Help students achieve their dreams

Cornell University's award-winning Summer College, in keeping with Cornell's founding principles, is dedicated to providing excellent educational opportunities for young people, regardless of their socio-economic or ethnic status. To that end, we welcome support from individuals and organizations interested in furthering our mission.

For more information, please review the links for

We also encourage you to contact us directly.

And be sure to check out an editorial in The Hill by Cornell SCE's Glenn Altschuler and Jim Schechter about “How to make college accessible to students from rural communities.”

An opportunity for students of all backgrounds

Started more than 50 years ago, Summer College is one of the nation's longest running programs of its kind. Each summer, more than 1,500 motivated high school students from around the world come to Cornell for three- and six-week programs. Students:

  • Take regular college classes with leading Cornell faculty.
  • Earn three to six credits and an official Cornell transcript.
  • Prep for college applications with a college fair and one-on-one admissions counseling.
  • Explore careers and academic majors.
  • Live on Cornell's extraordinary campus at the most beautiful time of the year.

Summer College is a unique opportunity for students of all backgrounds to experience college life, test their interest in and aptitude for a rigorous higher education, and make great friends. Students often say it was the best summer of their life.

A supportive yet challenging environment

For all students, but especially for disadvantaged students, the supportive yet challenging Summer College environment can make the difference between minimal academic preparation and being successful in both school and future careers.

Current Summer College efforts focused on this mission include Strategies for College Success: Critical Thinking and Effective Learning, a six-week program that has proven especially useful for students who want to develop the study skills, strategies, and attitudes that will help them succeed at a college or university. Students in this program earn six to eight college credits.

We also offer limited financial aid and are dedicated to expanding our range of scholarships, endowments, sponsors, and partnerships.

"I feel privileged to have attended Cornell's Summer College. It provided me with the unique opportunity to challenge my critical and creative thinking in full-level university courses. From faculty to students to staff, everyone was very dedicated, supportive of one another, and globally minded. For me, that is what made Cornell such an intimate community, where I never felt like just another face on campus. I remember the excitement I felt to interact with diverse groups of people who showed as much enthusiasm and conviction for learning and culture as I did. Cornell has broadened my understanding of the world and motivated me to move on to the next level of academic accomplishment. I feel that, because of Cornell's effect on me, I have truly taken a quantum leap in my independence, intelligence, and maturity."

Amber Lee James, Cornell Summer College and Cornell's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

"For me, Cornell Summer College provided a striking glimpse of Cornell life in many ways. I received personal attention throughout the entire application and matriculation process. I was offered and embraced a selection of diverse and rigorous academic coursework. My peers, team leaders/resident advisors, and professors represented cultures and countries both near and afar and everyone was admirably intelligent and determined. Moreover, I was consistently warmed and awed by the beauty of the place "far above (yet close enough to reach) Cayuga's Waters." Such welcomed inspiration existed as I completed Cornell's undergraduate application as a high school senior and it continued throughout my four years as an active Cornellian. Although a large and selective international university, Cornell has a remarkable ability and opportunity to make a very personal impact on each individual life that enters its world. I am thankful for the Summer College experience for allowing a convincing enough peek at this reality."

Tamara Webb, Cornell Summer College and Cornell's College of Arts & Sciences