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High School Scholars Program Overview

The High School Scholars Program is an opportunity for high achieving, Philadelphia-area high school students to take courses here at Drexel. There are no tuition costs associated with the program, allowing students the opportunity to earn college credit and prepare for the college environment.

Students may register for one course per term and must maintain good academic standing (‘B’ or better in their course) to take courses continuously throughout the academic year. Students have the opportunity to select a course based on the program requirements, which are outlined in the "Placement in Courses" section on this page. It is important to note that students in High School Scholars are not placed in courses until every Drexel student has had the opportunity to register for a given term. These students fill remaining seats in courses that already have space available.

Role of Faculty

Faculty play an important role in the High School Scholars Program by serving as our student’s direct connection to the university through their role as educators. When a High School Scholar enrolls in a course, the expectation is that they are held to the same academic standards as all other students. These students earn credit and receive a transcript from Drexel. As such, we expect that you treat them as you would any other undergraduate student enrolled in your course.

When a High School Scholar under the age of 18 enrolls in a course, that faculty must complete the Pennsylvania Enhanced Background Check (PEBC). This background check is an enhanced background check that is only conducted on individuals interacting with non-matriculated minors on campus. This process includes:

  • PA State Police Criminal Record Check
  • FBI Fingerprint Check
  • PA Child Abuse History Clearance

All faculty with non-matriculated minors enrolled in their course through High School Scholars will receive notification prior to the initiation of the PEBC. Once completed, this background check is valid for 5 years.

If a High School Scholar under the age of 18 enrolls in your course, you will be notified by the program staff prior to the initiation of the background check. Once the background check is initiated, Human Resources will be in contact to help you complete the next steps. This background check process will include:

  1. Completing information disclosure forms
  2. Scheduling and completing an FBI fingerprinting check 
  3. Completing an electronic PA Background Check

For more information about this process, visit this webpage on the Human Resources website.

Placement in Courses

  • High School Scholars are enrolled in courses by program staff – students are not permitted to register themselves for courses.
  • High School Scholars submit their top three (3) course choices for each term by a given deadline. Students are given the opportunity to select courses of interest to them, as long as they meet the following requirements:
    • Offered by:
      • College of Arts & Sciences
      • LeBow College of Business
      • Pennoni Honors College
    • No pre-requisites or restrictions
      • Students may fulfill pre-requisites for a course only by taking that course at Drexel through the High School Scholars program.
      • High School Scholars are permitted to take courses that are restricted to only freshman.
    • Must be in person or hybrid courses
    • No Saturday courses

* Please note: Students in the program are encouraged to explore courses at the introductory level (100 or 200 level), as they generally fit the requirements outlined above. When a student selects a course that meet these requirements at the 300-level, faculty approval is required before registration. Other exceptions to these requirements are made on a case-by-case basis with department or faculty approval. 

  • Registration for any given term occurs after every Drexel student have been given the opportunity to register for that term.
  • High School Scholars are only permitted to enroll introductory-level courses with no pre-requisites or restrictions. These courses must also have space available.

Program History

The High School Scholars Program began in 2004. Since its inception, the program has accepted over 600 high school students. These students have taken over 800 classes and earned nearly 2,500 credits. Of students who take a class through the program, 13% matriculate to Drexel. As the program grows, one of our primary goals is to increase the percentage of student who matriculate.