Summer Session FAQs
This section is designed to answer questions you may have when first looking at our program. Detailed information is sent to accepted students after they enroll.
- Application Questions
- Transportation Questions
- Campus Life Questions
- "What to Bring" Questions
- Food Questions
- Health Questions
- Financial Questions
- Academics Questions
- Communications Questions
Who can apply for financial aid?
Anyone may apply for financial aid, although the majority of aid is reserved for U.S. citizens. The deadline for submission of all application and financial aid materials is February 15. Applicants will be advised of our decision by March 15.
Do international applicants have to provide TOEFL scores?
TOEFL scores are not required as part of the application. The day after they arrive at NMH, students enrolled in ESOL will be tested so that we can place them in the correct level. We offer 7 levels, from beginning to advanced.
If you are an international student wishing to apply for Rising Scholars or College Prep courses, you must send us a copy of a graded essay of at least 450 words that you wrote this school year for your English class. Your name and your teacher’s corrections and comments must be included on the essay. The essay is not required for students applying for ESOL.
How many students attend Summer Session and where are they from?
Last summer, our student body represented 28 countries. We average approximately 260 boarders and 40 day students. Since the beginning of the program, we have had students from all 50 U.S. states and 126 countries.
Note: We advise that you do not book flights until your child is accepted and enrolled. We will send specific guidelines for you to follow when booking flights.
What is the nearest airport?
Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Connecticut is approximately one hour’s drive from NMH. The Summer Session provides free bus service from Bradley International Airport to our campus on June 27 and back to Bradley Airport on August 1, 2020.
Parents must make their own arrangements for their child’s transportation to NMH from any other airport (see next section). Please keep in mind that Logan Airport (Boston, Massachusetts) is more than two hours’ drive from our campus, and JFK Airport (New York) is more than four hours’ drive from our campus. Remember to allow time to get through baggage claim and security.
How do I arrange transportation from an airport other than Bradley International Airport?
The following local car services provide airport transportation and unaccompanied minor services. Parents must contact them directly for rates and reservations.
Green River Transportation: www.ridegreenriver.com, telephone 1-413-883-6352
Thomas Transportation: www.thomastransportation.com, telephone 1-603-352-5550
May I arrive after the beginning of Summer Session?
Students must arrive between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm on Saturday, June 27. Students taking credit courses cannot afford to miss a single day of study, as they are fitting a full year’s coursework into five intensive weeks. Classes begin on Monday morning.
Students enrolled in ESOL are required to take a special English test on the morning of Sunday, June 28, in order to be placed at the correct level.
When can I leave Summer Session?
Closing day, when NMH Summer Session ends and all students depart, is Saturday, August 1. Final classes take place on Friday, July 31, and there are special farewell events for students that evening. (Students can, in fact, depart after classes end at 3:00 pm on Friday, July 31, although most will wish to remain for the farewell activities on Friday evening and then depart on Saturday morning). Families are invited to join us for dinner, student performances, and an opportunity to speak with individual teachers on Friday, July 31, between 6:15 and 7:00 pm or on Saturday, August 1, between 8:30 and 9:30 am. (We understand that many families will be unable to attend, particularly since half of our students come to us from other countries.)
May I leave campus?
Yes, but only under certain conditions and with your house director’s and/or parent/guardian’s written permission.
What are the dorms like?
There are 15 dorms of various sizes on the NMH campus, six of which are used by the Summer Session. Students entering grades 7 through 9 are housed in separate dorms from students entering grades 10 through 12. Each dorm is managed by a dorm head and several teaching interns (college seniors and recent graduates). Each dorm staff member acts as an advisor to a group of students with whom they keep in close contact throughout the summer, helping the students settle in and with homework and any issues or questions they may have. The advisor should be parents' primary contact to address any problems. Students will receive their advisors' contact information at Registration on the first day. Read more about the dorms.
What security measures does NMH take to ensure the students' safety?
Well-trained, uniformed campus safety officers are on duty, keeping school residents safe and facilities secure at all times. Exterior dormitory doors are always locked, requiring those entering to have an ID card that is individually programmed to permit entrance into specified buildings. Safety officers and the health center staff are equipped and trained to deal with medical emergencies. All dorm heads and dorm staff members are trained in first aid and CPR. Safety officers also respond to any other type of emergency and coordinate with local fire and police departments as necessary.
Students are given a room key and ID card at Registration. If they lose their room key or card, it must be reported to dorm staff immediately and a replacement will be ordered for them. There is a charge of $40 per key or ID card lost.
What can I do in my free time?
Summer Session students have access to all of NMH’s facilities during the summer. Here is a quick overview of what’s available.
• NMH stands on 1,565 acres in the beautiful Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts.
• NMH's sports facilities include a full gymnasium with badminton courts, three basketball courts, a 25-meter swimming pool, two volleyball courts, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a dance studio; a track, seven soccer fields (including one turf field), 12 tennis courts, two baseball fields, one softball field, and a boathouse on the Connecticut River.
• We have a wonderful student social area in Blake Student Center, which adjoins the school snack bar and NMH Bookstore. Here students can socialize with friends, play pool or table tennis, or join in one of the many organized activities.
