Democracy Scholars is a tuition-free program for New York City students entering their senior year of high school. For two weeks in July, students take discussion-based seminars taught by NYU faculty and build essential skills in critical thinking, college-level reading and writing. 

In addition to engaging in daily classroom discussions, students will get an introduction to university life, attend field trips exploring the local community, gain real-world experience as student leaders, community activists and global citizens, and connect with other bold, intellectually curious students like them. 

After completing the two-week summer program, students meet throughout the academic year and receive support navigating the college admissions process from NYU faculty and Democracy Scholars Mentors. Students who complete the program will receive a college letter of recommendation from an NYU professor and be able to participate in NYU’s College 101 workshop series. 

How to Apply

Eligible applicants will be New York City high school students currently enrolled in the 11th grade with strong academic records. Preference will be given to students who will be first-generation college-goers.

To apply, submit the online application when it comes available by March 1, which includes the following components:

  • Personal, Educational and Family History
  • Academic Transcript and Email Address of One Letter Recommender
  • Long Answer Questions  

Admissions decisions will be released in May. To continue an existing application, please log in to the Applicant Management page.

Areas of Study

  • Humanities
  • Political Philosophy
  • Social Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions

Program Dates
Three weeks in July

Full Scholarship



Application Deadlines
April 14, 2023