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EXCITING NEWS: Our Application Deadline has been extended to June 1st! Admission is rolling, don't miss out, apply for one of our Summer Pre-College Programs Today!

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Want to take a class or two and get a taste of what it is like to study at Tufts University? This program allows motivated high school students to enroll in Tufts Undergraduate-level courses, studio art workshops, and (during the summer) capstone College Prep workshops. This program is flexible allowing you to take only the classes you need to meet your academic goals.

In Summer 2020, all courses and workshops will be held on Tufts Virtual Campus. No on-campus courses will be offered.

Note: this page represents our best expectations for the program we will deliver this summer, but due to the ever-evolving situation, is subject to change. We will update this page as new information becomes available.

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  • Top-ranked University with an engaging Virtual Campus
  • Earn college credit from a list of nearly 60 Undergraduate-level courses, most taught by Tufts faculty
  • Get help with Standardized Test Prep or College Essay Writing (limited space)
  • Attend our hallmark College Prep 101 Workshop that
    • Teaches students the skills they need to succeed in college (and life) and
    • Explores some of our country’s leading Universities through Virtual Campus Tours (expected 2020 schools include: Tufts, Harvard, Northeastern, Boston College, Wentworth, Emerson, and Amherst with more schools to be named)
  • Make lifelong friends with students from all over the world!

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  • Excellent academic experience
  • Earn Tufts Credit*
  • Official Tufts transcript upon request
  • Enhanced understanding of studying and life at college
  • Skills to navigate the Undergraduate experience

* Upon passing a course taken for credit

My son got to experience college-level studies and environment -- he was the only high school student in his class and that was a good thing. He operated independently was not in a "camp" for high school students.

The small class size provided my child opportunity to take risks that are not easy to do in a larger classroom of 20+ students in the public school, e.g., actively participating in discussions - sharing and testing out her thoughts and knowledge with a group. The expertise of the instructor was also appreciated and his respectful treatment of the intelligence of his students well noted. Being in a college campus that felt new or different and yet familiar provided much excitement and assurance to my child. The campus also does not feel isolated from the community, and yet provides spatial and emotional security through its landscape, location, and its ever-present-yet-unobtrusive security force

[My student] was very engaged and self-directed while taking the course.  She was always excited to attend the classes.  While she is normally a very good student she seemed to be more enthusiastic about this course than any other.

I like the freedom and the fact that this felt a lot like college… Additionally, I was really fond of my classes and my professor. The classes were amazing and it was a new and better learning experience for me

It is a complete introduction to college life… You enjoy every bit of time, you are free and helped by everyone around you, nothing is competitive you seem to grow in a peaceful environment.

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Courses

The foundation of the program is the opportunity to take courses at Tufts University. Students have the opportunity to build their own course schedule from our extensive list of lecture courses, with something for every student! Students may choose from courses offered in departments in the School of Arts & Sciences, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and the School of Engineering. High school students may take between 4 and 10 credits during a term and an unlimited number of workshops. Like real Undergraduate students, Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers students are responsible for attending classes or workshops each day and for managing their time.

In general, but not exclusively, courses will be held live via Zoom or Canvas in the meeting time listed on the course list and will generally be recorded and posted as asynchronous recordings to Canvas along with digital discussion boards so that all students can participate. Some courses will have required synchronous elements and these should be confirmed with the instructor on the first day of classes.

Below we have described the types of courses available to our high school students through this program. Students can choose to take classes from one category or mix and match across categories. Feel free to contact courses@tufts.edu and our student success advisors can help answer basic questions about courses, scheduling, and more.

