Frequently Asked Questions

Course Admissions

The only way to apply for SummerUp’s courses is by completing the online application form (see Admissions on this website).

Start by reviewing all the available courses and pay attention to ‘who should apply’, to the course objectives, to the meeting schedule, and to special requirements such as equipment. Think about a cluster of courses that do not have conflicting meeting schedules, and which together, broaden your knowledge and skills in a certain area. Interested in STEM? Consider selecting courses from a group which includes Bright Lights in the Lab, Coding, Mathematics and Microsoft Excel. It’s up to you to select courses you believe you will enjoy.

Don’t forget to read the general guidelines for admissions, student responsibilities, and FAQ.

Admissions into SummerUp courses is quite simple. However, we do need to know: Are you deeply interested in the courses you apply for? Will you attend the classes? While we try to keep the application process simple, some programs will look for evidence of your interest and/or your preparedness for the course through a supplementary process. Examples of courses requiring supplementary material/information are:
  • Multimedia: We will ask that you submit evidence of a short video that you produced.
  • Bright Lights in the Lab – The Science of the Brain: We will require evidence of a strong interest in science.
  • Black Youth Theatre Intensive: We will need evidence of your interest in the performing arts.

Some programs will have ample seats and admission will be granted to eligible students who apply on time. Some programs will have restricted seating and are competitive. Applicants to these will receive more scrutiny. The aim is to match eligible students to courses they are keenly interested in, and supplementary material may be requested. We will pay attention to the reasons for selecting a course which applicants will note in their application form.

Yes. Admission orientations are held online and are an important part of the admissions process for many courses. Failure to attend may impact your admission. It does suggest that you are not committed to doing what is required of you and reveals you may not be a serious candidate for admission.

No, we do not provide reasons for denial of admission. However, we will encourage students to seek admission into other courses. Our intent is to serve as many students as possible, but reality suggests we cannot admit all students into their preferred course(s).

Yes! After the early application deadline passes, some courses will remain open to applications. It’s best to submit your application before the given deadlines to ensure your application is submitted in a timely manner. However, it’s a good idea to submit an application even if early-application deadlines have passed – so long as your selected course remains open.

SummerUp is open to any Black student in Ontario. Of course, students residing some distance from Toronto will find it convenient to participate in the virtual courses and may find it difficult to participate in the in-person courses.

You will be notified by email. It’s wise to monitor the email account you provided on your application form. We ask that you do not send frequent queries about your admissions status since we are not resourced to quickly respond to large volumes of emails. We promise we will act quickly to make admissions decisions.

SummerUp is created to connect historically excluded Black students with the skills, confidence, and opportunities they need to thrive and find personal and academic success. SummerUp seeks to close the ‘opportunity gap’ so often experienced by Black students.


SummerUp will offer three webinars in late August. Any student, parent, educator, or other interested persons may attend. You must register in advance to be eligible to attend. The application form that applies to SummerUp courses will not allow registration into the webinars. To register for a webinar, use the unique registration link that is provided in the description of the webinar.


No. All SummerUp courses and webinars are provided free of charge. Course materials are also provided at no charge. The costs for SummerUp are covered by funding from Ontario’s Ministry of Education and from other generous donors and volunteers who are committed to advancing all youth…in this case, Black youth.


Yes. Carefully read reach course description to note the required equipment. Example: The Multimedia course will require all students to have a smartphone capable of recording video and audio (requirements: Android 11 & up; IOS 11 and up), while other courses may request that smartphones are not used
All virtual and hybrid courses require a suitable computer and reliable Internet access.

Some courses will loan equipment to students, and these must be returned in good condition at the end of the course.

Yes. How else will you learn from the course? It’s generally understood that where a fee is not paid students may not value the learning opportunity. We take the view that since our courses are high quality and provide extraordinary learning experiences, students will value the courses and attend. Besides, we try our best to admit only students who are committed to attending the entire course. The SummerUp program considers regular attendance a ‘big deal’. So should you.

Generally, no. SummerUp requires students to participate ‘real time’. This way, the benefits of student collaboration, socialization, mutual support, and community are realized. SummerUp is a learning experience and requires attendance. The Coding courses may provide recordings of classes since this is helpful in reinforcing technical knowledge and facilitating out-of-class individual work.

It is important for you to be present for the entire duration of the course. You are discouraged from arriving late or departing early. In virtual mode, you will be required to keep your camera on unless the instructor advises otherwise. Should the instructor ask you to turn your camera on, you must comply.

SummerUp courses will not provide examinations, grades, and certificates. Some courses will offer group assignments and project work and these are highly enjoyable. SummerUp courses are structured so that learning takes place in collaboration with other students, in an interactive hands-on way, in a style that inspires intellectual curiosity and where the joy-of-learning is emphasized. When you attend a SummerUp course, you the student will feel central to the activity – you are made to feel important.

Yes. Some courses include field trips which are collaborative interactive learning experiences. If you go on a field trip and you are having fun, remember to send photographs to your parents. Should there be out-of-town trips, parents will be invited to participate.

No. Courses vary in duration. Should you take SummerUp courses there is still ample free time to enjoy your summer break. Many courses are scheduled so that they do not conflict with summer courses offered by high schools, and chances are you may be able to work a summer job and still enrol into a SummerUp course.

There is a dress code for all our activities and it’s ‘dress appropriately’. This applies to virtual and in-person activities. Students engaged in in-person courses will be required to wear a SummerUp T-shirt. This serves a safety purpose – we need to be able to identify SummerUp students on campus.

All classes and official program activities are chaperoned by our instructors and program staff.


Generally, COVID-19 issues apply to SummerUp’s in-person indoor activities and these are in-person and hybrid courses. In order for students, instructors, and program staff to be safe during in-person indoor activities, we all must commit to specific safety practices. For starters, the safety policies of the institutions and locations (e.g. University of Toronto, York University, Centennial College) where SummerUp in-person activities are held must be followed. As well, the decisions of instructors and SummerUp staff regarding when to mask and when to physically distance must be followed. The SummerUp program requires that we all act to safeguard the health and safety of ourselves and others.

We encourage all students, instructors, and staff who are engaged in in-person classes and activities to be fully vaccinated. While SummerUp will not require proof of vaccination, there may be occasions where this is a requirement by certain institutions where SummerUp’s in-person classes and activities are held. Where this occurs, we will be governed by the policies of these institutions. Government and institutional policies regarding proof of vaccination are changing in the direction where proof is no longer required.

Students attending in-person indoor classes or activities may need to wear masks during site visits as mandated by individual organizations. Of course, there will be exemptions for wearing a mask for outdoor activities, for actively eating, and for certain physical activities. All this may change by the start of SummerUp’s courses in July as policies regarding the mandatory use of masks are being phased out by governments and institutions. Despite that, SummerUp’s position on masks will accord with the policies of the institutions where in-person indoor classes are being conducted (e.g. the policies of University of Toronto). As well, there may be localized situations where an instructor requests students to don masks and, in these situations, students must comply. Students are asked to always carry a mask.

Do not attend in-person classes or activities if you are showing signs of illness. You will not be penalized for prioritizing your health and safety as well as the health and safety of others. We ask all students to disclose COVID-19 positive status to SummerUp staff (or via email to as soon as possible so that we may keep our entire community, including family members of students, faculty, and staff, safe.
Do not attend in-person classes or activities if you have any of the following symptoms or feel unwell in any way. Symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea