Frequently Asked Questions


2014 admissions stats:
- 84 admitted students across 2 sessions (up from 30 last year)
- Students will represent 23 states and 13 countries
- Admissions rate of ~20%
- ~90% yield on offers extended

How selective is Launch?

We had an admission rate of <15% to our 2013 summer program and ~20% to our 2014 program (higher due to increased number of sessions and students per session).

I'm a senior in high school right now. Can I apply to Launch?

Yes, you are welcome to apply. There are a limited number of potential spots available for graduating seniors.
We reserve most of the available spots for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

What are the selection criteria?

The admissions committee looks for candidates that have demonstrated success and show initiative, resiliency, and a fit with our values.
We look for students who show to us that they have what it takes to become successful entrepreneurs.
There are no minimum grade or activity involvement requirements.

Are there any minimum course or grade requirements?

The only requirement is that you are a rising sophomore, junior, or senior in high school, plus a very limited number of potential spots available for graduating seniors. This equates to being in any grade of high school presently - freshman through senior, or grades 9 through 12.
There are no minimum requirement of classes beyond this that you need to have taken prior to attending Launch.

How will I find out if I am admitted?

Admission decisions will be emailed to applicants using the email address provided in the application materials.
A select number of students will be placed on a wait list.


When can I begin applying to the summer 2015 program?

Applications are now available! You can start your application or login here

Can students outside the United States apply for the 2015 program?

International applicants may apply if they have a visa that would allow them to enter and stay in the United States for the program,
but Launch is unable to offer student visas.

Does my transcript need to be official?

No. A scanned copy of your unofficial transcript will be sufficient. We will not accept a mailed copy.
It must cover all years of high school education and include an explanation of the school's grading system.

What does it mean for application questions to be optional?

Optional materials are opportunities for applicants to further prove their propensity towards entrepreneurship to the admissions committee.
Additional materials provide a fuller view of a candidate which helps the admissions committee better assess the potential candidate.

I have not yet taken the SAT, ACT or PSAT. Is this a problem?

No. The application is taken as a whole, and there are a lot of other aspects of the application that are considered to determine your entrepreneurial potential. The tests and school transcript show one dimension of academic drive, and we look to other portions of the application to round out the remaining dimensions.
When you do go to take your test, though, check out TestRocker.

May I submit a letter of recommendation?

No. We do not accept letters of recommendation for admission. Please refrain from emailing any to the Launch email addresses.

What is the advantage of applying in the early admissions round?

Early admissions candidates are able to find out their admissions status in advance of the regular admissions candidates.
Also, applying early allows you to be compared against a smaller pool of candidates with a typically higher yield of acceptance.

How can I receive a scholarship?

Scholarships are on a financial need basis.
To apply for the scholarship, you must indicate your interest in applying in the application and answer the additional questions.
If admitted, you will be asked to submit a scholarship application form to assess your financial need.
We aspire to making it possible for all admitted students to be able to attend, regardless of financial background.

Curriculum and Summer Logistics

What is the Launch program?

Launch is a four-week residential summer program during which students have the opportunity to experience a demanding academic atmosphere through designing and launching a business. The business and leadership skills taught are applicable beyond just the challenges of starting a company, and are aimed at increasing student effectiveness as students prepare for future careers.

What is the format of the learning experience?

Teaching formats include interactive lectures, business simulations, entrepreneur panels, and the actual design and launch of a company. Lecture and simulation topics will cover a range of business skills and leadership skills that will translate directly into practical application on student startups.

Who will teach the lectures?

Classes will be taught by MIT and Harvard Business School alumni, professionals from top tier consulting firms, professors, and successful entrepreneurs.

Do I need to have a business idea I plan to pursue prior to applying?

No. We'll have a process to help you come up with ideas through some of the pre-work and first few days of the program, and you'll settle on an idea to pursue within your team. The process will coach and guide you to start with an open canvas and search for ideas that fit within your passions, skills, and current market trends and opportunities, then critically assess ideas, and adapt your chosen idea to improve viability and value.

How will group work be structured?

Students will be in teams for the duration of the program. Teammates will be co-founders of their startup business,
sharing workload and responsibility for the objectives that they develop together for their team.

Will there be homework or graded assignments?

Homework will usually take the form of teams working on their businesses, plus some lectures will require pre work. There will not be formal grades,
but teams will be given feedback on their work in simulations and on their businesses throughout the program.

Will I have free time during the program or is the schedule structured at all times?

Classes and structured group work will typically occur Monday through Friday from 9am-6pm. Work often extends into the evenings and weekends, varying to some degree on specific group needs. Weekday evenings and weekends may also include field trips and special events. We pack the four weeks with as many opportunities to learn as possible, so we expect you to be 100% focused on Launch. If you have friends or relatives in the area, we suggest you visit with them either before or after the program. On the very rare occasion that a student wants to leave campus with family or friends from outside of Launch, permission from parents must be arranged by contacting Launch administration at least 48 hours in advance.

© 2014 Launch Summer Program, Inc. All rights reserved.