You’ve Got Questions.

We’ve got answers to our most commonly asked questions immediately below. Explore the other tabs if you don’t find what you’re looking for, or give us a call at 646-504-5046.

Who is the program for? Students age 15 – 18 that are current freshman, sophomores, and juniors in high school (or the international equivalent) and demonstrably 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).

Is there an application deadline? Students can apply during any admissions round. We recommend that interested candidates apply during the “priority” round to secure a place in the program since later rounds may not have availability or be more selective. 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.

Will I be accepted? 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 the program. The application process is intended to help us assess your foundational knowledge in the subject matter and also to help us understand how you’ll fit in and contribute to our community.

What is the tuition? We operate on a tiered tuition model. Please see here for additional information.

What can you tell me about getting to the program? We coordinate airport transfers for students traveling by plane. Many students arrive to campus by car, and train and bus are also possible.

Please see the other tabs for additional information. Or call 646-504-5046 with any questions.

Tuition Payment Options & Terms

Application fee

There is a non-refundable $35 application fee, payable online by credit card (Visa, MC, Amex), to continue the admissions process.

Enrollment deposit

$500. Non-refundable once a student has been given medical clearance (7 days or less from enrollment)*. Payable online by credit card at the time of enrollment. Only the initial deposit is payable by credit card.

Tuition balance

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 2.9% 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 2.9% processing fee or by wire transfer plus a $25 bank servicing fee.

Cancellation and Refund Policies

All cancellation and other change of program notifications must be received in writing. No exceptions.

Refund Policies

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.

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 or any early enrollment discounts unless your original enrollment was during an early enrollment period. 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.

Policies for Early Enrollments

These terms apply only to participants that enroll during our “early” admissions round. (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.

Application FAQs

We encourage all eligible students with an interest in sustainability to submit an application to Sustainable Summer. You must be a high school student at least 15 years of age and no more than 18 years of age on the program start date to participate. For example, if you turn 15 on June 1st and the program start date is June 28th, then you are eligible. If you turn 15 on August 1st you would be ineligible. Graduated seniors are eligible to participant in any of our global learning programs, although we typically recommend one of our 21-day programs for current seniors, which tend to be a better fit for older students than our shorter options. We do not enroll graduated seniors in our Environmental Leadership Academy.

Most participants come alone. On our global learning programs, students are permitted to travel with one friend (although we do not permit groups of three or more) and we will allow no more than one pair of friends in any group, admitted on a first come, first served basis. For our pre-college programs, we limit groups of friends to no more than four.

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. If you have any questions about visas and eligibility for non-US citizens, please email international@sustainablesummer.org prior to submitting your application.

Recommended Application Timelines for our Environmental Leadership Academies

Students are encouraged to apply during one of our priority round. Generally speaking, admissions during our “regular” round is much more competitive. Applying during our “late” round usually means hoping for a waitlist spot to free up.

nvironmental Leadership Academy

Yes. We usually have a few students every summer that participate in one of our global learning programs and one of our campus-based programs in the US.

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.

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, pre-program materials and support, and supplies.

What’s NOT included in the cost of tuition?

Tuition does not include transportation to the program (notably, ground transport from Boston Logan to Hanover, if applicable, is a $62 round trip fare), insurance, and personal expenses such as laundry, snacks, and souvenirs.