploration: Lectures and discussions with Harvard scholars to give you a taste of the questions that drive various academic disciplines. Previous topics include the impact of your social media presence, the value of negotiation skills, and race, class, and gender diversity.
  • College readiness: Workshops to help develop and practice critical academic skills to support transition and success in college. Past workshops include financial aid, critical thinking, time management, and mindfulness.
  • Trips and recreation: Outings on and off campus to give you an opportunity to explore all that Cambridge, Boston, and Southern New England have to offer.
  • Residential activities: Events hosted on campus and in residential spaces by proctors to create a sense of belonging for you and other participants in the program. Past events include talent shows, trivia, recently released films, and arts and crafts.


You will participate in a variety of events both on and off campus. Here is some advice to consider when packing:

  • You may dress casually for class. You are sometimes required to give presentations, so you may prefer to bring a business casual outfit for these occasions. Some classes include a lab visit, so please bring long pants and closed toe shoes, which are often required to enter the space.
  • Bringing a laptop is recommended. For some courses, a laptop or tablet is required; please check the course description for prerequisites. Computer labs and printers are available for you to use.
  • During each session, we typically plan a trip to the beach, so be sure to pack sunscreen, a bathing suit, and a towel.
  • All meals are provided. Harvard Dining Services will prepare a special bagged meal for off-campus trips.
  • A talent show is scheduled during each session. You are welcome to bring small props or instruments to show off your talents!

For more information about your room on campus and what to bring, read Your Room.

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