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Frequently Asked Questions

Can we read StandOut Connect reviews or speak with previous program alumni? 

Of course! We will provide the emails of students from previous cohorts who serve on our Alumni Board should you gain admission to our program. In the meantime, you are welcome to view StandOut Connect review videos that members of our Alumni Board, RazaSahana, and Emily, made to share their experience with other students. You can access the videos by clicking on their names. We also encourage you to read StandOut Connect reviews in the recent news

Who is eligible to apply?

Any student who will be 15+ by the start of the program can apply. International students must have demonstrated English fluency and be willing to adapt to a US time zone. 

Are internships in-person or remote?

All our partner companies offer remote, asynchronous internships. 

What is the program tuition?

Please refer to the program pages of our website for the tuition amount that corresponds to each of our seasonal programs (Winter 2024), (Spring 2024), and (Summer 2024). Tuition covers the cost of our training program, including instructors, company sourcing & vetting, as well as our scholarship program for low-income students. We will be extending as many scholarships as possible and highly encourage you to apply regardless of your financial status! Please indicate in your application if you will need financial assistance to participate. 

Do you offer scholarships?

United States students are eligible to apply for scholarships if their family’s income for the previous two years was under $100,000. Students must indicate in their initial application if they will need financial assistance to participate. 

What is the program timeline?

Please refer to the program pages of our website for the exact dates that correspond with each of our seasonal programs (Winter 2024), (Spring 2024), and (Summer 2024). All of our programs start with five weeks of remote weekend workshops covering professional skills and the technology stack used by most innovative companies today. Workshops will come with at most two hours of homework and will be recorded for any student who is unable to attend. During this period, students will interview with companies until they receive an offer for a two-month remote internship, which will start following the fifth-weekend workshop when students graduate from our training program. 

What is included in the curriculum?

The first week will cover internship and college application strategy (how to pitch yourself with a compelling story, build a college-level resume, and LinkedIn presence). The second week will cover interview and networking best practices. The third week will cover general professionalism and how to succeed during an internship. Students will learn appropriate etiquette for digital communications and meetings, how to approach problems independently, and when to ask for help. The fourth week will cover the software stack used by most innovative companies today and how to integrate tools from Excel to artificial intelligence into your workflows. The fifth and final week of training will cover how to approach specific tasks students will be given during their internships, such as web design or lead generation. The last four workshops will feature guest speakers who have graduated from top universities into fields such as business, medicine, law, and technology. Workshops will come with, at most, two hours of homework. Students must attend interviews, submit assignments by the deadline, and respond to communications from us in a timely manner in order to graduate from our training program. 

How long are weekend workshops, and are they mandatory?

Workshops are non-mandatory and will be recorded for students that cannot attend. They will occur on Sundays and contain one hour of course material, followed by optional office hours where instructors answer individualized questions. The last four workshops will feature guest speakers who have graduated from top universities into fields such as business, medicine, law, and technology. 

How does the process of matching students with companies work? 

Companies will choose which students to interview based on their interests and skills. Each student will then interview until they receive an offer. 

Is StandOut Connect legit? Is each student actually guaranteed an internship match?

Yes! We are “legit” when we say that each student who graduates our training program receives an internship offer from one of the companies they interviewed with. This is why we carefully vet the students we admit to make sure that they will be a good fit for our partner companies and also provide comprehensive training to ensure that students are prepared for the resume-building and interview process. Throughout the history of our program, 99.7% of graduates have received internship offers. In the rare event that a program graduate was to not receive an internship offer, they would receive a full tuition refund. 

Who will teach workshops and mentor students?

Workshops will be taught by our program director and staff, most of whom are University of Chicago alums. Each student will also be offered an internship by a mentor who is an alumnus of a top university and the founder or an early team member at an innovative company. Many of our mentors have experience recruiting into some of the most competitive industries, such as finance, consulting, and Big Tech.

Will students match with companies in their interest area?

We do our best to make sure that students match with companies relating to one of their interest areas. However, we will only place students in learning environments where they are qualified to make a real contribution they can articulate on their resume and college application based on their education level and skills. For example, we might help match a student interested in law with a legal tech company as opposed to a law firm, which would only be able to give meaningful projects to law school interns. We might help match a student interested in medicine with a company spearheading innovations in health insurance data. A student interested in finance could match with a financial technology company working on personal money transfer for emerging markets. We will send students' resumes to the companies that most reflect their interests until they receive an internship offer.

Can you match students with research opportunities?

Our company partners do not provide academic research internships. However, students may perform non-academic research.

How many hours per week will students be expected to intern?

Students are generally expected to intern 30 hours per week on average at most during our summer program and 10 hours per week on average at most during our fall, winter, and spring programs. Students work out the exact schedule with their mentor based on their availability.

Will students receive academic credit for their internship? 

Students must reach out to their school about receiving academic credit for their internship. 

What is the deadline to apply?

Please find the deadlines for each of our seasonal programs on their dedicated program pages on our website. 

What is the due date for tuition payment?

Tuition is due within a week of a student receiving an acceptance. 

Is StandOut Connect worth it? What are the outcomes of students who graduate the program?

Students who successfully graduate from StandOut Connect will receive an internship offer. Students who perform well during their internships receive college recommendation letters from the professionals in our partner company network, all of whom are top university alums. 80% of students also receive optional return offers to continue their internships beyond two months. Our students have gone on to receive full scholarships from local universities and attend top universities globally. 97% of our students say they felt better prepared to pursue their career interests during college after completing the StandOut program.

What is the StandOut Connect acceptance rate?

The StandOut Connect acceptance rate varies from cohort to cohort and is generally a little higher during the school year than during the summer. Our average acceptance rate for 2023 across StandOut programs was 11.4%. Please refer to your acceptance email to view the acceptance rate for your cohort.

Will the internships be paid?

We have partner companies that offer both paid internships and unpaid internships for school credit. Students are responsible for independently determining compensation with the company that hires them. We cannot guarantee that a student will be hired by a company that offers a specific compensation structure. Generally, high school internships are unpaid to fulfill school credit requirements. 

What is your tuition refund policy?

If, within a week of successfully graduating from our program and receiving an internship match, you are not satisfied with your experience, we will issue a tuition refund. 

What is StandOut Search? Is StandOut Search legit?

StandOutSearch is the largest existing database of legitimate high school opportunities. You can read more about the history of StandOutSearch and how StandOut Connect was created on our About page.

I still have questions. Who can I ask?

Please reach out to our Program Director, Estelle Reardon at esteller@standoutconnect.org

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