Will SLAI offer an online option in 2023?

SLAI will be taking place solely in person, on Carleton’s campus, for the summer of 2023. We look forward to welcoming Summer Carls to live and learn on campus during the 3 weeks of the institute (July 9 – 28, 2023).

Visit the Summer at Carleton page for more information about life on campus, and check out our programs for 2023.

Will a COVID-19 vaccination be required to attend SLAI?

All incoming participants, students, faculty, and staff are strongly recommended to get vaccinated for COVID-19. This vaccination will no longer be required for SLAI participants.

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be expected to inform SLAI professional staff of their illness and follow CDC guidance on isolation and masking.

We will continue to follow COVID-mitigation protocols. Please reference our Release & Waiver forms for more information.

Please reach out to our office at with any questions about our COVID policies for the summer.

What’s the difference between SLAI and CLAE?

Though both the Summer Liberal Arts Institute and the Carleton Liberal Arts Experience are summer programs for high school students, there are some key differences. Both programs are immersive, residential programs that focus on the liberal arts and each requires their own application to be considered for admission. When you apply, double check that you are applying to the correct program!


Summer Liberal Arts Institute

  • For rising HS juniors and seniors
  • 3 weeks long
  • Has a program cost with need-based scholarships available
  • Open to students of any background
  • Houses the following programs:
    • Computer Science
    • Humanities
    • Neuroscience
    • Political Science
    • STEM
    • Storytelling
    • Sustainability
  • Run by the Summer Liberal Arts Institute office
  • Visit the SLAI Website


Carleton Liberal Arts Experience

  • For rising HS juniors only
  • 1 week long
  • Fully funded program with no cost to attend
  • CLAE is intended for students who identify as Black or African American, or who have an interest in African American culture.
  • Run by the Carleton Admissions office
  • Visit the CLAE Website


When are applications due?

For 2022, there will be two rounds of application review. Students who apply by the Round 1 deadline will be the first applicants reviewed for program spots and receive their admission decision in March. Round 2 applicants will fill the remaining spots in the program and receive their admissions decisions in April. Any applications submitted after the final deadline of March 7 will be considered on a rolling basis as full pay applications if program space permits.

Important Dates

  • March 3, 2023
    • Round 2 (Final) Application Deadline
  • July 9 – 28, 2023
    • Pre-College Program Dates

View the requirements for your application type to make sure you have submitted all necessary documents before the deadline.

When will I receive my admissions decision?

Admission decisions will be sent through email approximately 1 month after the application deadline. Our review process is lengthy, as we have faculty and SLAI staff thoroughly review each application. After review, all decisions are made by an admissions committee. We appreciate your patience as we collect documents and review applications.

How selective is SLAI?

Our pre-college programs are built for motivated and high-achieving students. We are selective in our application process, as students are reviewed by Carleton faculty and staff before their application is discussed by the admission committee. Some programs are more competitive than others, so please reach out to our office at if you have questions about a specific program.


How much does SLAI cost?

Our program cost is all-inclusive, and will be $4,300 for all 2023 programs. View our Costs page for further details and to view our cancellation policy. Scholarships are available for students with financial need.

Are scholarships available?

Yes! SLAI prioritizes the elimination of social and financial barriers that can impact access to high quality educational opportunities. Therefore, applicants with financial need are strongly encouraged to apply for scholarship support. Need-based scholarship applicants may identify with the following groups: low and middle income, DACA, first generation, and underrepresented demographic groups. If you question your eligibility for a need-based scholarship, please contact our office at


How heavy is the SLAI academic workload?

The program courses will keep students challenged and busy to emulate a college academic experience. Students should expect to have homework each night of the program on top of class and research during the day. If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry! We have teaching assistants and dedicated faculty to help you.

Each faculty member has different work expectations, so it is difficult to say the total amount of work that will be assigned. However, successful completion of the 3 week program awards the student 6 Carleton credits, a fact the faculty take very seriously when considering their projects and assignments.

When will I be able to specify my research preferences?

Upon acceptance and confirmation of attendance, students in the Computer Science and Humanities programs will be able to fill out a research preference form. We will take your selections into consideration and you will receive your placement either when you arrive on campus or after your first morning of class. While we aim to put every student in their first choice, we cannot guarantee placement in your first choice.

Life on Campus

Do I need to bring spending money to SLAI?

Along with housing, meals, and laundry, all program activities and field trips are included in the cost of tuition to level the playing field for students. Students still often bring extra spending money for small trips to downtown Northfield or for shopping during free time. If spending money is out of reach for you, we encourage you to reach out to SLAI staff at, and we will help arrange a solution.

Need more information? Send your question to; we’re happy to help!