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OSSE Scholars Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Application Information

  1. Who is eligible to apply?
  2. How do I apply?
  3. Will my first semester grades from this school year count?
  4. If my GPA is lower than a 3.0, can I still apply?
  5. How many programs/universities may I select?
  6. I submitted my application. What’s next?

Selection Information

  1. What is the acceptance rate?
  2. How is the final university program that I apply to selected?
  3. If I was selected and attended a program on behalf of OSSE during a previous summer, am I eligible to participate this year?
  4. If I am selected as a Scholar, what’s expected of me?
  5. If I am selected for a scholarship, does that mean I am automatically accepted into a university program? 
  6. If I am accepted into another summer program, can I also participate in OSSE Scholars? 

Program Information

  1. Can I start the program late or end early?
  2. What does the OSSE Scholars funding pay for?
  3. What additional support does OSSE provide to Scholars?
  4. Will I earn college credit?
  5. Does OSSE Scholars provide any scholarships for undergraduate admission?

Application Information

Who is eligible to apply?

Students must:

  • Attend a District public or charter high school
  • Be a sophomore or junior for the 2013-2014 school year
  • Be a resident of the District of Columbia
  • Be a citizen or legal resident of the United States
  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Have financial need.  Please note that this is a need-based program and as such you may be asked to demonstrate income requirements in order to qualify.

OSSE also reviews student academics, community involvement, maturity level and commitment to the university program and higher education.

How do I apply?

Applications can be found here http://dcforms.dc.gov/webform/osse-scholars-application

Will my first semester grades from this school year count?

Yes.  OSSE will request a current transcript in advance of the interview.  If accepted as an OSSE Scholar, students will have to provide their first semester grades as part of their university application. Failure to maintain good grades could result in rejection from the university, which would also result in the loss of your OSSE Scholar funding. 

If my GPA is lower than a 3.0, can I still apply?

If your GPA is lower than 3.0, you may still apply. OSSE will review your application based on GPA, extracurricular activities and level of difficulty of classes. However, we strongly suggest you wait an additional year and apply once you are able to bring your GPA above 3.0.

How many programs/universities may I select?

You may select up to three programs. However you will only apply to and attend one program.

I submitted my application. What’s next?

OSSE will review applications from September until October 25, 2013 and will be in touch to schedule an interview with you if selected. After all interviews are complete, OSSE will notify students by December 1st.  If selected, you will need to apply to the university program immediately. OSSE will provide detailed instructions on how to the complete the university application at that time.

Selection Information

What is the acceptance rate?

For the 2013 OSSE Scholars program, 231 students applied, 56 were accepted, and 46 participated in the program. 

How is the final university program that I apply to selected?

During your interview, you will discuss your top three preferences with OSSE staff.  When making acceptance decisions, OSSE staff will match you with a single university program based on your academic interests and the admissions requirements for that program.   Your acceptance letter will indicate which university you have been chosen to apply to.  Please note that the final university match may not be one of your original three preferences. 

If I was selected and attended a program on behalf of OSSE during a previous summer, am I eligible to participate this year?

Yes. However, OSSE will give preferential treatment to new students who have not previously attended summer academic programs through a scholarship from OSSE.

If I am selected for a scholarship, does that mean I am automatically accepted into a university program?

If you are selected to receive a scholarship, you still need to apply to and be accepted by the university program. However, OSSE has partnered with the university directly and will be providing you a recommendation for the program. However, your participation in OSSE Scholars is contingent upon your acceptance into a university program. 

Each university program has its own admissions requirements. Students are strongly encouraged to research the requirements for each school before indicating their top three preferences on the application. 

If I am selected as a Scholar, what’s expected of me?

The Scholar process is very similar to the college application process.  You’ll need to complete all application elements (including essays, recommendations, transcripts and the actual application) by OSSE’s deadlines.  You will be required to attend all orientation sessions and complete all enrollment forms by the applicable deadlines.  You’ll also be expected to respond emails from program and university staff in a timely fashion.  Finally, you’ll be expected to successfully complete all summer college classes and follow your college’s code of conduct. 

If I am accepted into another summer program, can I also participate in OSSE Scholars?

It depends.  The shortest OSSE Scholar program is two weeks long—if the dates don’t conflict, you may be able to participate in both.  However, you will need to verify this with your other program as well and get permission.  Please be aware that some programs will not allow you to miss time in order to attend your OSSE program.  In that case, you will have to pick one. 

Additionally, you will need to commit to your OSSE program in early Spring. If you are still waiting at that point to hear about an acceptance decision from another program, you may have to decide whether or not to commit without having received that decision yet. 

Program Information

Can I start the program late or end early?

No. You should select a program based on your summer schedule and be able to commit to the duration of the program.

What does the OSSE Scholars funding pay for?

If accepted, OSSE Scholars will pay your tuition, room and board, books and transportation costs to and from campus for the summer program.  Students are responsible for their own spending money for laundry, snacks, optional trips and other discretionary expenses.

What additional support does OSSE provide to Scholars?

OSSE provides assistance with the summer program application process.  Once a student is accepted to their summer university, OSSE provides help with pre-enrollment, a parent orientation session, a peer orientation session, and one-on-one meetings as needed.  OSSE staff chaperones students when they travel to their university program.  Once students return from the summer, OSSE provides a variety of alumni services, including college application help and invitations to special events. 

Will I earn college credit?

It depends on the university program you attend.  Details about which programs provide college credit to summer students can be found on the University Programs page (LINK).  Please note that credit-earning programs are typically more challenging to get into—therefore, the students selected for them must meet higher academic standards to prove that they are capable of completing college-level work. 

Does OSSE Scholars provide any scholarships for undergraduate admission?

No. The OSSE Scholar funding is only for summer program costs. 

I have additional questions that were not answered here. Can I contact someone for more details?

Please contact Mike Andrews at (202) 481-3485 or mike.andrews@dc.gov.