Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the dates of the program?

A: The summer 2020 program will run from Sunday, June 7 to Friday, July 10.                                 

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 along with further detailed information.

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?

Applicants must be a current sophomore or junior at the time of application. Current seniors (i.e. students who are seniors at the time of application) are NOT eligible to participate in the Welch Summer Scholar Program.

Q: How much does the program cost?

A: There is no cost to participate in the Welch Summer Scholar Program.  It is a scholarship program and all necessary expenses are met by the Robert A. Welch Foundation.  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?

A: No.

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 I be absent from the program to participate in or attend other programs or events?

A: No. 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. 

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.