Apply to Sustainable Summer

Admission RoundApplication FeeApplication DeadlineLetter of Rec DeadlineDecision NotificationEnrollment Deadline
Early$10December 8thDecember 23rdDecember 27thJanuary 12th
Priority$20February 10thFebruary 25thFebruary 28thMarch 8th
Regular$35March 15thMarch 22ndMarch 26thApril 4th
Late$50Based on program availabilityRolling - 7 days from initial application submissionDependent on circumstancesWithin 72 hours of notification

How to apply to a Sustainable Summer Leadership Academy

Step 1: Start Online Application

Apply online. There is currently a $10 application fee for our Leadership Academies. The first step in the application process requires the student to provide some biographical information and submit a brief admissions essay that articulates your interest in sustainability and our program.

Step 2: Supplemental Materials and Letter of Rec

After payment of the $10 application fee, students will have access to our supplemental application materials portal, where they request a letter of recommendation from a teacher or mentor, and also submit two supplemental application components: one 500-word admissions essay, and one 200-word response. The complete application is reviewed by our admissions committee based on the timeline specified below.

Step 3: Notification of Admissions Decision

Admissions decisions are based principally on the applicant's ability to demonstrate interest in sustainability issues and to contribute positively to our community of students. Students and parents are notified via email and provided enrollment instructions. This is also a good time for parents to be in contact with our office to review any questions about the program.

Step 4: Enrollment Deposit

A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to secure enrollment in the program. The deposit is applied against the cost of tuition. Enrollment deposits are made online by credit card and the enrollment form must be completed by a parent. During enrollment, a parent will also complete a medical history form, which is reviewed by our office within one week of receipt. All enrollments are conditional pending review of the student's medical history.

Step 5: Get Ready

We will confirm your enrollment with an invitation to login to our MySummer website, which helps families prepare for their summer travel with us. Flights, packing lists, destination briefings, sustainability primers, tuition invoices, and other pre-program preparation information are accessed through MySummer.

You've Got Questions.

We've got answers to our most commonly asked questions immediately below. For questions about a specific program, you can usually find that information on the website page of that program or give us a call at 646-504-5046.

Students age 15 – 18 and interested in sustainability are encouraged to submit an application. Most of our applicants live in the US, although we also work with many international students every summer, too. Nearly all of our participants come alone (ie; without a friend).

We look for applicants that have a demonstrable interest in environmental sustainability and the ability to contribute positively to our community. More than anything else, great students make for great programs, and we place a high priority on selecting the right students for our groups. Put simply, there are a staggering number of organizations that provide high school students with summer enrichment opportunities. We are particularly interested in students that are curious about sustainability issues and encourage all students that have concern for the environment to submit an application. You’ll articulate your interest in Sustainable Summer and how participation will advance your personal goals and objectives, which is a primary consideration for how we make acceptance decisions.

We know this response is unlikely to satisfy students that are often concerned (in many cases, rightfully so) about the selectivity of an activity or organization. We do not disclose acceptance statistics. Very few “pre-college” programs do. Perhaps we’ll change our thinking on this in the future, but until then we hope you can take solace in the following information:

  1. We deny admission to unqualified applicants
  2. Exemplary applicants that apply early in the year are almost always accepted.
  3. Applicants that are rising juniors and seniors have historically been accepted at higher rates than rising sophomores, and a typical cohort averages only about 15% rising sophomores
  4. All else being equal, we prioritize geographic and socio-economic diversity and seek as much breadth of ideology and perspective as possible in our cohorts

Students can apply during any admissions round. We recommend that serious candidates apply during the “priority” or “early” round to secure a place in the program since our regular round is typically much more selective and we rarely have availability by our “late” round. Program availability is updated on our website after each admission round (and daily in the event we have an opening late in the spring). We also have separate scholarship application deadlines for students seeking financial support to participate in the program.

