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The Best College Prep Programs Spark Your Passions

Here, your  aspirations will blaze the trail to your future. Explore new ideas, and develop your own, with leading experts. EXPLO Pre-College can enhance your college application with real experiences you can highlight in essays and interviews—with the potential to earn college credit. You can also tour some of the best colleges and universities in the U.S. and the U.K.

Learning "I Can Do This"

EXPLO inspired me to continue pursuing higher education after living on the Wellesley College campus and immersing myself in intellectually stimulating courses alongside curious, like-minded learners.
Peter T.
EXPLO Pre-College student

Where are EXPLO alumni admitted?

Building unique experiences at EXPLO can help you on your college admissions quest. Each year our alums –– your peers! –– matriculate to a spectacular array of top schools. Join a thoughtful, ambitious community, and grow your future network.

Life after Explo

Alumni do big things.

My summers at EXPLO shaped me, and challenged me, and brought me community, and taught me the value of kindness and art. There’s no world where I’d be doing what I do without EXPLO.
Nik Walker
Actor, Hamilton on Broadway

EXPLO alumni 
don’t just shape their own paths, 
they shape our world at organizations like

EXPLO alumni open new doors and help shape the future. With their minds opened, curiosity piqued, and confidence booming, EXPLO students go on to do amazing things, great and small. EXPLO is one of the best college prep programs for curious minds.

What people are saying  about EXPLO


As I gather my supplies and  courage for college, I'm finding the process is very much like going off to EXPLO. I'm not nearly as  worried about making friends or living with a stranger as a lot of my high school friends, because I've done that every summer for six years, and by now I've got it down to a science.

Shauna M.,
EXPLO Pre-College student

[My daughter gained] a taste of college life, independence, maturity, and exposure to kids from other parts of the country and world.

Pennie A.,
EXPLO Pre-College parent

Outcomes for international  students


I found another side of me. [At home] I was so shy and  embarrassed about myself, but when I came here I think I became more open-minded and I think I'll be a different person when I go back.

So Ry H.,
EXPLO Pre-College student

Having someone specialized in  college admissions come to talk to us was very helpful to me to know exactly how I should do things to enter university.

Carla B.,
EXPLO Pre-College student
[Our daughter] has matured and is more focused on her goals for  college. It was great that she went on one of your trips to visit two campuses—Columbia, which is her first choice, and Fairfield, which allowed her to compare and  contrast the two. Very good idea that you do these visits in pairs.
Susan M.,
EXPLO Pre-College student

EXPLO Pre-College is one of the best college prep programs for a truly international  experience, with almost a third of students coming from outside the U.S. Whether you attend college in the U.S. or abroad, you go with an openness to new cultures and ideas that you’ve built in our diverse and welcoming environment.

How do you get into a good college?

College admissions officers look for motivation in applicants: a student who has already
explored ideas and passions, and is coming to college ready to hit the ground running.
EXPLO Pre-College alumni have done this, trying out new areas of inquiry to discover
exactly what drives them to learn and do more.

Show your work

Apply to college equipped with a  portfolio of work, a completed project, or a business plan to demonstrate your ambitions.

Tell a great story

College interviews and application essays are daunting for some applicants, but not for you—at EXPLO, you’ll gain  memorable academic and personal  stories to share.

Get a head start

EXPLO Pre-College Concentrations can qualify for college credit.

Know thyself (and others)

The time you spend and experiences you share with a  diverse community of new friends will prepare you for the bigger, broader world of college and professional life.

Make connections

Network with both college students and faculty who can offer an inside view of the application process and college life.

College counseling the EXPLO way

EXPLO gives pre-college students a first-hand look at college life:

  • Take trips to area colleges, including Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, Stanford, Imperial College London, and more. 
  • Hear professional college counselors speak on topics like “Refining Your Search for U.S. Colleges” and “Creating a  Successful U.S. College Application.” 
  • Schedule one-on-one and small group meetings with college counselors.
  • Get practical, relevant advice from current college students and recent graduates.

Start your admission process

 If you can’t wait to see what the college experience has in store for you, get a 
preview—and a head start—in the EXPLO Pre-College program.