Frequently Asked Questions

We receive many emails or calls from students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and non-profits who would like further clarification on aspects of the ARISE application process and program. Please look through these FAQ – someone else may have had the same question you are thinking of:

Q: My high school doesn’t offer AP classes. Can I still apply?

A: Yes, you can apply. There are no specific courses that are prerequisites for ARISE.

Q: I am not an American citizen. Can I still apply?

A: Yes, you can apply, as long as you meet the criteria (10th or 11th grade, live in NYC, etc.). We do not require students or their families to provide their immigration or citizenship status.

Q: Can I apply if I am in 9th grade or 12th grade?

A: No, you must be in either 10th or 11th grade when you apply. No exceptions.

Q: What about a 9th grader who is exceptionally bright and a STEM superstar? Can they apply?

A: No, students must be in either 10th or 11th grade to apply. No exceptions.

Q: I live outside of NYC, but will be in New York for the summer. I have a relative I can stay with or my family will find a place to stay so that I can be in the program. Can I apply?

A: No, you must be a resident of one of the five NYC boroughs (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island) in order to apply. No exceptions. Please check your home zip code if you are unsure.

Q: I live outside of NYC, but attend a school in one of the five NYC boroughs. Can I apply?

A: No, you must be a resident of one of the five NYC boroughs (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island) in order to apply. No exceptions. Please check your home zip code if you are unsure.

Q: I am really interested in one of the labs that offers spots in ARISE. I’m convinced that it is the perfect lab for me. Can I apply to be matched with that lab?

A: Students should read the short descriptions of participating labs on our website and use the links in those descriptions to learn more. Students choose a general area of interest on their application. Applicants who are invited to lab tours visit 6 to 10 labs in this general area. Afterwards, students often change their mind about which labs they prefer. They then rank the labs in order of their preference. If invited to interviews, students meet with people from 4 labs they ranked – often, but not always, the top 4 of their choice. After the interviews, the students rank these 4 labs again in order of their preference since they often change their mind again at this point. Students who are offered placements are matched to labs based both on their preference and the preference of the lab members.

Q: Can I enter some information into the application and come back later to finish it?

A: No, unfortunately, the whole application has to be entered at once. You can’t save it and come back later. For this reason, please read instructions first and make sure you have all of the needed information, including your essay, ready before you start the application. If you click “submit” with incomplete information or with a practice essay entered, we receive it and recommendation requests are sent to the emails you typed in for the recommenders. If you then have to apply again  with a complete essay, your recommenders will receive more emails, leading to confusion.

Q: The application keeps asking for my GPA or grades on a scale of 100, but my school gives grades on a 1 to 4 or 1 to 5 scale. Can I enter it that way, instead?

A: The application form will only accept GPA and grades on a scale of 100. Please convert a 4 point GPA or grade to a scale of 100. You can refer to this blog post for more information.

Q: What does full-time mean?

A: During the summer, students are in workshops during the first 2 weeks from approximately 10AM to 4PM. Sometimes there are additional workshops from 4PM to 6PM once a week. Students conduct research in a lab for the next 5 weeks and make a schedule with the lab members. The hours might be weekdays, 10AM to 6PM, 9AM to 4PM, or something slightly different than that. We can’t provide a specific lab schedule, ahead of time, since this depends on the lab.

Q: My family goes on a one-week vacation in the middle of the summer. Can I take a week off from ARISE? What if I have a summer job?

A: ARISE applicants who are offered a spot are asked to agree to attend full-time. We understand that people may have a dentist appointment or their grandmother’s 80th birthday party to attend and it’s fine to miss a day if you let us and your lab know ahead of time. However, if you know that you will not be present for at least several days, ARISE might not be a good fit for you. We have a limited number of spots to give to students, so we can’t keep someone in the program if they have overlapping summer plans. Students who complete the program receive a $500 stipend.

Q: I have applied to another program, in addition to ARISE. Can I do both if I get in?

A: See above. ARISE applicants who are offered a spot are asked to agree to attend full-time. Many students apply to more than one program, which is perfectly fine. However, if you are offered a spot in more than one summer program and the schedules overlap, you will have to choose one and allow another student to have the opportunity to participate in the other. You should make this decision quickly and be sure to contact all programs to which you’ve applied, so that someone from a wait list can be offered a spot.

Q: Does everyone invited to lab tours get offered a spot?

A: No, the lab tours are one step in the application process.

Q: Does everyone invited to interviews get offered a spot?

A: No, the interviews are one step in the application process.

Q: I have no research experience. Am I eligible to apply?

