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Frequently Asked Questions for High School Students

Student Walking on the Quad


For more information about how to apply to Summer Session, see a detailed outline of the application process at How to Apply.

Should I apply for more than one course? What happens if the course(s) I want to take are full?

Yes, you are invited to apply to multiple courses on your application. If your first choice is full, we will review your application and consider you for placement in other courses you listed. Complete your application as soon as possible for the best chance to take your preferred class!

I attended the program last summer; how do I reapply?

Students who have attended a previous Summer Session should complete a new application by providing their personal information in the online application along with the application fee and updated school transcripts, though other materials do not need to be resubmitted. Returning applicants should submit an essay indicating their interest in the courses they are applying to, but do not need to respond to a second essay, solicit new recommendations, or submit another graded writing sample. Simply enter "Summer 2019" as the first/last names of the recommenders and in the essay fields, unless you wish to have new recommendation letters submitted for the current application.

Applicants to the Research in the Biological Sciences (RIBS) program must submit an entirely new application, including essays, recommendations, and transcripts, even if they were wait-listed last year, or if they attended another Summer Session program.

Can you waive the application fee?

All students are required to submit the application fee, including students who are applying for financial aid.

There is no fee for applications to students applying to the UChicago Scholarship Programs. Application fees are also waived for students applying through specific Community Based Organizations with whom we have a partnership, including Neubauer International Summer Scholars, Ivy League Connection, KAUST, Mawhiba Foundation, Minds Matter, OSSE, Questbridge, Squash + Education, Success Academy, Summer of a Lifetime, and Summer Sisters. Students applying through these programs should contact the organization for details.

No other programs or students are currently eligible for a fee waiver.

Are scholarships or financial aid available?

UChicago Summer Session awards need-based financial aid based upon an applicant’s demonstrated financial need. Students applying for such aid must complete a financial aid application as part of their admissions application so that the award determination can be included in the offer of admission. We do not offer scholarships to cover housing, dining, or fees.

The exception is our UChicago Scholarship Programs. Scholarship programs typically cover the total cost of attendance, inclusive of tuition, room, and board; however students must complete additional essays, requirements, and affirm that they meet the eligibility requirements of each program. Applicants should read each program's detail carefully as each scholarship program is run during a particular term and may have specific courses that are eligible for the scholarship.

My parent has not received the parent confirmation or parental permission and release emails. What should I do?

Contact us at and we will resend the emails. Some emails have strong blocking systems, so please make sure that you check your spam filters.

My recommender did not receive the link to the recommendation. What should we do?

Contact us at Include your name, the recommender's name, and the recommender’s email, and we will resend the request.

Should I wait until my recommendation is on file before submitting my application?

No, the letters can be added to your application once they are submitted. You do not need to wait to submit your application, but we will not be able to review your application until we receive the letter of recommendation.

I have attended more than one school since 9th grade. Should I only send my most current school's transcripts?

Transcripts should include the student's entire academic record since the 9th grade, as applicable. Students who have attended more than one school since the beginning of the 9th grade should submit one official transcript for each school they attended. Students who are currently in 9th grade should also submit their grades from the 8th grade.

How do I upload documents after I have submitted my application?

You can upload test scores and any updated documents to your UChicago Account at any time by clicking “Upload Materials.”

Are undocumented students eligible for admission to the Summer Session?

President Robert J. Zimmer and Provost Daniel Diermeier issued a statement on January 29 confirming the University’s commitment to our members of the community with undocumented immigration status or who qualify for relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

You may read the entire message online and please don’t hesitate to contact us at if you have any questions or concerns.


What is your attendance policy?

Regular class attendance, timely completion of work, and participation are required. Failure to meet these standards may result in probation or dismissal. High school students are required to take all classes for a quality grade and missing more than a day will have a significant impact on your grade for the class.

Each Summer Session course is equivalent to 10 weeks of undergraduate coursework. Because Summer courses are condensed, 1-2 days of class is equivalent to an entire week of instruction during the regular academic year, so attendance and timely completion of work is critical. Summer Session courses and grades are recorded on a UChicago transcript; college applications, including the Common App, will require you to submit this transcript when you apply to colleges.

