The Olson Scholars Institute


As a member of the Olson Scholars Program, you will attend the Olson Scholars Program and be a member of the Olson Scholars Learning Community. Learn more about program eligibility and the process once you’ve been accepted.


To be eligible for the Olson Scholars Program, you must:

  • be admitted to Northern Arizona University for the fall 2014 semester
  • be a first-generation student (meaning your parents or guardians have not earned a four year degree)
  • plan to live on campus
  • be a full-time, first-year student
  • have demonstrated high academic achievement  
  • be 18-20 years old


If accepted into the program, read the following process to ensure a smooth transition.

Read more
  1. Accept your offer of admission to Northern Arizona University by paying the $325.00 dollar enrollment deposit.
  2. Register to attend Orientation in Flagstaff on Thursday, June 19 and Friday, June 20, 2014. Parents and guardians are welcome and encouraged to attend Orientation for an introduction to the Olson Scholars Institute and the Olson Scholars Learning Community.
  3. Complete the ALEKS Math Placement requirements by May 1, 2014.
  4. Engage with other Olson Scholars and university faculty through our electronic discussion board throughout the summer – begin to build relationships and discuss social justice issues on-line.
  5. Move into your room in Cowden Hall on Saturday,  August 2 - three weeks before other freshmen students - to become acquainted with the campus and participate in the Olson Scholars Institute, which lasts from August 2 – August 23.  Northern Arizona University covers the cost of:
    • room
    • board
    • activities
  6. For three weeks before classes start, engage with faculty and staff in content-rich academic workshops focused on:
    • writing
    • critical reading
    • math
    • successful class and community behaviors
    Programming during the Institute will run from approximately 7:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. each day.
  7. Hear from highly qualified professors about their areas of expertise, and gain exposure to the various areas of research in different colleges and departments.
  8. Participate in the Edge Leadership Program – a two-day university leadership Institute for 150 freshmen students. The Institute covers the $75 cost for the Edge for Olson Scholars.
  9. Author your own “Call to Lead” speech and your own “This I Believe” video. 

Call to Lead

View examples of Call to Lead speeches from our 2013 Olson Scholars Institute participants Kaitlyn CraigAnna Camacho, and Alyssa Sisson. View the This I Believe video from the 2013-2014 Olson Scholars Institute participants.


Watch Video: This I Believe

Video Accessibility Instructions:

These video instructions are located directy above a YouTube video. Hit the DOWN arrow key until you hear the words FLASH START. Once the screen reader is inside the FLASH OBJECT, hit the TAB key about 7 times until you hear PLAY BUTTON a second time. Hit the Spacebar key to play the video. You can then hit the Spacebar key again to pause the video. Feel free to hit TAB and TAB+SHIFT to listen to all the buttons in the FLASH OBJECT. Sometimes the PLAY button and the PAUSE button will be listed as an UNLABLED BUTTON.