Frequently Asked Questions

Many of your questions regarding the Pre-College Summer Program in Early American History can be found in the Pre-College Handbook.  Below are answers to some of the frequently asked questions that we get from students and parents.


 Should I bring any money?  How much money should I bring?

Yes, students should bring spending money.  Here are some things you and your parents should take into consideration when deciding how much to bring:

You will want to bring a roll of quarters to use in the laundry facilities and you may want some spending money for souvenirs, gifts, snacks, or meals purchased off campus.  You may also want to have money for necessities in case you forget to bring a toothbrush, pillow, towel, etc.  All meals--including on weekends--and museum admission tickets will be provided by NIAHD.  The only exception to this is Arrival Day and Departure Day when only one meal will be provided.  Parents will either need to provide lunch for their students on those days or ensure that they have money to purchase their own meals off campus.

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 What will meals be like on campus?  I have a food allergy, will I still be able to eat meals provided by NIAHD and W&M?

See the section entitled “Dining and Meals” in the Pre-College Handbook and [[precol,contact NIAHD]] if you have any additional questions or concerns.

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 What dorm will I be staying in?

All students will be staying in Randolph Complex.  Session 1 students will be housed in Pleasants Hall; Session 2 students will be housed in Giles Hall.  Both residence halls are located in Randolph Complex.  Students will not find out their exact room, floor, or roommate until Arrival Day.  Due to staffing limitations, NIAHD is unable to provide students with this information ahead of time.

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 Are the dorms air-conditioned?

Yes!  All dorm rooms are air-conditioned.  Students more often comment on the rooms being too cold instead of too hot.  We are only able to adjust thermostats within a few degrees.  NIAHD strongly recommends that students pack a warm blanket for their bed.

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 Can I bring a microwave and/or mini-fridge to the dorm?

No, students should not attempt to bring any large appliances to keep in their dorm rooms.  Each hall is equipped with full-size refrigerators, microwaves, and televisions for communal use.  

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 When/how will I find out who my roommate is?

All students will find out who they are rooming with on Arrival Day when they check in.  Due to limited staffing, we are unable to provide students with this information ahead of time.

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 I am very athletic.  Will I be able to use the Student Rec Center?  Will I be able to keep up my training/fitness schedule?

NIAHD’s Pre-College students are granted only limited access to the W&M Student Rec Center for an additional fee of $25.  See the Student Rec Center Policy for more details.

Students may exercise/train during their free time.  Students will have time in the evenings and weekends to run, use the Rec Center (if you've paid the additional fee), and participate in pick-up games of soccer or ultimate Frisbee. During the week, students will NOT have time to train in the mornings. 

Students often want to run on campus.  NIAHD has strict rules about where and when students can run.  Students are only allowed to run on the main campus or in Colonial Williamsburg proper. 

NIAHD requires students to adhere to a buddy system and run in groups of 3 or more.  While Williamsburg is a relatively safe community, it is not without incident.  The safety of our students is our chief concern.  NIAHD will not grant any exceptions to the buddy system.

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 Can I bring my bike to the program?

Students may bring their bike to the program, but it is not recommended.  While Williamsburg is a bike-friendly community, the nature of our program is not conducive to commuting on bicycles.  The campus is small enough and the daily schedule is built to make sure that all students will have plenty of time to walk to all of their activities and classes.

If you intend to bring your bike for exercising, please note that students will be expected to follow the same policies as those instituted for running on campus.  You are only permitted to ride on the main campus and through Colonial Williamsburg (~2 miles), and you must ride with at least one other student.  If you have any questions about this policy, [[precol,contact the NIAHD Office]].

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Can I have a car/automobile on campus?

No.  W&M Pre-College students are not permitted to drive or park their cars on campus.  Pre-College students should not be driving at all during the program unless they are with a parent/guardian.  NIAHD staff will have daily use of vans for all its transportation needs.

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 I want to apply to the College of William & Mary.  Can I meet with a member of the Admissions Office while I am attending the program?

Yes!  Students will have some time – typically in the late afternoons – to meet with an Admissions Officer.  Students are required to set up interviews online using the Admissions’ website several weeks in advance.  Interviews are only available for rising seniors.

Please keep in mind that students will not be excused from class to attend their interview.  Additionally, some field trips will last all day and students will not return to campus until after the Admissions Office has closed.  The NIAHD office staff is happy to work with students prior to their arrival and help you set up the best date/time.  We strongly recommend that you contact the NIAHD office via phone or [[precol,email]] before making any arrangements with Admissions.

NIAHD also invites an admissions dean to come and speak with all of our students at the end of the program.  This would not take the place of an admissions interview, but it is still a great opportunity for students to ask questions about applying to W&M specifically and applying to college in general. 

Important: Admission to this summer program does not imply or guarantee acceptance into the undergraduate program at William and Mary.

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Will I have free time to do non-academic activities?

Yes!  See the “Academics” section in the Pre-College Handbook to find examples of your daily schedule, which includes blocks of free time for students to complete their classwork and pursue non-academic interests.

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 I play an instrument.  Can I bring it with me to the program?  Will there be time for me to practice?

If your instrument is portable, you may bring it with you.  Students will have free time in the evenings and on weekends to study, exercise, practice their instruments, and socialize.  It is the individual student’s decision to use that time as they see fit, and as long as it does not interfere with academic work or mandatory activities NIAHD has no objection to students practicing their instruments.  Our students stay very busy for the three weeks that they are here.  Even the most dedicated of our student musicians often choose to participate in other activities and forego practicing their instruments for a short time.

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 I have family/friends who want to visit me.  Is that allowed?  When can they visit?

Refer to Page 14 in the Pre-College Handbook for information concerning visitors. 

Please note that it is NIAHD’s policy not to allow students to leave the campus with friends or family members without written permission from your parents/guardians.  NIAHD discourages non-familial visitors of any kind.

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 I live outside of Virginia and will likely have to fly to get to the program.  Is there a shuttle service that can take me from the airport to the campus and vice versa?

Yes!  NIAHD can provide limited shuttle service to Richmond International Airport, Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, and the Williamsburg Train Station.  Refer to the page on NIAHD Shuttle's Service for more information.

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 I am flying in from across the country and will not be able to pack my bed linens and other dormitory items in my airport luggage.  Can I send them ahead of time?

Yes! We have many students fly in from all over the country—and a few from abroad.  We understand that airlines make it increasingly difficult to travel with dormitory items.  If you decide to mail your belongings in advance, please [[precol,notify NIAHD]] so we are prepared to accept the packages.  Use the address formats found on Page 14 of the Pre-College Handbook and be sure to get a tracking number.

Important: You also need to arrange for shipping the items home before coming to the program.  We recommend that you use an independent parcel carrier (i.e. UPS/FedEx/DHL) for shipping dormitory items to AND from the program.  When you drop off the packages for shipment to the program, let them know that you will also need a return label for shipping these packages back home.  Pay for shipping in both directions ahead of time to make it easy for the students to send things home.  Please call the NIAHD office at 757-221-7652 if you have any additional questions about shipping packages.

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