How long will I be in class? How much homework will I have?

Because Summer Session courses are equivalent to courses that last ten weeks during the rest of the academic year, the courses are intensive and rigorous. Students in the Pre-College programs should expect to have a full day (5-6 hours) of course-related activity, Monday through Friday, with a break for lunch. For every course, you will have daily homework assignments, such as reading or problem sets, as well as more long-term assignments such as research projects, papers to write, or exams to study for.

Please consult the days and times listed under the descriptions of your courses, as your daily schedule will depend on your selected classes. Some courses will have course considerations such as "reading intensive," "writing intensive," "discussion intensive," "math intensive," and "coding intensive" to help you understand the nature of the work or how the work will be focused in class.

Can I change courses (add/drop) during the summer?

Because Summer Session courses are brief and very intensive, we strongly encourage students to consider their choices very carefully before they apply. Course changes in undergraduate course offerings must be made before the second class meeting of a three-week course, and before the third class meeting for longer courses. Course changes in the Pre-College programs must be made before the end of the second day of classes. High school students in all programs will only be allowed to add/drop under very special circumstances once courses have begun. All changes must be approved by the Summer Session program staff at

What if the course I want to take is canceled?

Very occasionally, because of a significant conflict or because an insufficient number of students have enrolled in a class, a course is cancelled. Students who are registered in a cancelled class will be contacted by Summer Session and offered the opportunity to enroll in an alternative course or program. If a student does not wish to take another course in its place, the student's deposit will be returned. A course cancellation will be announced at least two weeks prior to the start of the course.

Are there classes on July 4 (Independence Day)?

Since July 4th falls on a Saturday in 2020, the Independence Day holiday will be observed on Friday, July 3rd. Classes will not be held on Friday, July 3rd, and University administrative offices will also be closed. Students should expect to be in class on the days surrounding the holiday unless an instructor says otherwise. The dining hall will remain open, and the residential staff will provide special activities for students residing on campus.

Can I get my books before classes start?

Unless you are contacted by your instructors via email prior to your arrival on campus, you are not expected to have your books and other course materials before you get to campus. When you arrive, you can go to the UChicago Bookstore or the Seminary Co-op Bookstore to buy your books; we build in time for you to do so during the second day of orientation.

Should I bring a computer with me?

While there are computers and printing facilities available for student use throughout campus, students often find it is best if they bring their own laptops with them. Some courses require students to bring a laptop to class; you will be contacted via email if you are enrolled in a course that requires a laptop. If students are enrolled in a course that requires a laptop, and bringing a personal laptop is not possible due to financial hardship, students will be able to make arrangements with Summer Session for a laptop for use during the term of the course. The main campus computing clusters support both PC and Mac platforms. Each building in Campus North Residential Commons has a 24-hour computing lab equipped with Macs, PCs, and Internet access. All areas on campus are configured for wireless internet access. Please note that there is a nominal fee for printing via campus facilities; see for details.

Are Summer Session courses for credit?

Every Summer Session course, regardless of length, carries at least the equivalent credit of one full-length (quarter-long) course in the College at the University of Chicago.

  • Immersion, Pathways, Summer College: 100 UChicago units = 5 quarter hours = 3.3 semester hours
  • RIBS, Stones and Bones: 200 UChicago units = 10 quarter hours = 6.6 semester hours
  • Summer Language Institute: 300 UChicago units = 15 quarter hours = 10 semester hours

How do I transfer credit from Summer Session courses to another university?

Students interested in transferring UChicago credit earned during Summer Session should contact the university where you would want the credit to be applied about their requirements for doing so. Transfer of credit is at the discretion of the recipient university. You will be able to request your transcript via your MyUChicago account after the summer quarter ends in late August.


If I take a UChicago Summer Session course for credit and eventually attend UChicago as an undergraduate, do those credits count towards my graduation requirements?