Browse Open Courses

Course Type Credit Description
Undergraduate Lectures Tufts Credit These are real Tufts University Undergraduate courses, with the majority taught by Tufts faculty. CATHS students will be in class with Tufts Undergraduate and Graduate students, giving them real exposure to the college learning environment. These courses are offered for credit, each worth between 2 and 5 credits per course. Please note that students entering Grade 11-12 are eligible to take applicable courses in the School of Arts & Sciences, School of the Museum of Fine Arts and School of Engineering; Grade 10 students are only eligible to take applicable School of the Museum of Fine Arts lecture courses.
Pre-College Lectures Tufts Credit [Summer Only] These are college-level courses that are designed specifically for high school students. As rigorous as undergraduate courses, the instructors of these courses are familiar with teaching to high school students and their pedagogical style may offer a bridge for students to a regular Undergraduate course. Pre-College lectures are offered for credit (typically 3 credits) and can be transferred into Tufts University as pre-matriculation credit (akin to the credit you get from AP courses). Students in Grade 10 are eligible to take these courses. See the full list here: Pre-College Lectures
Labs / Recitations n/a Some of the lecture courses - including many of the sciences and humanities - require either labs or recitations (or both). If your lecture course requires a lab or recitation, we will do our best to note it on our course schedule along with their days and times. Typically, these labs and recitations do not offer credit independently of the lecture with which they are associated.
Studio Art Workshops n/a The School of the Museum of Fine Arts offers both Undergraduate Lectures and special workshops, which are short - typically only a few hours long - courses designed to focus on a specific area of study. They are typically offered on weekends and are not available for credit. Students in Grade 10 are eligible to take these workshops.
College Prep 101 n/a [Summer Only] Our hallmark college prep offering, the six Friday sessions of College Prep 101 include interactive morning workshops via Zoom during which students will explore topics like career / major planning, time management, interview skills, resume building, and tips on writing an effective college essay. Each afternoon, students will attend virtual college tours and (tentatively) Q&A discussions with admissions staff at some of the many leading universities in the greater Boston area. Students will have the opportunity to submit questions to college admissions professionals in advance, if they won't be able to attend live. In addition to Tufts, schools may include area institutions such as: Amherst, Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis, Brown, Emerson, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, Simmons, and others. The virtual lunch break each day will provide students with the opportunity to interact informally with each other and members of the University College team. The program will be led by members of the senior leadership of University College.
College Prep Workshops n/a [Summer Only] Students who remain enrolled in at least one lecture course have the opportunity to select from two College Prep Workshops: Standardized Test Prep and College Admissions Essay Writing. These workshops have limited spots available, are open only to students without lectures occurring at the same time, and fill on a first come first served basis. Although they do not offer credit, students register for and attend workshops as they would any other course. 

Orientation

It is highly recommended that students attend our program Orientation during which we will review the program , discuss policies and safety, and answer questions. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to confirm their course schedules and staff will be on-hand to address any issues. The current orientation schedule is as follows in Eastern Time:

Winter '19-20 Spring '20 Summer 1 '20 Summer 2 '20 Fall '20
Dec 18 at 4pm Jan 8 at 4pm May 21 at 9am Jul 2 at 9am Aug 28 at 4pm
Dec 19 at 4pm Jan 9 at 4pm May 22 at 9am Jul 3 at 9am Aug 29 at 4pm

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Certain courses may require materials such as physical or virtual textbooks or course packets, which you will be able to find closer to the summer on your course syllabus or through the Tufts Bookstore website.

Besides this and the technology requirements listed under "Technical Needs & Support," no other materials will be necessary for participation in this program. We will, however, be mailing you some fun Tufts Pre-College Programs materials and your Certificate of Completion at the end of the program. Besides this, no materials will be necessary for participation in this program. 

Note: if you live internationally, we are not responsible if the materials we mail are delayed (which we will try to avoid) or held in customs.

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Students are required to attend all elements of the program schedule and any expected absences must be communicated to program staff in advance. Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously, even in the virtual environment. Students who enroll will receive more information about our virtual safety protocols.

Tufts makes reasonable efforts to secure background checks and to provide Title IX training to every staff person responsible for students in its Pre-College Programs.

Application Materials & Deadlines

Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers students are registering for real Undergraduate-level courses, which fill up quickly each term. We highly recommend applying to as early as possible to save a spot in your top choice courses.

Register Now

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Although we have application due dates by term, once you have submitted an application for one term, you may register (without re-applying) for any courses during the academic calendar year (Fall 2019 through Summer 2020). Please note admissions is rolling.

Note: all dates are as of 11:59PM ET

Program Application Opens Course Registration Opens Deadline: All Materials Deadline: Payment Deadline: Enrollment Forms
Fall 2019 June 16, 2019 June 1 August 21

Prior to the first day of class* (see the course listing for details)

2 weeks prior to first class* (see the course listing for details
Winter 2019-20 June 16, 2019 October 1 December 14
Spring 2020 June 16, 2019 November 25 January 2
Summer 1 2020 June 16, 2019 January 2 May 18
Summer 2 2020 June 16, 2019 January 2 June 25

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*Deadlines are driven by the specific courses students intend to enroll in. Please see the academic calendar for more details.

General Requirements

  • Entering high school grades 10-12
    • Please note that students entering grade 10 are eligible only to take Pre-College Lecture courses and SMFA Studio Art Lectures and Workshops through this program
  • Course-level eligibility and pre-requisites may apply and are typically listed in the course description

International Students

Both domestic and international students are welcome to apply to and attend our pre-college programs, although please note we cannot sponsor visas for this program.

