Short Answer

Outer Coast Summer Seminar New Student Application

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The Outer Coast Summer Seminar is a five-week program that combines rigorous, college-level academics, meaningful community service, and student-led self-governance. Both inside and outside the classroom, Summer Seminar students will learn how to identify, analyze, and respond to the challenges that face the world today.

Due to circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, and concerns for the health and safety of Outer Coast students, faculty and staff, and the community of Sitka, we will be moving forward with a virtual program for students to participate in from home. This program will be a unique endeavor, designed for this specific moment in time — but will maintain the dynamic learning environment of past Summer Seminars. In the interest of best serving our students we are crafting a program with a focus on promoting intellectual engagement, purpose, and belonging during this uncertain time.

The Seminar runs from June 27 - August 1, 2020 and will take place online.

Current high school sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply for the Summer Seminar. Outer Coast will meet all demonstrated financial need.

Outer Coast Summer Seminar admissions decisions are determined through a need-blind process. This means that what a student and their parent(s)/guardian(s) are able to pay will not influence the student’s chances of admission.

The student body will be limited to Western Hemisphere time zones, to avoid asynchronous learning and maximize real-time community building.

If you were a student at the 2018 or 2019 Summer Seminar, please complete the 2020 Returning Student Application and not the application below. 

More information about the Summer Seminar and Outer Coast can be found in the Virtual Summer Seminar 2020 Program Overview or at If you have any questions, please contact

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis through June 15. Applicants will receive admissions decisions by June 22 at the latest.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Student Information

Best way to reach you for scheduling an interview *
Race/Ethnicity (check all that apply) *
First Language (check all that apply) *
How did you hear about the Outer Coast Summer Seminar? (check all that apply) *

Student High School Information

Current grade level or grade just completed *

Parent/Guardian Information

Parent/Guardian 1
Lives with student? *
Highest Level of Education? *
Parent/Guardian 2
Lives with student?
Highest Level of Education?

Short Answer Questions (250 words)

Please respond to the following prompts in up to 250 words each. While your responses will not be considered on the basis of length, we hope you take the opportunity to express yourself fully.

If you are selected to attend the Summer Seminar, your answers will be shared with staff and faculty.

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Long Answer Question (500 words)

Please respond to the following prompt in up to 500 words each. While your response will not be considered on the basis of length, we hope you take the opportunity to express yourself fully.

If you are selected to attend the Summer Seminar, your answer will be shared with staff and faculty.


Write a personal essay in response to one of the following prompts:

  • Tell us about a time when you encountered a significant failure or setback. How were you affected by this challenge and how did you respond?  
  • Tell us about a community you belong to and your role in it. (A community can mean many things: your family, your school, a sports team, a friend group, the town or city you are from, etc.) Why is this community important to you?
  • Tell us about a role model in your life (preferably someone you know personally). Who are they, what do you admire about them, and how has their mentorship impacted you? 
  • Write a personal essay on a topic of your choice. You are welcome to write about an aspect of your background or identity you feel your application would be incomplete without.
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Teacher Recommendation

Please ask a teacher to be your Summer Seminar recommender. We will contact your teacher to learn more about you as a student and a person.

(Your teacher will receive an email directing them to the recommendation form when you submit your application. The final deadline for recommendations is June 16, 2020.)


All applicants for the Summer Seminar 2020 will be asked to interview. Please schedule your interview by selecting one time slot from this Doodle poll. All times will automatically adjust to your local time zone.
Interviews will take place over Zoom, and will be conducted by two members of the Outer Coast project staff and one Summer Seminar alum.
Please ensure you have the software downloaded at If you are unable to access a laptop or smartphone and a stable internet connection, please contact and we will find a way to accommodate your interview.