Unfortunately, these courses do not count toward graduation requirements

Cost & Aid

What will be my total bill?

More information about your bill can be found on the Costs page. Costs can vary greatly by program, number of courses taken, and whether you are staying in housing.

Am I eligible for a scholarship?

Based on a student's financial need, we award need-based financial aid. Students who wish to apply for need-based aid should complete the financial aid application as part of their admissions application, so that the award determination can be included in the offer of admission.

In addition to financial aid awards, UChicago also hosts scholarship programs for rural students, students engaged in Hispanic or Latino communities, students who identify as Black or African American, students whose parents are police officers or firefighters, and students who are currently enrolled in any of the United World Colleges to provide enhanced financial, academic, and social support in our Summer Session programs. To learn more about each of these programs, please visit the Scholarship Programs pages.


When and how do I pay my bill?

Immersion, Pathways, RIBS, and Stones and Bones

  • Within one week of admittance, we require a deposit of $1,000 on the student’s UChicago Account. This payment holds a student’s place in the program and can be paid using a credit card.
  • The full balance will be due within four weeks of being admitted to Summer Session.
  • The enrollment deposit is waived for students admitted to any UChicago Scholarship Program.

Pre-College Summer Language Institute and Summer College 

  • The Bursar's Office will issue bills to the student’s my.uchicago account at the end of June and payment will be due in mid-July, after Summer Session classes begin. 
  • We are unable to accept credit card payments. Bank account and wire transfer options are available. Please see more information about payment options here.
  • Currently, the Bursar's Office is not able offer payment plans to Summer Session students.

Does the program fee include health insurance?

The University of Chicago automatically provides "blanket" accident, injury, and sickness insurance coverage for all Summer Session students. This coverage will be in addition to any primary health insurance students may already have. The cost of this insurance is included in the program fee for all Summer Session programs. 

How do I withdraw from the program?

All students who have accepted their offer of admission will be registered for their course(s). If you decide to withdraw after you have sent in your confirmation form and deposit, please email us at Students are still responsible for the program fee if they have not officially withdrawn. Students who withdraw after the June 1 housing finalization deadline are still responsible for the charges associated with the housing reserved.

Are my deposits refundable?

Enrollment deposits will be refunded only if a course or program is canceled, and the student does not select another course or program to attend in its place. We are unable to refund the application fee and the $1,000 enrollment fee if a student withdraws from a program.

Is my program fee refundable?

Depending on the program and proximity to the start date, students may be eligible for partial refunds of tuition. More information on tuition refunds is available at the Costs page. Please note that the refund does not include the $1,000 deposit.

Can I change my housing arrangements (add/drop weeks or withdraw)?

As soon as you confirm your participation as a Summer Session student, we begin making housing and dining arrangements for you. Because of the extensive planning required in this process, these arrangements become final and binding on June 1. Charges associated with housing and dining cannot be refunded or reduced after this date. Please note that if you change your housing and dining arrangements (e.g., reduce your number of weeks or withdraw from housing altogether) after June 1, regardless of your program start date, you will still be billed for all charges associated with your original arrangements. 

Are Summer Session scholarships taxable?

Summer Session scholarships may be taxable. Consult with a tax professional for more information on your specific situation. 

Housing & Student Life

What will I do outside of class, including nights and weekends?

The residential staff plans and leads daily activities for students to get to know each other, the campus, the neighborhood, and the city of Chicago. Students can pick and choose from a variety of programs to suit a wide range of interests, including low and no-cost programs. Previous events include trips to Major League Baseball games, the Taste of Chicago festival, evening soccer, museum outings, beach trips, Movies on the Midway, and much more. All events are planned and led by residential staff members.

What facilities are available during the summer?

All students enrolled in Summer Programs for high school students may access University amenities while they are attending courses. The Student Services Fee provides access to resources like Student Health & Counseling Services, athletics facilities, and libraries.

When is orientation and when can I move in?

Orientation dates are listed below. All high school Summer Session students, both residential and commuter, must attend Orientation. Residential students must attend the entirety of both days of orientation. Commuter students are required to attend the first day of orientation only.