Non-Native English Speakers

If you indicate that English is not your primary language, you will be asked to submit evidence of English Language proficiency. Please see our "How to Apply" page for details.

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Step 1: Register for courses through our student registration portal

Clicking the link above will take you to a list of courses open to our high school students through this program. If you find our course registration portal through another link or this list is not working, you can always find the courses open to high school students it by selecting "Open to High School Students" under the Course Features filter.

Registering for courses is simple!

  • Select the course you are interested in
  • Review the course details and requirements
  • Click "add to cart"
  • When you are ready, click the cart in the upper right-hand corner of your screen
  • Create an account
  • Check-out! Don't forget to indicate that you are currently in high school!

For more detailed instructions on registering through this portal, please see our "How to Register" page. Please note that, although course registration takes place before your application materials are submitted, you will be automatically withdrawn and will receive a full refund (with the exception of the non-refundable registration fee) if your materials are not received or not approved prior to the first day of classes. 

Step 2: Complete your Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers Application

After you register for your course, you will be directed to the CAT for HS application. You will also receive a link to the application by email. If for some reason you do not see the application, please let us know at courses@tufts.edu.

The application will ask you for the following information:

  • Basic personal information, including parents/guardians and emergency contact (if you are under 18, we will contact a parent for permission to enroll)
  • Contact information for 1 individual to submit a Letter of Recommendation - this individual can be a teacher, counselor, or mentor. We will contact this individual on your behalf
  • Test scores - optional, unless you must submit scores as evidence of English proficiency
  • Warrants and signatures

Step 3: Email or Mail your High School Transcript

After submitting your online application, you must contact your high school and ask them to send a transcript to us. They can send us this information in two ways: by email to precollege@tufts.edu or by mail to Tufts Pre-College Programs, 108 Packard Avenue, Medford, MA 02155.

Step 4: Parental Consent and Letter of Recommendation

As a part of your application, you will be asked to provide contact information for both a parent/guardian and a recommender. Once you submit your application, our systems will automatically email the parent/guardian and recommender you listed in the application with instructions for how to fill out the online permission or recommendation form.

Please note your application will not be considered submitted and review of your application will not begin until the materials from Step 3 and Step 4 have been received by Tufts Pre-College Programs.

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Once an applicant has submitted an application and all required admissions documents are received, the applicant will be considered for admission by the Tufts Pre-College Programs review committee for the specific program(s) to which they applied.

Decisions are made on a rolling basis and students will typically receive an official email informing them of their admissions status within 10 business days of Tufts receiving all required materials.

If you do not receive your email within two weeks of all materials being submitted, please contact us at precollege@tufts.edu or 617-627-2926.

Disclaimer: This program is not related to Tufts University Undergraduate Admissions. Participation in this program does not result in admission to a Tufts University degree program. Tufts reserves the right to admit as requested, to deny admission, or to offer provisional admission. The program will not provide feedback to applicants if admission is denied.

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Admitted students must do the following prior to the start of the program:

  • Pay your balance in full prior to the stated deadline
  • Complete all enrollment forms and/or follow-up requests prior to the stated deadline

Should the above not be completed prior to the stated deadlines, the student will be automatically withdrawn from the program.

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Tuition & Fees

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Tuition

For Credit: see individual course listing; typically $990 per Credit

Tuition is charged on a per-credit basis for most courses and the total number of course credits and the total cost of any given course will be listed on the course when you register. Most courses that are open to high school students are $990 per credit and are 3 credits each, for a total tuition cost of $2,970. Please be sure to check the cost of each course for which you are registering.

  • Includes: course tuition, test prep/essay writing workshop (limited), social activities.
  • Excludes: anything not explicitly stated above.

Audit/Non-Credit: see individual course listing; typically ranges $100-$1,300 per Course

Tuition is charged on a per course basis. Each course listing will indicate whether the course is non-credit or open for audit and what the audit rate is. The audit rate typically ranges from $100-$1,300 per course depending on the field of study. Please note that when you audit a course or take a non-credit course, you do not receive course credit, though the course will still appear on your transcript. Please be sure to check the cost of each course for which you are registering.

  • Includes: course tuition
  • Excludes: course textbooks and materials, airfare/transportation to and from class, medical insurance, required vaccinations, medical and dental expenses, and anything not explicitly stated above.

Fees

Fee Type

Cost

Application Fee $65 (Non-refundable)
Materials & Lab Fees Some courses may have materials and lab fees, which will be charged at the time of registration. Typically, these fees range from $100-$500.
Late Registration Fee A Late Registration Fee will be added to a registration that is submitted to the university on or after the first day of the course session ($50 until the close of the Add/Drop period, $100 thereafter).
Late Payment Fee A Late Payment Fee will be applied to student balances that remain on or after the first day of the course session. This amount will be 1.5% of the balance, and will be compounded monthly.

