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Syracuse University's Pre College Programs - Should You Apply?

If you’re a high schooler about to apply to college, pre-college programs should be on your radar. Not only do they offer unique hands-on learning that isn’t available in classrooms but they prove your dedication to the field and your willingness to go above and beyond. While the vast range of pre-college programs can be confusing, in-depth explanations of the programs can help you find one that suits you best. Here, we take a look at the pre-college programs offered by Syracuse University. Read on to learn all about them and whether this could be the right summer activity for you! 


What are Syracuse University’s pre-college programs?

Syracuse University’s pre-college programs are immersive academic experiences that are meant to give high schoolers an opportunity to get a taste of college life. These programs provide an opportunity to take college-level courses, earn transferable credits, and explore diverse fields all the way from STEM to the humanities. The university offers 6 different pre-college programs, each featuring a different format of attendance or structure. Below are brief introductions to each format:  


A program that immerses you in the full college experience, with residential and commuter options. You get to spend time on campus like a college student, take college-level courses, go on field trips and more. The course options span a large number of fields, from aerospace and computer animation to business and medicine.


Credit-bearing: Credit and non-credit options available  

Dates and Deadlines: You can choose sessions of up to 4 weeks, which will take place in between July 8, 2024 – August 2, 2024

Eligibility: Students who are at least 15 years old (graduated high schoolers also eligible as long as they are not matriculating into Syracuse University in the fall)

Cost: Ranges from $1,726 - $7,495 (depending on the program’s length and whether it is commuter or residential)

Financial aid: Partial scholarships, need-based financial aid, and discounts are available

 

A virtual program that allows you to attend college level courses and network with like-minded peers remotely, best suited for students who live far away and can’t travel to campus. The course options are similar but slightly limited compared to the on-campus offerings, including courses on architecture, virtual reality, biomedical engineering, computing and more.


Credit-bearing: Credit and non-credit options available  

Dates and Deadlines: You can choose sessions of between 3-6 weeks, which will take place in between July 8, 2024 – August 15, 2024

Eligibility: Rising sophomores, juniors, seniors and recent graduates (as long as they are not matriculating into Syracuse University in the fall)

Cost: Ranges from $1,995 - $3,785 (depending on number of credits)

Financial aid: Partial scholarships, need-based financial aid, and discounts are available

 

A week of studying on campus followed by three weeks of online courses that will be taken remotely. This is an ideal choice for those who can’t commit too much time away from home but still want to experience campus life. However, courses in this format are very few with only one design course available at the time of writing.


Credit-bearing: Credit and non-credit options available  

Dates and Deadlines: On campus portion from July 8, 2024 – July 12, 2024 and the online portion will take place from July 15, 2024 – August 2, 2024

Eligibility: Students who are at least 15 years old (graduated high schoolers also eligible as long as they are not matriculating into Syracuse University in the fall)

Cost: Ranges from $2,426 - $2,895 (depending on whether you choose the commuter or residential option)

Financial aid: Partial scholarships, need-based financial aid, and discounts are available

 

Commuter programs, with tracks available at Syracuse University Los Angeles academic center and the Fisher Center in NYC. The former offers courses on art, experimental drawing, and media while the latter has courses on mass media and writing.


Credit-bearing: Credit and non-credit options available  

Dates and Deadlines: Ranges from 1-4 week sessions, depending on the course

Eligibility: Rising juniors and seniors (a few sophomores depending on the course)  

Cost: Ranges from $995 - $2,175 (depending on the course)

Financial aid: Partial scholarships, need-based financial aid, and discounts are available

 

Small cohorts of students work with the university’s faculty on college-level research projects. As a participant, you will engage in the collection and analysis of data, culminating in a final presentation. You could even become a contributing author on the final research publication!


Credit-bearing: Yes

Dates and Deadlines: There are no SCRIP opportunities for 2024 so this information is not available

Eligibility: Students who are at least 15 years old (graduated high schoolers also eligible as long as they are not matriculating into Syracuse University in the fall)

Cost: Ranges from $1,985 - $9,765 (depending on whether the program is online, commuter or residential)

Financial aid: Partial scholarships, need-based financial aid, and discounts are available

 

An accelerated version of Syracuse University’s 15-week courses, this track is an online, 8-week program during the fall semester. You will engage in one 90-minute live session and 8-10 hours of asynchronous work per week, including assignments, reading and more. This is a good choice for students who are unable to attend programs during the summer but want a leg up in their academics.


Credit-bearing: Yes

Dates: First cohort from August 28, 2023 – October 19, 2023 and second cohort from October 23, 2023 – December 14, 2023  

Deadline: In July and September for the respective cohorts but applicants are reviewed on a rolling basis since May

Eligibility: Current high school juniors, seniors and recent graduates with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (international students can apply as well)

Cost: $695 per credit

Financial aid: Not available

 

Is it prestigious?

In general, Syracuse University is a well-regarded university and has a good reputation particularly in the fields of communication and media, public administration and policy, and architecture. However, it is not considered as prestigious as the more competitive and elite Ivy League schools. That said, some of Syracuse University’s programs are more prestigious than others. The Newhouse School of Public Communications is considered one of the top schools for communications, journalism and media studies, boasting a competitive acceptance rate of only 8.5%. This makes the On Location program’s Newhouse Summer Immersion sessions a particularly prestigious option to have on your resume. The Research Immersion Program (SCRIP) is also a prestigious opportunity since it is a selective program and allows you to work on a specific research project, maybe even becoming an official contributing author.    

 

Pros and Cons

Here are a few pros and cons of attending a pre-college program at Syracuse University:

Pros

  1. You earn college credits: One of the most significant aspects of Syracuse University’s pre-college programs is that they offer transferable college credits. Earning credit can make a positive impact on your profile, give you an academic head start, and reduce the number of credits you need to graduate in college.

  2. Programs offer flexibility: With six different formats of pre-college programs, Syracuse University offers a range of options to students. Irrespective of how far you stay or how much time you have available, the programs will have an option that is suitable for you.

  3. Some pre-college programs are quite prestigious: As mentioned above, programs like SCRIP and the On Location program’s Newhouse Summer Immersion sessions come with more value than the others. Taking part in these prestigious pre-college programs could significantly boost your college applications.  

Cons

  1. Most programs offer limited courses: Apart from the on-campus and online sessions, the other program formats don’t offer a large number of course options. This means your topic of interest may not be available and a program covering a wider range of topics could be more suitable.  

  2. A majority of these pre-college programs come with a fee: Pre-college programs can be expensive, and Syracuse University’s programs are no exception. While there are a few scholarships and discounts available, the high cost might still prove an obstacle for some students.

  3. All pre college offerings are not equally prestigious: As mentioned before, a few of the programs come with a higher level of prestige. However, Syracuse University in general isn’t considered as prestigious as other Ivy League universities and pre-college programs from those colleges might come with a higher benefit due to their reputation.

Our Review

In general, Syracuse University’s pre-college programs are a valuable opportunity for students seeking an early taste of college life, academic advancement, and the chance to earn credits. But they will be especially beneficial if you are interested in the fields that the university is best known for — communications, media, public administration, and research. However, for students prioritizing the highest level of institutional prestige, programs at Ivy League schools could be more valuable. Ultimately, each student has unique, individual requirements. While making a decision, it is best to weigh the program costs and requirements and your own goals and interests, to make sure the investment is worth the gain. 



Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you’re interested in doing a research project in various STEM subject areas, you could also consider applying to one of the Lumiere Research Scholar Programs, selective online high school programs for students I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.


Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


Image Source: Syracuse University logo

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