A: Yes, as long as you meet the other requirements (see main ARISE page), you can apply. No previous experience is necessary.

Q: I have a soccer practice, tutoring session, lots of homework, an event at my school, or a test to study for on the same night of lab tours or interviews. Can I skip the interviews or lab tours, send someone in my place, or have a separate time scheduled for me?

A: No, all dates listed as mandatory on the ARISE website are mandatory. Hundreds of high school students, NYU professors, NYU graduate students, and NYU staff are involved in these events and they’re scheduled ahead of time to try to accommodate as many people as possible. It may not be perfect for everyone, but we hope that giving advance notice will help you plan. Applicants invited to tours or interviews can not send a parent or friend in their place.

Q: I’m a parent and I am very interested in what my child will be doing if they are accepted into ARISE. Can I attend the lab tours?

A: Unfortunately, the labs are crowded, were not designed to hold a large group, and we are trying to accommodate as many students as possible. Thus, family members or friends are not included in the lab tours. In addition, we find that to succeed in ARISE or a similar program, students need to be self-motivated and independent.

Q: I’m a parent and my child is very nervous about the interviews. Should I attend with them? What should they expect?

A: Space at NYU is hard to come by. The interviews are arranged in a single room in a “speed-dating” format with a couple of members from each lab sitting at a table and student interviewees rotating through the tables. Students interview with 4 labs and labs interview about 10 students. Usually, we have only a small section of seats for students who are waiting for their interviews to start. Thus, we don’t invite family members or friends to interviews. In addition, we find that to succeed in ARISE or a similar program, students need to be self-motivated and independent. The interviews are not high-pressure discussions, but more like a chat with lab members about the work they do. The applicants are not being grilled or quizzed. It’s a good idea for students to look at the labs’ websites and read a bit about their work in order to have useful questions prepared. Students should read short descriptions of the labs on our website and use the links in those descriptions to learn more.

Q: I work with high school students to help them get summer internships. Can my organization or school partner with ARISE or NYU to place several students in labs?

A: ARISE doesn’t have partnerships with specific schools or non-profits nor do we set aside spots for or give preference to students affiliated with a particular school or program. All eligible students must apply through the same channels.

Q: Is there a fee to apply or to participate in ARISE?

A: The ARISE program is completely free to participants. There are no application, registration, or participation fees. The Pinkerton Foundation, in addition to other funders, generously supports the ARISE program and other summer research programs in New York City.

Q: Will ARISE or NYU provide meals or a metrocard to participants?

A: Participants are responsible for their own meals and transportation during ARISE. While the program is free to participants, we raise money from donors to be able to cover costs of the program. We prefer to use all of these funds to allow the largest number of students to participate rather than covering meals and metrocards. Some high schools are able to get metrocards for students in summer programs. Please speak with your high school about this prior to the summer.

Q: I don’t attend a specialized high school or a competitive high school. Should I still apply?

A: You should absolutely apply if you meet the requirements, are truly interested in the program, and can attend full time for the 7 weeks.  Last year, 48 ARISE participants came from 33 different high schools, big and small, and were from every NYC borough.

Q: Who should I put down as my two recommenders? What are you going to ask them?

A: Recommenders are two adults who know you and how you work but who are not related to you and who don’t live with you. We want to know what kind of student you are, so at least one of the recommenders should be a teacher of yours. The second recommender can also be a teacher, but could be someone who is a mentor in another context: your athletic coach, your religious leader, your supervisor at a job or volunteer activity, etc. We will send them an online form to ask them about your ability to deal with challenges, your academic potential, and how they think you would do in ARISE. It is normal for recommenders for high school and college programs to keep their answers private from applicants, so you should not expect them to tell you what they wrote.

Q: I applied and my recommenders didn’t receive an email from you. What should they do?

A: Emails to recommenders are automatically generated when you click “submit” on your application. If you typed the recommender’s email address incorrectly (this happens more often than you’d think), they didn’t receive it. Please tell your recommenders to check their spam folder and to add our email address to their contacts. If they still can’t find the email, please email us with your first and last name, recommender’s first and last name, recommender’s proper email address and ask us to re-send the form. Then remind the recommender to check their email, including their spam folder.

Q: What if I don’t get in to ARISE? I really want to conduct research while in high school. What else can I do?

A: In addition to applying to ARISE, you can check out the programs offered by other members of the New York City Science Research Mentoring Consortium. Each of these programs are free for NYC high school students and are offered at major research institutions (universities, medical schools, or museums) across the City. Each program has its own application process and its own schedule. You will need to contact specific programs or read their websites for details.