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Refund Policies

Billing & Payment Policies

All Policies

Financial Aid

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Tufts Pre-College Programs are committed to welcoming students from all backgrounds to Tufts’ campus. Although we have only limited financial aid available, we do our best to distribute the funds to students for whom it can make the greatest difference in their ability to attend.

Financial aid is only available for this program for courses that are offered during the Summer Session (May - August).

During the summer, financial aid is distributed through a very limited number of scholarships, typically covering 75—100% of the program fee based on demonstrated need. We typically distribute two awards in February and will continue to issue awards in March and April, until all available funds have been distributed.

Please note, international students are not eligible for financial aid at this time. Families should expect to contribute to the remaining portion of the program cost as well as other expenses like travel, books, etc

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  1. Complete the course registration and program application process outlined above
  2. Submit a Financial Aid Application to summer@tufts.edu.
    1. Deadlines. Submit by the dates below to be considered for that month’s review cycle. Submissions will not be considered after available funds have been distributed.
      1. First deadline: submit by February 21
  3. We will review your financial aid application only after you have been admitted to the programOnce admitted, your financial aid application will be considered for the next monthly aid award(s).
  4. If you receive an award
    1. You will be notified by email of the amount of the award
    2. You will have 10 days (including weekends and holidays) to accept the award by completing your Financial Aid Award form and submitting your deposit
    3. Tufts Pre-College Programs will then credit your student account with the amount of financial aid you received
    4. Please note: Your enrollment in the program is still contingent on payment of any remaining balance after the award is applied to your account, and on receiving your enrollment forms
  5. If you do not receive an award, your application will be automatically considered in the next application cycle, unless funds are no longer available.
  6. Once all of our funds have been distributed, we will notify all remaining applicants.

Financial Aid Application

Policies

Please see the policies section of this website for a complete list of applicable policies.

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We endeavor to make each moment of the student experience at Tufts memorable for our students. Tufts Virtual Campus brings new meaning to this as we strive to recreate the critical learning and social environment students expect from Tufts University through digital tools. Tufts Virtual campus exists on a series of software platforms to which students will have full access during their program. In particular, the following two platforms will be used for the majority of our activities:

  • Zoom: allows students to connect for lectures, webinars, breakout sessions, one-on-one mentoring, phone calls, chat sessions ... and more!
  • Canvasprovides a collaborative space for course content, assignments, and grading. Many programs will host course material (syllabus, readings, review questions, etc.) on a Canvas course site.

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    Tufts Virtual Campus programs are being designed to provide high-quality, flexible, and interactive experiences to our students. We are carefully designing them to have the same academic rigor and expectations for teaching, studying, and achievement as their on-campus counterparts. The benefits of learning in a virtual environment include giving students greater freedom to interact with course content (lectures, presentations, discussions, forums, etc.) on a schedule that works for them, using a wider network of resources to achieve educational goals.

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      As we are learning from this period of quarantine, virtual interaction can approximate, but rarely replaces in-person interaction. With that said, technology offers us with tremendous opportunities to facilitate various kinds of social interaction that allow us to instantly connect students from around the world in the environments in which they thrive. We will be hosting a variety of virtual social experiences for students to interact with each other within their program and across programs! We firmly believe your ability to make new friends from around the world will not be hindered by the virtual environment!

      Technical Needs & Support

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      Students will need access to the following in order to participate in this program:

      • Computer: either a Mac or PC with the following
        • Mac - running at least OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) 
        • PC - running Windows 7/8/10. Users on Windows 10 will have to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
      • Smart Phone: any phone capable of accessing social media platforms like Instagram
      • Internet Access: A reliable, high-speed (cable or broadband) internet connection is required. Students are expected to log into Zoom and Canvas and to check email daily, and will need regular and reliable access to the internet.
        • If you do not have reliable access to internet, programs may have internet hotspots available for students with demonstrated financial need. While this cannot be guaranteed, and supplies may be limited, please check with your program for availability. 
      • Web Camera: either integrated into your computer or external, set-up and working
      • Web Browser: one of the following browsers updated for the latest updates: 
        • Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Safari.
      • Software: programs capable of

      We will provide you will access to other software that is required for your program for the duration of your program. As long as you have technology that meets the above requirements, you should have no trouble accessing the software. Depending on the program, this software will include Zoom and Canvas.

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      Most programs will send software in advance with instructions to complete a trial-run before the program begins. We will also use orientation time to ensure everyone is connected and comfortable! 

