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Cornell University

Pre-Collegiate Summer Scholars Program

Three students walking on a warm summer day

The Pre-Collegiate Summer Scholars Program (PSSP) offers selected students the opportunity to spend seven weeks experiencing Cornell University’s rich academic life. The program is coordinated by the Learning Strategies Center in conjunction with the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives, the New York State Opportunities Programs, the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment, and the University’s undergraduate colleges.  Students live in a small and diverse residential community where they meet faculty, staff, and other students. They learn about the campus and the variety of resources that support academic achievement and are introduced to the wide range of extracurricular activities available at Cornell. 

Each of the seven colleges at Cornell selects students during the admissions process who they believe will benefit from the many ways PSSP assists them in their transition to Cornell to participate in the program. While at Cornell in the summer, students are involved in many of the same activities as first-year students who matriculate in the fall. Students are enrolled in coursework comparable in rigor to the courses during the academic year. Students take two or three Cornell courses, and participate in a variety of formal and informal activities throughout the program. Formal activities are aimed at introducing students to the systems and resources within the university, such as career services, specific college/school resources, Cornell Health, financial aid, and bursar. The goal of informal activities is to assist students in becoming acquainted with each other and to foster a sense of belonging on campus. 

Over 6,500 students have participated in the Pre-Collegiate Summer Scholars Program since its inception. Previous participants have reported overwhelmingly that their participation in the program was extremely valuable in helping them become familiar with the Cornell campus, the Ithaca community, and the various resources available to them as students. Additionally, friendships begun during the summer have proven to be enduring ones, often providing the social support network useful for long term success at Cornell.