General FAQ’s

Will SLAI take place in person for 2021?

For the health and safety of our students, their families, and the campus community, we will be operating our 2021 summer programs virtually. Even though we won’t be together on campus, we remain committed to providing quality programming, developing connections, and sharing a true liberal arts experience for our students.

Check out our programs page to see our 5 online programs for 2021!

When are applications due?

For 2021, there will only be one round of applications. This is a change from past years. All applications to SLAI 2021 will be reviewed at the same time with a deadline of March 19th. Any applications submitted after March 19th will be considered if program space permits.

Important Dates:

  • July 6 – 10, 2021
    • Orientation Sessions
  • July 12, 2021
    • SLAI begins!
  • July 23, 2021
    • Art Program Final Symposium
  • July 30, 2021
    • Final Symposium for Humanities, Applied Sustainability, Exploring Global Pandemics, & Computer Science

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 about 1 month after the application deadline. Our review process is lengthy, as we have faculty and SLAI staff 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, and in general we encourage students to apply before the application deadline.

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 much does SLAI cost?

Tuition costs vary by program, but each tuition amount is all-inclusive. View the Costs page for details. Scholarships are available for students with financial need.

How heavy is the SLAI academic load?

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 research assistants and hands-on 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 online program awards the student 4 Carleton credits, and the 2 week program awards 3 Carleton credits (half of a full class), 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, Humanities, and Exploring Global Pandemics programs will be able to fill out a research preference form. We will take your selections into consideration, and we will email the research placements out by mid-May. While we aim to put every student in their 1st choice, we cannot guarantee placement in your 1st choice.

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2020 Deferred Admission FAQ’s

How do I know if I was deferred?

We contacted all of our deferred 2020 applicants in April, 2020. Generally, deferred admission applied to accepted sophomores (applicants who were sophomores for the 19-20 school year). If you were a Round 1 waitlisted applicant in 2020, we hope to see you reapply for SLAI 2021, but you are not eligible for deferment.

What is the timeline going forward for 2021 SLAI deferment?

Students with deferred admission will be able to participate in an abridged version of the SLAI 2021 application process: 

  • Fall 2020: SLAI staff will email students with specific instructions about deferring admission for SLAI 2021 with requests for additional materials and associated deadlines
  • January 15, 2021: SLAI 2021 Application Opens
  • March 19, 2021: Application Deadline
  • Mid-April 2021: Decision emails sent

If you are a deferred student who is interested in pursuing deferred admission to SLAI 2021 and you have not yet filled out the 2021 SLAI Deferment Form (due Jan 15), please contact our office at

What will I need to submit during the 2021 application process?

The abridged application process for our deferred students will require submission of updated materials, including an updated transcript, updated financial documents (for need-based scholarship students), and the application fee (or waiver for need-based scholarship students). We will contact students who are pursuing their deferred admission with specific instructions after the application has opened on January 15.

Can I still apply to other 2021 SLAI programs?

Yes. Your deferred admission only applies to the program designated in your acceptance email, and you are welcome to apply for other SLAI 2021 programs via the normal application process.

Will the SLAI 2021 programs offer the same course and research topics as 2020?

Due to varying faculty availability, course topics and program content may change for 2021 programs, so we encourage you to check out the program pages for updated information!

Students who were deferred from the Quantitative Reasoning program will have the opportunity to attend Exploring Global Pandemics.

What will happen to the acceptance materials I’ve submitted for SLAI 2020?

We will keep any materials you’ve submitted so far on file, but you will need to submit updated materials and forms in the spring of 2021. You do not need to continue to submit any 2020 materials.

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