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      Critical university emails will go to your Tufts email address. You can access your Tufts email through a web‐based email reader used to manage your Tufts email. It includes calendar and contact management tools as well. You must read Tufts University email, since this is the primary way that the university will send you information about registration and payment. Access Tufts Exchange via this link.

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      First, please try contacting the Pre-College staff at 617-627-2926.

      If they cannot answer your question, they will pass you along to our technical support team who is available 24x7 to students who are actively enrolled in a program.

      Social Activities

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      Tufts Pre-College Programs staff is developing a series of virtual social activities throughout the program so that students can meet each other across programs and so that students from all time zones can participate. Here is our tentative schedule to-date:

      • Morning Meetups: start (or end) your day by catching-up with your classmates and classroom assistants about current events, last night's late night show, recent lectures or events over breakfast! Tentatively scheduled for M / W / F 8-8:45am ET
      • Lunch & Learns: join your peers from around the world to discuss an interesting topic in a staff-led discussion every Tuesday 12-12:45pm ET. Can't attend live? No problem, we'll post recordings so you can view them later!
      • Trivia Night: Thursday nights at 9PM ET are for trivia! Unwind with your classmates and some friendly competition. Students who cannot play live will be able to form teams and submit their answers (timed!) digitally in advance. We will be keeping a running scoreboard across teams throughout the summer!
      • Wellness Courses: To get you moving and feeling your best, attend at-home guided meditation, yoga, or other workout classes, offered Saturdays at 9AM ET. These will be recorded so you can attend them later as well.
      • Game Club: Create teams and play games like Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, Chess, and more. Teams will make moves when on their own time and games will play out over the course of the program or summer. 

      And more! Look out for a social events calendar that may include a virtual talent show, dance party, cooking classes, photo challenges, scavenger hunts, 'quarenTHEME' spirit days, museum tours, and more!

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      Most programs will offer independent study time for students in a shared (and monitored) "Common Rooms" "Studio Spaces" or "Study Rooms" that will allow students to work in the company of their peers, sharing questions and chatting.

      Many programs are also planning their own program-specific activities, often thematically relevant to the program content itself. Look out for these activities in the program description above and in the information provided after you enroll!

      Attending Outside the Eastern Time Zone

      If you live on the West Coast or internationally, you may be wondering how you will be able to participate in this program. Please know that Tufts sees a diversity of geographical perspectives as not just beneficial but essential to a twenty-first century education. We have been working hard with our staff to ensure all students who are offered a spot in the program will be able to attend - whether in live or recorded sessions. We have done our best to note places where we feel there is an incremental benefit to live attendance and will be focusing our efforts on these parts of the schedule. All of the below is tentative and subject to change as we seek improved ways of our students needs and have a better sense of the geographic distribution of our students. 

      Students should always feel free to get in touch with program staff at any point to let us know how we can best accommodate the challenges of distance learning and we will make reasonable efforts to accommodate where possible.

      Tentative Accommodations

      Virtual Courses: We expect that the majority of courses will be held synchronously via Zoom in their stated time slot, but that they will generally be recorded and posted to Canvas for all to attend. Typically, courses involving discussion sections will have digital discussion boards in addition to verbal synchronous discussion. In general, we expect it to be your choice as to whether you attend at the synchronous time or complete the lectures and discussions asynchronously. These opportunities should be confirmed directly with the instructor on the first day of classes. Note that some courses may require synchronous time (e.g., language recitations) and that seminars and recitations often benefit from live participation.

      • Note that courses listed as 'asynchronous' are recorded and on-demand for all students (not just those outside ET)

      Online Courses: Courses that are listed as Online are typically (though not exclusively) asynchronous online courses, developed using best practice digital learning platforms like Canvas.

      Exams: Some courses may require synchronous, proctored exams. You should check with your instructor on the first day of classes to determine whether this is the case.

      College Prep 101 / Test Prep / Admissions Essay Writing: These workshops will be held synchronously via Zoom and recorded and posted for asynchronous viewing along with digital discussion boards. Students who cannot attend synchronously will be able to submit questions via a digital discussion board in advance of each session! Limited space available.

      Orientation and Closing Ceremony: Will be held live via Zoom and recorded and posted to Canvas. We do strongly encourage all students to try to attend live. Students will be required to watch the orientation even if they do not attend live and will need to complete a short quiz about covered contents.

      Social Activities: We will be offering virtual social activities at different times throughout the day or night (to the extent possible) so that students from across time zones will be able to participate! Some activities, like our virtual board games, will be played throughout the program - with moves made by players and teams when they can check in.

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