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
- Political Philosophy
- Social Sciences
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Democracy Scholars all about?
Democracy Scholars is a program with 3 main components:
1) A Three Week Residential Summer Seminar Program
2) Support for the Senior Year College Application Process
3) A Nine Month After-School Civic Leadership Project
I'm not confident in my reading and writing skills. Should I still apply?
Yes! We don't expect you to have college-ready skills. It's far more important that you are open to learning and willing to try.
I'm not sure if I want to go to college. Should I still apply?
Yes! This is a great program to experience a college learning environment and decide whether it's something you would benefit from. NYU Professors, Democracy Mentors and College Advisors will also answer any questions about the college admissions process and support students who decide college is the next step for them.