Below are answers to questions incoming students and their parents have raised about Summer Institute. If you still have questions after reviewing this section, please contact your academic advisor or email the Summer Institute Planning Team.

What is the Summer Institute?

The Summer Institute is a three-week introduction to liberal arts learning at Lawrence University. Each fall, just prior to new student orientation, new Lawrentians participate in a credit-earning curriculum including the SI Seminar – based on the First Year Studies model of close reading, discussion, and writing; and Students can choose an elective from a few options. The previous years’ electives included Starting STEM Savvy and Collaborative Practice: Dance + Place.

SI participants will learn how to leverage Lawrence’s resources to achieve success through co-curricular programming. SI participants will get to have fun with their classmates and learn what Lawrence and Appleton have to offer. SI is a program for any student who believes they would benefit from getting to campus early and adjusting to college life and the academic rigor of college.

Who should apply?

SI is a program for any student who believes they would benefit from getting to campus early and adjusting to college life and the academic expectations of collegeSI is particularly beneficial for students who want to learn about the workload and expectations at Lawrence, want a head start to their college experience, want more time to adjust and settle into the college experience, and students who took a gap year.  

How much does participation in the Summer Institute cost?

Please be aware that the actual cost to students will vary, students may be eligible for 100% ,75% or 50% discount (scholarships). For information about your specific program cost, please refer to your invitation letter.

  • Program Costs 2024 – Tuition: $1,120 + Room: $525 + Board (Meals): $620 = Total: $2,265
  • Program Costs 2024 International - Tuition: $1,120 + Room: $525+ Board (Meals): $620+ Insurance Estimate: ~$122= Total: $2,387

Are scholarships or financial aid available for the Summer Institute?

Yes, scholarships range from $900 up to the full cost of the program. There are financial need-based and application-based scholarships for Summer Institute.  Need-based scholarships are based on the financial aid application submitted at the time of admission, and scholarships based on a student’s application materials are based on a demonstrated need for the Summer Institute programStudents should indicate on their Summer Institute application that they would like to be considered for a scholarshipMany students attend Summer Institute with a partial or full scholarship—which greatly reduces the cost of attendance.    

How are students selected to participate in the Summer Institute?

Lawrence invites all new students to express their interest in participating in SI and to provide their reasons for wanting to participate – be they academic, social, or personal. Due to the limited number of spaces available, SI is limited to 60 students, Lawrence is not able to invite all interested students to participate.

Will there be free time?  What will the schedule look like?

While attendance at all classes and co-curricular events are expected throughout SI, students have plenty of personal, free timeAdditionally, throughout SI there are social events in which participation is encouraged but is not requiredPlease see the draft schedule that displays sample class schedule, co-curricular events, and social events.  


If you've read enough and want to enroll in Summer Institute follow the link above. If you still have questions, check out our FAQ page.

What happens if an interested student is not invited to the Summer Institute?

Don't worry, there are resources available to help all students succeed during the academic year at Lawrence. These resources include peer-tutoring, writing and discussion workshops, academic success courses and specialists, academic counseling, and the Con Brio Music Theory E-Course for music students. Students should speak with their academic (faculty) advisor early in the Fall Term to express their interest in any of these resources.

Does participation in the Summer Institute affect a student's college admission status?

Not at all. The Summer Institute has no bearing on a student's enrollment. Since participants have already been admitted to Lawrence through the university's competitive admissions process, we are confident that they possess the potential to thrive at Lawrence. The Summer Institute is just one of many supports in place to help students reach their full potential as Lawrence students.

Can students earn academic credit through the Summer Institute?

Yes, after successful completion of the two SI courses, participants earn six academic credits, which can be applied towards graduation.

Do students have to stay on campus during the weekends OR between the end of the program on Friday, Sept. 6th and beginning of New Student Orientation on Monday, Sept. 9th?

During the Summer Institute, all students must reside on the Lawrence University campus. If students have a prior commitment that falls during one of the SI weekends, they should discuss this commitment with the Directors of the Summer Institute. After the completion of SI on Sept 6th, students are allowed to leave campus and return Sept 9th for the start of New Student Orientation. Any activities starting the evening of Sept 6th through the morning of Sept 10th are optional.

Who can provide more information about the Summer Institute?

Prospective students, applicants, and new matriculates should contact their Lawrence Admissions counselor for more information regarding the Summer Institute.

If you still have questions after reviewing FAQs and contacting an Academic Advisor, please email the Summer Institute Planning Team.

Can international students participate in the Summer Institute?

Yes! International students are also invited to participate in the Summer Institute alongside their fellow new, first-year peers. The only distinction is that international students may be enrolled in a specific seminar section aimed at multilingual learners, with help to support students transitioning into English-speaking courses. There may also be additional costs for insurance for international students as well. Review information on Summer Institute for International Students.

Do students choose their courses?

Students will be automatically placed into one of several SI Seminar sections, but will be asked which afternoon course most interests them during the application process. Review the list of courses.

Where will students live during the Summer Institute?

Upon arrival on campus, most or all of SI students will move directly into their fall term housing assignments.  As construction work finishes on campus, there should be no need for them to move again before the school year begins unless directly contacted by one of the SI directors. If a student is required to move to a temporary room, they will be contacted about this as soon as possible.

What is your COVID-19 policy for Summer Institute?

You can see our current status, policy, and precautions on our COVID-19 website