Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the dates of the program?
A: The Welch Summer Scholar Program is a five-week summer program. The program typically begins on the first Sunday in June and ends in the second week of July. The summer 2018 program will run from Sunday, June 3rd to Friday, July 6th.
Q: How can I apply for the program?
A: Visit the "How To Apply" page to see a complete list of the required application elements and information on accessing our online application and nomination forms.
Q: Can I apply to participate in the program at a particular site (Dallas, Arlington, Austin, Lubbock, Houston)?
A: No. The site designations are decided by the program's staff and site directors based on a variety of factors.
Q: Who is eligible to participate in the program?
A: Rising juniors and seniors currently enrolled in a Texas high school or home schooled in Texas are eligible to apply and participate in the program. In other words, students who are sophomores or juniors at the time of application are eligible, while students who are freshman or seniors at the time of application are not eligible.
Q: How much does the program cost?
A: There is no cost attached to this program. It is a scholarship program and all necessary expenses are met by the sponsor of the program. These expenses include room and board, in-town transportation, laboratory expenses, books and study materials, computer and library access, and recreational activities. Personal expenses are the responsibility of the participant.
Q: Can I get college credit from this program?
Q: Will the research paper I write at WSSP qualify me for science fairs and competitions?
A: While we applaud the successes of our WSSP alums at prestigious science competitions, and while the research WSSP participants take part has formed the basis of science fair projects (and major awards), we do not guarantee that students' research will be available to them for presentation in competitions or fairs. We encourage students to focus on the program itself when participating. After the program, if you are interested in presenting your work elsewhere, you are required to work directly with your research mentor or faculty member to ensure that the research is represented accurately as a whole -- the faculty member must have final say on title and content -- and does not infringe upon his or her ongoing research work and publication schedule.
Q: Does the Welch Summer Scholar Program practice rolling admissions?
A: No. All applications are reviewed only after the posted application deadline.
Q: Can one of the people writing a letter of recommendation for me also be my nominator?
A: No. The nominator should be someone who is not writing a letter of recommendation. In other words, three separate people will be needed to complete these requirements: two people to serve as recommenders and one to serve as nominator.
Q: Do you accept ACT scores in lieu of PSAT or SAT scores?
A: No. We do not currently accept ACT scores.
Q: What is the format for the letters of recommendation?
A: We do not have any formal guidelines for the recommendation letters nor do we require that they contain any specific pieces of information (though we do assume that your recommenders will include your name, the name of your high school, and basic information about how they are acquainted with you and your academic work). Recommendation letters should follow the conventions of a typical letter of support and should contain your recommenders' assessments of your academic performance, personal character, and readiness for participation in our program. There is no form associated with the letter of recommendation, nor does the Welch Summer Scholar Program contact the recommenders listed on your application to ask for recommendation letters or provide submission instructions. As the applicant, you are responsible for contacting and giving instructions for submission to your recommenders.
Q: Do application items need to be submitted together all at once, or can I submit them one at a time? Is there a particular order in which items should be submitted?
A: Though you may choose to submit all of your application items at the same time, it is not required. Items may be submitted individually and in any order. Items will be added to your application file as they are received.
Q: Can I be absent from the program to participate in or attend other programs or events?
A: In some cases, yes. Normally we require that our students be fully committed to the program and remain in residence for the entire five weeks and participate in all activities. We cannot accept students who have commitments to other programs that overlap the dates of operation of the Welch Summer Scholar Program. However, we do allow students to be absent for certain types of events. If the event in question is academic or school-related (e.g. a school ceremony, a science fair, recital, or academic competition), was scheduled in advance of the start of the program and cannot be rescheduled, and will not require the student to be absent from the program for more than 1 to 2 weekdays, we will normally grant permission for an absence. Permission for absences must be obtained from the site director BEFORE the start of the program.
Q: Are home school students eligible to apply for the program?
A: Yes, we welcome application from home school students. Note that while we will accept nominations from the parents of home school students, we do not accept recommendation letters from parents or family members. Suggestions for letter writers might be a teacher or councilor the student has interacted with through an online program, a community college, or even something like a local museum; supervisors from jobs or volunteer work; a coach of an organized sport; or teachers/instructors of some activity like music, dance, art, etc. Please keep in mind that the student's academic performance is generally clear from the PSAT/SAT scores and grades. We rely on the recommendations to tell us more about who the person actually is: how the applicant works with other people, how they set goals and then follow through to achieve them, how a program like WSSP fits into other activities and achievements, that kind of thing. These are qualities which many people besides a traditional classroom teacher or guidance councilor should be able to speak about in your daughter.
Contact us with your questions, and we'll add them (and their answers) to this section for others' reference!