Orientation dates

  • Session I: Saturday-Sunday, June 20 - 21, 2020
  • Session II: Sunday-Monday, July 12 - 13, 2020

High school students should arrive between 10am and 3pm on Arrival Day to move into their rooms and begin orientation.

When do I need to move out?

Students must check out of the residence hall by 9:00 a.m. on the DAY AFTER their course ends.
Students may check out in the evening on the day their course ends, but must have a Curfew Release Form on file 24 hours in advance and be sure not to miss any required course activities or exams on the last day. See the Residential Policies section for more information.

Can I live off-campus?

The Pre-College program is residential-focused, but we make exceptions for students who live in Chicago on a case-by-case basis. Living in one of our College Houses in the residence halls provides students with the full undergraduate experience, including personal and academic support from the Residential Assistants (RAs) and other students. Being able to connect, live, and learn with students from all over the world is what makes a summer program a fully educational experience. Nearly 90% of Summer Session students live on-campus during the summer, and it is worth noting that most students who decided to commute, later reported that they wished they had lived in-residence for the program.


What is the residential staff like?

Our residential team is composed of current undergraduates and recent alumni of the University of Chicago. Our RAs are here to make students feel comfortable in the residence halls, and to assist them with academic, residential, and co-curricular matters. Several RAs reside in each House on the same floor as the students. Our Residential Director and Assistant Residential Directors are available to students and their families 24 hours a day.

What are the requirements to live in housing?

Students must be enrolled full-time to be eligible to live in the residence hall. All Pre-College programs are considered full-time programs. Students attending Summer College must be enrolled in two concurrent courses for full-time status.

What should I pack?

Chicago weather in the summer can fluctuate, so make sure to prepare for the possibility of high heat (as high as 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit) and humidity.

The residence hall will have a weekly linen service available which provides a summer-weight blanket, sheets, pillows, and towels, but, if you are particular about your linens, we recommend that you bring your own.  Campus North is an air-conditioned building, and some students have found it a bit chilly. For example, if you think you would like more than one pillow, a heavier weight blanket, or a larger towel, please bring these items with you or plan to purchase them after you arrive. All beds are extra-long single beds (36” x 80”). Please also note that laundry facilities are available, but you will need to provide your own iron and clothes hangers.

We recommend that you pack the following items for your stay in Campus North:

  • Light clothing
  • Extra blanket or comforter*
  • Warm layer in case of cooler weather
  • Sheets*
  • Umbrella or rain jacket
  • Towels*
  • Walking shoes
  • Laptop**
  • Swimsuit
  • Cell phone**
  • Sunscreen
  • Notebooks
  • Toiletries
  • Folders
  • Clothes hangers
  • Pens and pencils
  • Photo ID
  • Personal spending money
  • Camera
  • Iron (if desired)

*The residence hall’s linen service provides a summer-weight blanket, sheets, pillows, and towels, but, if you are particular about your linens, you should bring your own.  All beds are extra-long single beds (36” x 80”).
**Computing facilities (including pay-per-use printers) are available on campus, but you may bring your own if you wish. WiFi is available in all campus buildings. Phones are not provided.

What is the curfew policy for students living on-campus?

High school students living in the residence hall must sign in for curfew every night. Following the City of Chicago curfew ordinance, summer residents must be inside the residence hall from 10:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 11:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m., Friday and Saturday. Disregard for curfew can be grounds for dismissal from the program. Students who miss curfew sign-in will be subject to disciplinary action, and their parents will be contacted. Please see the Academic, Social, and Residential Policies for more information about the curfew policy.

Parents may give permission for their child to miss curfew if the student is accompanied by an adult (excluding Summer Session participants above the age of 18).  Parents should complete an accurate Curfew Release Form at least 24 hours prior to the requested release time. 

How do I get my mail? Can I ship items to myself?

When you check in to the residence hall, you will receive a room number. This will be part of your mailing address:
(Student Name)
Attn: Summer Conferences - Summer Session
Campus North Residential Commons Room XX
5500 S. University Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637

Mail is delivered once a day, Monday through Friday. Mail can be picked up at the front desk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The front desk will sign for all priority packages.

