What is low-income?
Income eligibility is based on many factors including, but not limited to, geographic location and family size. For more information on what is considered low-income, you can learn more here: Poverty Guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services.
I am from XX county/state. Will you make an exception?
SMYSP will only accept applications from students who live and attend high school in one of the following 20 California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Madera, Marin, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and Yolo. Exceptions to our basic eligibility requirements won't be granted.
I live in one county but attend high school in another. One of these counties is not among your list of eligible counties. May I still apply?
SMYSP will only accept applications from students who live and attend high school in one of our eligible counties. Exceptions to our basic eligibility requirements won't be granted.
Why do you restrict applications to students who live and attend high school in one of the 20 California counties listed on your website?
We recognize the great need for access to quality academic enrichment programs for all students. It is our hope that other institutions of higher learning across California and the U.S. will offer similar enrichment programs. In the meantime, SMYSP supports students in our immediate community.
I am a freshman/senior. May I still apply?
SMYSP will only accept applications from students who are sophomores or junior at the time they submit an application. If you aren't a sophomore or junior who lives and attends high school within one of the 20 counties from which we recruit, you aren't eligible to apply for SMYSP. Exceptions to our basic eligibility requirements won't be granted.
I am an extremely motivated and accomplished student, but don't meet your basic eligibility requirements. Will you make an exception?
SMYSP appreciates students who are excelling academically. However, if you don't meet our basic eligibility requirements, you aren't eligible to apply to SMYSP. Exceptions to our basic eligibility requirements won't be granted. There are many other programs at Stanford that will motivate and challenge you. Please visit Summer Institutes and the Office of Science Outreach for other excellent academic enrichment programs that Stanford offers.
I am not low-income, but I will be the first in my family to attend college. May I still apply?
All eligible applicants to SMYSP must be low-income. Many, though not all, of our students will be the first in their families to attend college.
I am low-income, but am not the first in my family to attend college. May I still apply?
All eligible applicants to SMYSP must be low-income. Many, though not all, will be first-generation college-bound students. SMYSP looks for students who have little to no previous family history of attending college.
I am not an underrepresented minority student. May I still apply?
All eligible applicants to SMYSP must be low-income. SMYSP will accept applications from any low-income student who otherwise meets our basic eligibility requirements.
I haven't taken any science or math classes where I received at least a B grade. May I still apply?
SMYSP is a rigorous academic enrichment program. Students who meet our basic eligibility requirements but may be struggling in math or science are encouraged to apply. To be admitted into our program, however, students must demonstrate an ability to meet its academic demands. It is therefore strongly suggested that students have taken science or math classes—especially biology.
I submitted an application to SMYSP and received an email saying I'm ineligible to apply. Why?
Based on the information you provided in your preliminary application, we determined that you didn't meet our basic eligibility requirements. If you feel this decision is in error, you may respond to the email you received and clearly state your case.
I am not eligible to apply to SMYSP. Are there any other programs I should consider?
Application and Review Process
If I'm not able to submit my application before the February 15 deadline because of problems out of my control, will you accept my application the next day?
Complete applications for SMYSP are due on or before February 15. We won't accept applications after this date for any reason. It is our recommendation that you submit your application early in the event that you run into any unforeseen circumstances that may or may not be in your control. For example, students have missed our application deadline because their power went out the night of February 15 just as they were about to hit the submit button. A late application is considered late and won't be accepted. Plan ahead. Submit your application early to avoid any disappointments.
I forgot to submit a response to one of the essay prompts and the deadline has passed. May I submit that essay late?
Complete applications for SMYSP are due on or before February 15. Incomplete applications won't be accepted after this date for any reason. Plan ahead.
How competitive is your program?
SMYSP typically receives 300–400 applications for 24 final placements each year. We will consider applications from students who have clearly demonstrated a motivation to learn and grow academically. However, we also recognize that not all students are in a personal situation where they can excel to their fullest potential. That is why we will accept applications from students who have a 2.75 or greater GPA and are showing an upward trajectory in their grades.
What is your selection process?
All applications received will be reviewed by senior staff and student staff for eligibility and suitability. From these, applicants will be selected for a telephone interview. Applicants are then selected for in-person interviews at Stanford in late April or early May. Final selections are made thereafter.
I was invited to the in-person interviews, but I have an SAT test that day. Can you reschedule my interview?
Applicants selected for an in-person interview won't be able to reschedule it. Applicants must attend the scheduled interviews to be considered for program selection.
I submitted an eligible application but wasn't selected for an interview. I am very qualified for your program. Will you reconsider your decision?
SMYSP receives hundreds of applications from well-qualified students. We carefully and thoughtfully review all applications before we make any admission decisions. However, we are limited in the number of students who can attend SMYSP each year. Please understand that your application was reviewed carefully and that our decision wasn't an easy one to make. We are unable to reconsider our enrollment decisions. All decisions are final.
I very much want to apply to SMYSP and am considering moving to one of the California counties from which you consider applicants. Should I go ahead and do so?
While we greatly appreciate the significant motivation that a student may exhibit in wanting to move just to attend our program, we don't recommend this. We do recommend that students look for other opportunities within their community as well as at Stanford. Please visit Summer Institutes and the Office of Science Outreach for information on other programs to which you may be eligible to apply.