Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Summer on the Hill (SOH)?
  2. How are students chosen? Can my child apply to SOH if he/she is not nominated by our public school?
  3. What is the Grade 3-8 Program?
  4. What is the High School Program?
  5. Where do SOH students go to high school and college?
  6. Where is SOH?
  7. Is SOH a camp? How did it get its name?
  8. What does SOH cost?
  9. Is there homework?
  10. How do SOH students feel about the program?
  11. How can I help SOH?

1. Summer on the Hill (SOH) is a 501(c)3, year-round, supplemental educational enrichment program that offers intellectual challenges and guidance to promising, disadvantaged public school students in the Bronx, Washington Heights, and Harlem.

SOH is a unique program that serves students from the end of second grade through high school – for as long as ten years – through its Grade 3-8 and High School Programs. Thanks to the support of many generous donors, since 1994, SOH has offered 1,300 public school students stimulating academic classes, opportunities in the arts and sports, and guidance on school and college choices.

6th grade language arts class

2. SOH recruits students by sending information to all public elementary schools in the Bronx and Manhattan above 96th Street and requesting nominations of promising 2nd graders. After students are nominated, families complete SOH’s admission application and submit a financial statement. SOH seeks to enroll students whose academic record indicates promise, but whose family’s limited resources prevents them from taking advantage of the many educational opportunities available in New York.

Qualified applicants are invited to SOH’s site to participate in a mock class. SOH staff then selects for interviews those 2nd graders (and their parents) who are most enthusiastic about participating, seem most compatible with SOH, and demonstrate the greatest need. Admissions decisions are made in June. New students begin their participation in SOH’s summer program.

Children must be nominated to SOH by their public school.

4th graders in the library


3. The Grade 3-8 program, a six-year commitment for  accepted students and families, is a structured program of accelerated classes in language arts, math, and science, instruction in the arts and sports, and individual guidance on school choices. Students attend their public schools while participating in the Grade 3-8 summer and academic year Saturday programs. SOH classes are taught by experienced teachers from local parochial, public, and independent schools.

8th grader in conference on writing with a SOH college intern

4. The High School Program is open only to alumni of the Grade 3-8 program, regardless of the type of school they attend. During the academic year, the High School Program holds classes and events to prepare students for high school and college work. These include PSAT and SAT prep classes, college counseling, college trips, and the Mentor Fellowship Program. During the summer, the High School Program offers mentor internships for 25 selected 10th – 12th graders.

5. SOH students have been accepted to such boarding, independent, parochial, and public schools as Bronx Science, Fordham Prep, the George School, Horace Mann, and many other top private and public high schools. Please see our School Placement page.

Since 2004, 300 SOH alumni have matriculated at over 125 private and public colleges and universities, including six Ivy League universities. and MIT.  Please visit our College Placement page for a  complete list.

SOH college graduates are working in education, finance, law, medicine, and technology. SOH alumni hold degrees from:

  • Boston College
  • Colby College
  • Columbia University
  • CUNY Baruch College – Honors Program
  • Duke University
  • Fordham University
  • Kenyon College
  • Loyola University
  • Middlebury College
  • North Carolina Central University
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • SUNY Binghamton
  • SUNY Cobleskill
  • SUNY Stony Brook
  • Temple University
  • Union College
  • University of Miami
  • University of Pennsylvania/Wharton School of Business
  • Vassar College
  • Wesley College
  • Yale University

6. SOH is housed on the campus of the Horace Mann School in the Bronx, close to the #1 Broadway train, the Major Deegan Highway, and the Henry Hudson Parkway. SOH classes are held in the School’s modern classrooms, visual and performing arts rooms, gyms and fields.

5th graders

7. SOH is not a camp; it is a year-round academic enrichment program.

SOH’s name stems from its 1994 iteration as a summer enrichment program for 21 Bronx public school students, and its location at the Horace Mann School on a hill above Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.

8. SOH requires a modest registration fee; otherwise the program is free.  Parents of  Grade 3-8  students who want busing for their child are asked to pay a  fee.

9. Yes, there is homework.

10. SOH student testimonials

“Without SOH, I don’t know where I’d be.”

“Although you sometimes want to sleep late on Saturdays, SOH is the best place if you want to learn amazing things and have fun. I like everything about SOH, but I liked learning many new things most of all. “

“SOH changed me a lot. It made me smarter, and it is really fun. It is better than regular school, especially in the summer. I love everything about it – math, science, and language arts, performing arts, and sports. What I love most are the people and the teachers. They make you work hard to reach your goal. They make you shine…When I have to graduate I will never forget this program.”

11. How to help: SOH is certified by the IRS as a 501(c)3 organization and is an independent fiscal entity from the Horace Mann School. Contributions from individuals, private and corporate foundations, help us hire a superb faculty whose creativity and warmth promote our students’ growth. Contributions of any size are tax-deductible and gratefully accepted!