Packages that arrive prior to your arrival date or after your departure date will be returned to the sender.

Can I have a friend or relative stay overnight in my residence hall room?

While guests are welcome to visit, they are not able to stay overnight in student rooms. All guests must check-in at the front desk, and must check out by 10:00 p.m. High School Program residents may not have non-program guests in their rooms past curfew, including relatives.

What if I need medical care?

Students have access to medical facilities, including the Student Health Services and an on-call physician for after business hours care. If a student requires immediate medical attention, the University of Chicago’s Medical Center is on campus. Residential staff members will be available 24/7 to help in the case of any emergency and will contact the parent or guardian. All parents of minors are required to submit a release form authorizing necessary medical treatment in the case that the parent/guardian cannot be reached. This release is provided to parents after their student has been accepted to the program.

What safety resources are available?

To ensure the safety and convenience of our students, faculty, staff, and community, UChicago's Department of Safety & Security provides residence security, transportation, and 24/7 support. Residence halls are always fully staffed with security personnel, and all entrances and exits are fully secured. Summer Session residential students verify their identity with their University ID at the front desk upon entry to the residence hall. For transportation, UGo Daytime and NightRide shuttles pick-up and drop-off within one or two blocks of residential and academic buildings around all of campus. Summer Session students may contact the UChicago Police Department at any time, day or night, by dialing 773.702.8181 or 123 from a campus phone.

I’m flying from O’Hare/Midway, how do I get to campus?

There are two major commercial airports in the Chicago area: O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport. O'Hare International Airport is about 30 miles northwest of campus, and Midway International Airport is approximately eight miles west of the UChicago campus. Students flying into O’Hare airport have the option for shuttle service to campus with other UChicago Summer Session students. A staff member will greet them at the airport and lead them to our shuttle service. An additional fee is associated with this service. Students are also welcome to use another mode of transportation to get to campus, including public transit, shuttle, car, taxi, Uber, or Lyft.

What if there is an emergency on campus?

Campus safety for all is a top priority at the University of Chicago. Support is available 24/7, including health care, mental wellness, and a dean-on-call. For non-threatening situations on campus or in the residence halls, students will be able to utilize either their Resident Assistant, Summer Program staff, or the Campus Residential Hall front desk. If a serious situation arises, students should contact the dean-on-call or the University Police 24/7.

Preparing to Arrive on Campus

I am a student under the age of 18 flying for my Summer Session program. Do I have to make special arrangements for my flight?

Summer Session students and families should be sure to double check airline policies regarding unaccompanied minors prior to booking tickets. Different airlines have different policies regarding the minimum age to fly unaccompanied by a parent or guardian. These ages are not consistent across all airlines. Please take extra precautions to verify an airline's age policy before purchasing tickets.

Can I check in a day early or stay an extra day at my residence hall?

No. We have several different programs running during the summer. There is no additional capacity prior to the start of a course or afterwards. If you need additional accommodations, you will need to make your own arrangements. Pre-College Summer Session students may move in on the first day of their Orientation and may stay in housing for the duration of their session. All Summer Session students will move in for their program on the same day and move out on the same day. 

I’m under 18 and would like to arrive early or stay and extra day or two for Summer Session. May I stay at nearby hotels prior to check in?

Summer Session students and families should note that the minimum age necessary rent a hotel room or Airbnb is 18 years of age. Students under 18 cannot rent and stay in a hotel room on their own, and so, should not arrive in Chicago before or stay past the check-in and check-out dates stated in their admissions materials unless they will have a parent or guardian with them.

We have several different programs running during the summer. There is no additional capacity prior to the start of a course or afterwards. Students cannot check in to the residence hall before the official check-in date and cannot stay in the residence hall after the official check-out date given in their admissions materials. Unfortunately, there can be no exceptions. This rule applies to all students, regardless of age. Summer Session students and families should make travel plans accordingly.