Info for Parents + Guardians

What to Expect

RISD Pre-College is an opportunity for students to experience life as a college student. The program is oriented toward independent young people; since they are not supervised at all times, they have the opportunity to grow even more independent and responsible.

Students are expected to take initiative both inside and outside of the classroom, including prioritizing their schedule to balance extensive homework assignments with time for RISD events and activities. Students have the ability to travel freely on and off campus after class and before curfew; however, being on time for curfew and class is held to very strict standards.

Students are also responsible for seeking out information and guidance from faculty, Residence Life and other appropriate staff to resolve any issues.


During the Application Process

  • When applying for the program, students are asked to use their primary email address to create an account within the Student Applicant Dashboard. Once accepted, all required forms and documents must be submitted online with parent or guardian signatures. Please work with your child to complete the application process together.
  • The Parent/Guardian email designated as the primary point of contact in the program application will be contacted by Residence Life to complete a Parent/Guardian Housing Application. This short application is where the parent/guardian indicates important dates and information to Residence Life. This information helps us keep your student safe and accounted for during curfew checks. The application is mandatory for all parents/guardians of students who are residing on campus during Pre-College.

During the Program

Pre-College staff and faculty will communicate directly with students via email—not with parents, guardians or other third parties. During the program, unless a student has incurred a serious infraction, parents and guardians are not necessarily informed when students receive an Academic Warning, attend a Disciplinary Hearing or violate minor policies. In this way they can learn to make alternative choices and self-correct in order to succeed.


During these six weeks, we take the safety of your children very seriously. That’s why we offer many services, tools, policies and procedures to help maintain a safe environment on campus. The Public Safety Office and the Security Desk are staffed 24/7 to ensure the general welfare and security of all Pre-College students. We implement a 10 pm curfew every night, and check that the students are all in their rooms by that time.

Emergency Notification

The RISD!ALERT emergency notification system uses broadcast phone, email and/or text message for quick distribution of time-sensitive information to students, faculty, staff and their family members. To sign up for more about RISD!Alert and mobile phone enrollment visit the RISD!Alert page.

Hear from Other Parents

Here are just a few things other parents–just like you–have had to say about the program.

“RISD’s Pre-College Program was a life changing experience for our sixteen year old, who grew substantially in her art and independence… She rose to the occasion of doing the hard work and achieving great results. She is now a much more confident and assured young woman.”
– Allain, Massachusetts

“I would make sure your child is committed to the arts before attending. This is a somewhat intense program. My daughter was in the studio working on projects at all hours (and she loved every minute of it). This program is a real slice of college life and not to be compared to those summer camp college programs. The completed work my daughter came home with was beyond impressive and it gave her confidence in her ability and direction for her future plans. She also made a ton of friends from all over the country.”
– Alyssa, New Jersey

“Our son was humbled by the experience and learned to grow by it. I recommend pre-colleges for any high school students that plan to attend a college or university.”
– John, New York

“The fact that RISD has a Pre-College program that is six weeks long is so crucial. What are you going to get out of two weeks? This is total immersion. It’s almost like a mini semester. We thought that was fantastic. If our daughter had said after six weeks ‘this is not for me,’ that would have been okay. We would have seen it as equally beneficial for her to learn that art school wasn’t for her before starting to apply to undergraduate colleges. But it was quite the opposite. It’s worth it. It’s a life-building and lifelong experience that’s going to stick with a young person forever.”
– Robert, New Jersey