Pioneer Prep

In light of the current situation nation-wide related to COVID-19, the difficult decision has been made to cancel the Pioneer Prep Leadership Institute programs for Summer 2020.

We look forward to working with you during Pioneer Prep 2021!

The Pioneer Prep Leadership Institute is part of our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. These three-day programs are designed for rising high school juniors and seniors who are looking ahead to their college experience and want an early look at higher education.

At Pioneer Prep, you'll learn about college access and career planning. In addition, you'll be able to engage with speakers, activities and fellow scholars to enhance and further develop your cultural identity.

Pioneer Prep group outside

Benefits of Pioneer Prep

  • You'll get three days on the DU campus, learning about college access and leadership while engaging with your cultural identity. Check out sample programs from the Latinx Institute and Black and African American Institutes to get an idea of what you'll be doing.
  • As a Pioneer Prep Scholar, we'll waive your $65 application fee if you choose to apply for college at DU.
  • If you're admitted to DU and meet our criteria for financial need, you'll be considered for a DU Pathways Scholarship, which is worth up to $7,500 and is renewable for four years.
  • Every quarter, you'll have access to activities on campus so you can connect with DU staff and other Pioneer Prep Scholars.

Getting ready for Pioneer Prep

  • How to apply

    Please check back this winter for the application for Pioneer Prep 2021!

    Submit the following documents with your application: 

    • High school transcript
    • Counselor recommendation 
    • Resume (optional)
    • Second recommendation from a teacher, mentor, coach, employer, etc. (optional)


    Contact us with questions.

  • Program Costs

    We do not have an application fee for this program. First-time attendees of the program pay $60 to confirm their attendance. Returning attendees pay $40.

    We provide room, board, curriculum and entertainment at no additional cost. You can also apply for a travel stipend to cover some of the cost of getting to campus. Find out if you're eligible for the travel stipend.

  • Option for additional Hospitality Management program

    Join the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management with an opportunity to meet the faculty and staff alongside industry executives. Learn about our cutting edge curriculum and participate in sample class. Tour behind the scenes in some of Denver’s finest hotels and learn about the career possibilities in this exciting and growing filed. To explore more about Fritz Koebel, visit the website.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does Latinx mean?

    Latinx is a gender-neutral or non-binary alternative to Latino/Latina, and is a noun that describes a person of Latin American origin or descent. 

  • What do I need to bring?
    • Toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Deodorant
    • Shampoo and soap
    • Hairbrush and hair products
    • Personal hygiene items
    • Wash cloth
    • Large towel
    • Shower shoes
    • Comfortable clothing and shoes
    • Light jacket
    • Bathrobe
    • Sleepwear
    • Slippers
    • One dress outfit for the Friday formal dinner
    • Prescribed medications

    For further accommodation details click here.

  • What costs are covered for the program?

    Beyond the required program fee, all costs for the program are covered, including food, lodging and entertainment. You don't need to bring extra money for your stay. We'll accommodate all dietary restrictions for students.

  • Where will I stay during the program?

    Black & African American Pioneer Prep participants will stay in Nelson Hall. Latinx Pioneer Prep participants will stay in Nagel Hall. Both are on-campus residence halls for second year and upper-class DU students. Each building has suites that contain either two or four bedrooms with a shared common area and bathroom. For detailed lodging policies click here.

  • Who is Pioneer Prep designed for?

    Pioneer Prep Leadership Institutes are an opportunity for students in the high school classes of 2021 and 2022 who identify as Black, African American or of African descent and/or Latinx, Hispanic or of Spanish descent to have a dynamic college access, leadership and cultural identity learning experience on the University of Denver campus.

  • What kind of security will be in effect during the program?

    Pioneer Prep is staffed by DU employees. All buildings are fully locked and accessible only with a DU security card. We'll provide this when you arrive. Campus is monitored 24/7 by DU security.

  • I'm flying in. Will someone pick me up from the airport?

    Yes, a DU employee will meet you at the airport, and we'll arrange a shuttle to take you from the airport to campus. We'll also arrange transportation back to the airport at the end of the program.

  • I received a travel stipend. What will it cover?

    The travel stipend will cover your airfare and luggage costs. All other costs (food, entertainment, housing) are covered by the program.

  • Do I need to speak Spanish to participate in the Latinx Pioneer Prep program?

    No! All materials will be in English and some materials will be in Spanish as well.

  • Can I bring a car?

    Yes, and we'll give you a parking permit when you arrive. However, you won't be allowed to drive off-campus without special permission from DU staff. Your car should remain in the garage until the end of the program.