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Everything You Need to Know About the LaunchX Summer Application: Part 1

By Laurie Stach

October 16, 2017

It’s already application season again! This two-part article series is intended to debunk the myths and demystify the application for our summer program.  If you haven't already, start your application today. Make sure to check out our post on our admissions review demystified, the admissions page of our website, and our FAQ page for answers to many of the most comon questions. Chances are, you're not the first person who had this question, so be sure to do your due diligence in finding the answers yourself before reaching out to LaunchX staff—we look for self-reliance and problem-solving skills in our applicants, so you don't want to get caught asking a question that we've already answered!

Everything You Need to Know About the #LaunchXSummer #Application: Part 1

Before we get started, it's important that you know the deadlines and timeline for our admissions schedule.

  Application Deadline: Decision By: What's the Benefit?
Early Admissions December 18, 2017 February 26, 2018 Be compared against a smaller pool of applicants and find out sooner if you're in.
Regular Admissions February 20, 2018 April 16, 2018 Get more time to complete your application.

Dates for each of the summer sessions will be posted both on the website and within the application. Only apply to sessions for which you will be available, as you will not be able to switch sessions for any reason—even if it’s because of your school schedule. Be sure to check the schedule in advance.

This blog post series will break our application into two main parts—

  • Part 1: Getting started, general information, transcripts, and short answer questions
  • Part 2: Activities and video (read here)

In today's post, we'll focus on part one.

Getting Started with Your Summer Entrepreneurship Program Application

1) Starting the Application—

Go to our application website and create an account. The email address that you use to login will be the one to which we send any updates on your application, including reminders of deadlines and admissions notices, so please make sure you create your account with an email address where we can reach you.  When asked to title your application, the best way to title it is, simply, your first and last name. This allows us to easily find your application when searching.

After you have created an account for your application you will see that within the application itself there are several “tasks.” You will have to click into each task to work on it—remember to save your progress on each page before you close the window!

2) General Information—

Click into “Application Form” and you’ll see a lot of generic fill-in-blanks. Yes, this is the more tedious part of the form, but if you’ve already discovered the magic of Google Chrome Autofill, then it won’t take too long. You might be wondering why we’ve included certain questions/blanks—we've explained these below:

  • Personal URL/LinkedIn: This is optional, which is to say it is not a core element of review.  We may check these sites to get a more full perspective of your experience, but these are not a replacement for other areas of the application (like the activities section).

  • Financial need: Our admissions process is need blind, meaning your family’s financial status will never affect your application negatively. This question will only allow us to assess the potential for an application fee waiver, as well as let us know to follow up with a financial need application if you are admitted.

  • Your address: Please make sure that your address is the one to which we will send any welcome materials if admitted. If your home address is not your mailing address, please add your mailing address.  

  • To what other opportunities are you applying to this summer?: We want to know how you anticipate spending your summer. Whether that’s seeking out internships, working on cool projects, other summer programs, extra classes…etc. What you plan to work on outside of the school year helps us better understand where your interests lie to see if you are a fit for LaunchX.

  • To which program(s) would you like to apply?: This is very important—please leave any programs that you do not wish to attend blank (based on dates or the focus of that program), and rank the remaining. If admitted, you will not be able to switch between session dates or locations, and applying to any program, even if you rank it low, is an indication that you would be able to attend. 

  • Why have you chosen to apply to the locations as you did?:  This follows on the previous question. We try to ensure a good match between the program locations and the students attending. For example, our MIT location will have a focus towards hardware/ product startups, so we will optimize placements based both on your preferences and the focus of each university program. We have not yet released all locations for next summer, but you can come back to this question once that information becomes available.

3) Transcripts and Basic School Info— 

While we do ask for your transcripts and school information, your grades are the least important part of your application. We ask that you provide this information just to see how you are using the opportunities at your school and to see how you are challenging yourself, because at the end of the day Launch is all about being resourceful about the opportunities presented to you and challenging yourself. 

  • Grades and advanced coursework: Again, this should not be a stress point. Your admissions decision will never be based solely on your school grades or what classes you take because we know that there is a lot of variation in different schools (some offer 18 AP classes, while others might not have any!). Here's what's involved in this section—
    • Teacher reference—We may reach out to learn more or validate information, or we may not. Both scarios are normal and neither one indicates that you will or will not be accepted. We only need the teacher's basic information—they should not provide a recommendation letter. 
    • GPA—Please do not leave this blank. If your school does not provide a GPA, calculate yours using the calculator provided in our application if your school does not provide one.
    • Class Rank—Don’t sweat it. Seriously. Class rank is calculated differently at each school and we know it. Providing your class rank will not hurt your application—it just gives us a little more context to see what the student body of your school is like. This field is optional.
    • Classes with each grade/ score—Input how many full semester classes (or the regular term for a class at your school) you have completed with each letter grade. If your school does not use letter grades, approximate based on the suggested guidelines. If you have taken a course that only runs for a half semester, add it as 0.5.  
  • Transcript Upload: Give us a copy of your transcript, which can be picked up from your school’s registrar or your counselor. Or, if your school uses an online grade reporting system such as Naviance, you may upload the transcript you find on there. The transcript does not need to be official.  Also, please DO NOT have your school mail the transcript—we will only accept digital submissions. We also do not accept transcripts updated past the deadline of the application round to which you apply. This means that if you really want to have your current semester grades as part of your application, you need to apply regular round. You cannot apply early round and email us your transcript later.

4) Short Answer Questions—

The short answer section is meant to assess your "entrepreneurial baseline." What does this mean? We have identified some key questions that will give us a good idea of what kind of entrepreneur you are—your strengths, your motivations, and your expectations for LaunchX.

IMPORTANT: Don’t game your answers! What this mean is, don’t answer in a particular way because you think we’re looking for particular answers. There are no right or wrong answers—there are all different types of entrepreneurs, and we want to get a better sense of your potential role within a team, aspirations for the summer, and the who the person behind the résumé really is. Be honest—we appreciate self-awareness, open-mindedness, and willingness to learn. And, this helps us get an idea of where our incoming class is starting from so we know how best to tailor our programming to reach our common goals.

Here are a few of the questions explained:

  1. What is your main driver for wanting to be an entrepreneur?: Whatever your personal reason (and there’s no wrong reason) for becoming an entrepreneur, this will shape your priorities, your decision-making, and your ways of interacting with your team. We want to know what your personal motivation is so we can see what direction you’re headed in. If admitted, this will help ensure you end up with teammates that share similar entrepreneurial missions and values

  2. What is your entrepreneurial type?: To prepare for finding your best team at LaunchX, we want to know which skill set you can bring to a team. Depending on which box(es) you check, we will have specific expectations about the experience and skills we see throughout the rest of your application.

  3. What is your primary reason for applying to our summer program?: Your reason for enrolling in the program will motivate you in your startup journey. We want to know what gets you excited and what makes you tick so we can make sure we meet the needs of our customers—you!

  4. Questions about teaming and learning preferences: We want to know how you learn and how you come together with others in a team so that we can tailor the best experience for our admitted students.

None of these are trick questions. None have right or wrong answers, so long as you answer honestly. Think of this as your opportunity to showcase yourself, the person behind the accomplishments and activities. There will be another opportunity for you to showcase your individuality in the video portion of the application, which we'll demystify in our next guide post. Until then, good luck!

Read more—Everything You Need to Know About the LaunchX Summer Application: Part 2