With some exceptions for students enrolling prior to the end of the calendar year or that specifically request a payment plan, the balance of tuition is due on the following schedule:

  • For enrollments on or prior to February 15th, tuition balances are due March 15th
  • For enrollments after Feb 15th, tuition balances are due within 30 days of enrollment
  • For enrollments received less than 30 days from a program start date, final tuition balances must be paid within 7 days of enrollment. (If program start date is fewer than 7 days from enrollment date, full payment is due immediately and an additional $95 late fee is applicable).

Interest free payment plans are available on request as part of our financial assistance program. All tuition balances are payable online by e-check/ACH, by check drawn on a US bank account, or by money order. On request, credit card payments for tuition balances are possible, but will be assessed a 2.2% processing fee. (NOTE: there is no fee for credit card payments on the application fee and initial enrollment deposit for all families). International tuition balance payments can be paid by credit card in US currency plus 2.2% processing fee or by wire transfer plus a $25 bank servicing fee.

For our leadership academies there is a non-refundable application fee, which varies depending on the admissions round. The fee for the current round is $10. The fee is payable online by credit card (Visa, MC, Amex) when submitting an application.

There is a $500 deposit required to secure enrollment (upon acceptance). Payable online by credit card at the time of enrollment. This becomes non-refundable 7 days after enrollment. Only the initial deposit is payable by credit card.

No. You are welcome to take advantage of our honor’s system-based tuition assistance discount.

Policies for Early Enrollments

These terms apply only to participants that enrolled prior to January 1st. (All date references are to the current 12-month period.)

Full Refund on Cancellations Until March 1st: If you decide to cancel your program before March 1, for any reason whatsoever, we will refund ALL tuition you have paid without penalty or administration fee. Should you decide to cancel your program on or after March 1, our normal cancellation policies will apply. (NOTE: the $35 application fee is non-refundable, and tuition refunds will not be issued until April 1st regardless of the time your cancellation notice is received).

Refund Policy on Cancellations After March 1st: At 12:01am Eastern Time on March 1st, your $500 enrollment deposit becomes non-refundable. For cancellations received AFTER March 1st, all tuition payments less the $500 non-refundable enrollment deposit are fully refundable up to April 1st. Tuition payments less the $500 non-refundable enrollment deposit and a $500 cancellation fee are refundable up to May 1st. There are no refunds after May 1st.

Change of Program: If you would like to change to a different Sustainable Summer program, for any reason, you can do so without penalty up to April 1st, subject to availability. Between April 1st and May 1st, change of program to another Sustainable Summer program in the same calendar year is allowed for a $250 fee, subject to availability. After May 1st, change of program is not allowed and there are no tuition refunds.

Deferred Enrollment: Deferring enrollment to a Sustainable Summer program in the next calendar year is allowed up to April 1st without penalty or fee. Between April 1st and May 1st, deferment is allowed for a $500 fee. After May 1st, deferred enrollment is not allowed and there are no tuition refunds. NOTE: Tuition rates for future programs may increase and you are not grandfathered into a rate, however any early enrollment tuition discount rates will be applied as long as you re-enroll during the future early enrollment period (example: you enroll early and receive a 5% discount on a program, but defer to a future program. The next year, you re-enroll during the early enrollment period. Your 5% discount would carry over.) Any tuition previously paid will post as a credit to your account and any fees ($500 if deferring between April 1 and May 1; no fee if prior to April 1) will be assessed upon enrolling in a future program. We are only able to offer the deferred enrollment option for one year and only to the participant or a participant’s sibling. The refund and cancellation policies in place at the time of your deferment will apply for one year. After one year, the current refund and cancellation policies will apply. For instance, deferment to a future program on March 15th would subject only the regular non-refundable $500 enrollment deposit to cancellation penalty until March 15th one year later with any additional tuition payments fully refundable up until that time. On March 16th, (one year and one day from your deferment) you would enter whatever Sustainable Summer’s current refund and cancellation policies are at that time.

