Will SLAI offer an online option in 2024?

SLAI will be taking place solely in person, on Carleton’s campus, for the summer of 2024. We look forward to welcoming Summer Carls to live and learn on campus during the 3 weeks of the institute (July 6 – 26, 2024).

Visit the Summer at Carleton page for more information about life on campus, and check out our programs for 2024.

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 from all backgrounds with programs in many topics
  • Houses the following programs:
    • Computer Science
    • Humanities
    • Neuroscience
    • Reimagining Society
    • STEM
    • Storytelling
  • Run by the Summer Liberal Arts Institute office
  • Visit the SLAI Website


Carleton Liberal Arts Experience

  • For rising HS seniors only (updated in 2024!)
  • 1 week long
  • Fully funded program with no cost to attend
  • Designed for students who identify as Black or African American, or who have an interest in African American culture
  • Course content centered in African American Studies
  • Run by the Carleton Admissions office
  • Visit the CLAE Website


When are applications due?

For 2024, there will be two rounds of applications. The first round deadline is February 5th, and our second round deadline is March 11th. Students applying for financial aid must submit by March 11th, and any applications received after March 11th will only be considered on a rolling basis if program space allows.

Important Dates

  • December 15, 2023
    • Application Opens
  • February 5, 2024
    • 1st Round Application Deadline
  • March 11, 2024
    • 2nd (Final) Round Application Deadline
  • July 6 – 26, 2024
    • 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 $4,500 for all 2024 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!