Frequently Asked Questions
How many students attend FSI?
Total enrollment for the program will not exceed eighty students.
How and why was I invited to FSI?
In short, you were invited because we are extremely excited about your clear dedication to scholarly learning, leadership, and community engagement and want to help make your transition to Princeton as productive and rewarding as possible. We believe that you will make use of an early exposure to Princeton’s resources in order to make meaningful contributions to the university community. We are particularly interested in providing this opportunity to students who have not yet had the chance to experience similar enrichment programs or mentorship experiences. In our holistic review of applications, we consider factors like intellectual curiosity, qualities of leadership and resiliency, the educational enrichment opportunities offered by the student’s high school, and familial educational background. While there is no simple formula for our process, Dean Gonzalez is happy to talk to you about whether and how the program might be a good fit. In the end, the decision to attend is yours to make—but we do hope that you join us!
I would like to attend FSI but I wasn't invited. Can I apply to the program?
Currently, FSI is an invitation-only program. We encourage interested students who were not invited to the program to consider joining the Scholars Institute Fellows Program, Princeton’s comprehensive, four-year scholars’ program for first-generation and/or lower-income students. SIFP Fellows benefit from workshops, roundtables, and advising events that support academic achievement, facilitate mentorship across FSI cohorts, and provide ongoing academic and professional development opportunities for former FSI participants and other first-generation students who were unable to participate in the initial summer program. For more information about the SIFP program, please visit sifp.princeton.edu. Applications will be available for incoming freshmen in early September 2018. We also encourage you to discuss your transition to college with your academic advisers, dean, or director of studies.
How much does it cost to attend FSI?
- For students receiving any form or amount of Princeton grant aid, there is no charge to attend FSI. Your tuition, textbooks, room and board are provided to you free of charge. Note: the Internal Revenue Service considers the room and board portion of the subsidy taxable, and more information on what this means to you will be provided if you attend.
How can I attend FSI and still meet my summer savings requirement?
Students who are recipients of Princeton grant aid and who are unable to meet their expected summer savings contribution will have their shortfall covered by special grant funds for the summer in which they attend FSI.
Is FSI all work and no play?
No way! Without question, the primary focus of FSI is academic. But that doesn’t mean that Scholars don’t have fun. Our Resident Graduate Students and Residential College Advisers are experienced guides to all things Princeton (the University and the town), and will plan social activities throughout the week. One of the highlights of the program is our annual trip to New York City. In past years, Scholars have gone tubing on the Delaware, hosted dance parties and dodgeball tournaments, meandered through shopping malls and flea markets, attended minor league baseball games, and so on. Scholars report that the friends they make in FSI remain good friends throughout their years at Princeton, regardless of the majors they choose, the residential colleges in which they live, or the clubs and teams to which they belong. They tell us that being part of a tightly-knit, diverse cohort by the end of the summer is a welcome relief from a worry that almost every new student faces.
Where will I live during the summer?
In 2018, FSI students will be housed in Butler College. Nine Princeton undergraduates will live in Butler with FSI students and will serve as residential college advisers (RCAs). Three Princeton graduate students will serve as resident graduate students (RGSs) and supervise the residential aspects of the Institute.
May I bring my car to campus?
No; freshmen are not permitted to have a vehicle on campus.
How many meals do I receive?
Every FSI participant receives three meals per day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), seven days per week. These meals are served buffet-style in the college dining hall. In the evenings, free food is often provided during sponsored study breaks.
Do I get to choose the classes I will take? When will I learn about my schedule?
All students take "Ways of Knowing" and a second course in quantitative reasoning. Students are placed into a quantitative course according to their level of preparation and their disciplinary interests. Schedules are distributed to students when they arrive on campus, but not before.
If I attend FSI, will I be able to take a reduced course load in future semesters?
By earning two credits over the summer, most FSI alums give themselves the option of taking a reduced course load in two future terms, should this prove useful or necessary. Students in the B.S.E. program normally alternate four-course and five-course semesters over their four years at Princeton; students in the A.B. program take at least one five-course semester in their first two years. FSI credits can be used to reduce their course load from five to four, or (in the case of A.B. students) from four courses to three during two separate semesters.
Can I return home on weekends?
Due to the compressed nature of FSI, even those students who live within driving distance of Princeton are strongly discouraged from going home during the weekends. We believe that weekends are crucial components of the academic and social design of the program.
May I practice with an athletic team while I am attending FSI?
It depends. Student-athletes may choose to participate in individual workouts, practices, and preseason games, but only to the extent that their athletic participation does not interfere in any way with their obligation to the Freshman Scholars community. Student-athletes are not permitted to travel home to play for local, club or national teams during the program. Please direct specific questions to your Princeton University coach or to Khristina Gonzalez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will I have a roommate? May I choose this roommate?
In most cases, students will share their rooms with at least one other student - but rest assured that the rooms in Butler are spacious and pleasant. Roommates are assigned by program staff; therefore, students cannot choose their own roommates.
Will I return home at the conclusion of FSI?
It depends. FSI’s mandatory programming will end approximately one week before Freshman Orientation begins (this year, FSI’s mandatory programming will end on August 25th, 2018 and Freshman Orientation will begin on September 1st).
You may choose to return home from August 26th-September 1st, or you may remain on campus, where you will be provided with housing and meals—and lots of fun/relaxing break activities!
If you are a member of a fall varsity athletic team, please check with your coach to learn more about arrangements during the week between FSI and Orientation.
Will I be able to participate in OA or CA if I attend FSI?
Yes; all incoming students will participate in either Outdoor Action or Community Action. These are great opportunities to build relationships with your fellow freshmen - and have an awesome experience!
I am applying to the Bridge Year Program - can I still do FSI?
Yes! Many FSI students have attended the Bridge Year Program and really enjoyed the experience. If you are applying to Bridge Year and want to attend FSI, should you receive an invitation to FSI, you should respond "yes" to our invitation. If you are accepted into the Bridge Year Program, we will simply defer your place in FSI until the following summer.