Cancellation of Program: All tuition payments less the non-refundable enrollment deposit are fully refundable up to April 1st. Tuition payments less the non-refundable enrollment deposit and a $500 cancellation fee are refundable up to May 1st. There are no refunds after May 1st.

Deferred Enrollment: Deferring enrollment to a Sustainable Summer program in the next calendar year is allowed up to April 1st without penalty or fee. Between April 1st and May 1st, deferment is allowed for a $500 fee. After May 1st, deferred enrollment is not allowed and there are no tuition refunds.

NOTE: Tuition rates for future programs may increase and you are not grandfathered into a rate. Any tuition previously paid will post as a credit to your account and any fees ($500 if deferring between April 1 and May 1; no fee if prior to April 1) will be assessed upon enrolling in a future program. We are only able to offer the deferred enrollment option for one year and only to the participant or a participant’s sibling. The refund and cancellation policies in place at the time of your deferment will apply for one year. After one year, the current refund and cancellation policies will apply. For instance, deferment to a future program on March 15th would subject only the regular non-refundable $500 enrollment deposit to cancellation penalty until March 15th one year later with any additional tuition payments fully refundable up until that time. On March 16th, (one year and one day from your deferment) you would enter whatever Sustainable Summer’s current refund and cancellation policies are at that time.

Change of Program: If you would like to change to a different Sustainable Summer program, for any reason, you can do so without penalty up to April 1st, subject to availability. Between April 1st and May 1st, change of program to another Sustainable Summer program in the same calendar year is allowed for a $250 fee, subject to availability.  After May 1st, change of program is not allowed and there are no tuition refunds.

Participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from campus. Most students are either dropped off on campus by car or arrive by plane to a major airport. We do not coordinate airport transfers for students traveling by plane, but will provide detailed information about suggested airports and ground transportation options. We also compile all student travel information and share with participants to enable to students to meetup and travel together. If you plan to arrive to a program by plane and are concerned about ground transportation logistics, please have a look at the FAQs for your program of interest for additional details.

You will need to be accepted and enrolled in a program, so the first step is to apply. If you are accepted and enroll in a program, we will provide the visa support documentation you need. Please note, you will enter the US on a B-2 visitor visa, not a “student” visa. Comprehensive visa information will be provided upon acceptance.

How much does the program cost?

We operate on a tiered tuition model, which makes our participation in our programs accessible to families from across the socioeconomic spectrum. Please see our tuition page for additional information.

How do I enroll at the “tuition assistance’ level?

Once admitted to a program, there is a two-step enrollment process. First, the student reviews and acknowledges our Essential Eligibility Criteria. An enrollment email will then be sent to the student’s parent. Parents select their tuition tier during this step in the enrollment process. Enrolling at the “tuition assistance” level (20% discount on tuition) requires no additional documentation or application. It is offered based on the honor system. Please read more about our tiered tuition model for guidelines on choosing a tier.

What’s included in the cost of tuition?

Tuition includes all accommodations, meals, activities, curriculum and instruction, local transportation (excluding airport transfers), pre-program materials and support, gratuities, and contributions to service projects. Scholarships and financial aid are available.

 

Most participants come alone. In fact, most years we do not have any participants that know each other on any program we run. With that said, if you and a friend both want to apply, go for it!

Yes. We usually have a few students every summer that participate in two or more sessions with us.

We are able to accept students from any location worldwide, although if you are applying from outside the United States there may be special visa and insurance requirements as part of your participation. Please contact us prior to submitting your application if you have any concerns or questions.

We welcome applicants for scholarships and financial aid. Applicants interested in applying for a Sustainable Summer scholarship should click here to read about our financial aid opportunities prior to submitting an application.

You must be at least 15 years of age and no more than 18 years of age on the program start date to participate. We are able to accept students from any location worldwide, although if you are applying from outside the United States there may be special visa and insurance requirements as part of your participation.

Get Started