• Schauffler Library has over 70,000 books and other materials, providing a quiet area for study or reading. It also houses one of our computer labs.
• Rhodes Arts Center has a dance performance space that doubles as a black-box theater, a theater, and various art and ceramics studios.
• Alumni Hall is our fabulous dining facility, which serves a variety of hot and cold food, with a full deli bar, salad bar, dessert bar, fresh fruit station, and ice cream.
What should I bring?
Although NMH Summer Session does not provide a clothing list, students usually wear T-shirts and jeans or shorts. Clothes must be presentable, non-revealing, properly fitted, and in good repair. While evenings can be cool (60F/15C), days can become quite hot (90F/45C). For off-campus trips to the theater or worship services, students are expected to dress appropriately.
Laundry is collected weekly on Friday and returned the following Tuesday, so be sure to pack sufficient clothing. Note: the longest stretch will be from arrival on Saturday, June 27, through to the following Tuesday (ten days).
Do I need a computer?
All students must bring their own laptop, tablet, or Chromebook as all courses (including math) regularly assign work that requires use of a computer. It should have Google Chrome installed as a web browser, as this works best with the NMH Google account. Many teachers assign both in-class work and homework that requires writing and submission of work via the Google drive. NMH does not provide computers for students to use during class, and although there are a limited number of computers for use in the library and computer labs, these will not satisfy students' in-class needs.
Which classes require specific equipment (apart from a computer)?
Digital Photography students must bring their own digital SLR camera (not fully automatic; it must allow for manual focus). NMH does not have cameras for student use.
Algebra II and Precalculus require a Texas Instruments TI-nSpire CAS graphing calculator.
What things are not allowed?
Due to health and safety/fire regulations, the following items are not permitted: cloth wall, curtain, or ceiling hangings; matches, lighters, or fireworks; dry floral arrangements or evergreens; electric blankets; foam padding, including foam mattress pads; electrical items such as air conditioners, televisions, coffee or tea-makers, hot plates, popcorn poppers, toaster ovens, irons, etc; candles; incense burners; high-intensity lamps (especially halogen lamps), strings of decorative lights; pets of any kind; large furniture; upholstered, stuffed, or beanbag chairs; wicker furniture; weapons or knives (including Swiss Army knives); and plastic, straw, shag, or rubber-backed rugs.
What sports equipment should I bring?
Most sports do not have any required equipment, with the exception of:
Soccer: cleats and shin guards are required.
Tennis: a tennis racquet and tennis shoes with smooth, non-marking soles. NMH provides balls during official tennis practice. Students who plan to play during free time must provide their own tennis balls.
Mountain biking: mountain bicycle and helmet are required. These are available for rent from NMH (details included in information sent after students are accepted and enrolled).
Optional: baseball/softball glove for the faculty-student softball games.
What’s the food like? Do you cater to those with allergies?
The food is amazing! Alumni Hall serves the entire Northfield Mount Hermon community as the central dining facility. The variety of offerings is quite extensive. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free offerings are available at each meal. All allergies should be included in your medical information so that we can inform relevant staff.
When is the dining hall open?
Monday through Saturday breakfast hours are 7:15–8:30 am, lunch hours are 11:00 am–1:00 pm, and dinner hours are 5:00–7:00 pm. On Sundays, continental breakfast hours are 8:00–10:00 am, brunch hours are 10:00 am–1:00 pm, and dinner hours are 5:00–7:00 pm.
Snacks and “fast food” items such as wraps, omelets, and breakfast sandwiches are also available at the snack bar in the Blake Student Center. The snack bar is open 9:30–11:30 am Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; 9:30 am–5:00 pm Wednesday; and 1:00–11:00 pm Saturday.
Do I need health insurance?
All students are required to have health insurance that covers them while at NMH Summer Session. (See Tuition & Fees, Additional Expenses for complete details.)
What health information do you require?
Prior to a student's arrival at NMH, parents must complete medical information on NMH's online healthcare portal, including student medical history and immunization records. Please note that all students are required to provide documentation of a doctor’s physical completed within 12 months of the Summer Session’s start date, so you may need to book this appointment ahead of time.
What if I am sick?
The school physician is available every week day at the health center and after hours when necessary. If a student becomes ill at hours other than the posted outpatient hours, the advisor and dorm head should be notified. Inpatient services are provided by the nursing staff as required. School nurses are on duty during posted hours and on call at all other times; 24-hour emergency care is provided at the local hospital.
If a day student is sick, the parent/guardian must call the Summer Session Office at 413-498-3290 to report the absence so that we can inform all necessary personnel. Do not email teachers or interns, as they may not check their email during class, and the Summer Session Office must account for any absences immediately.
What if I need to take prescription medication?
Parents must inform NMH Health Services about any medications taken by students. Prescription medications from home—including those that fall under the category of psychotropic (anti-anxiety, anti-depressants, stimulants for ADD or ADHD, and some sleep aids)—must be shipped or hand-delivered by the parent/guardian to NMH Health Services. Medications may not be given to the student to bring if not accompanied by a parent/guardian and may not be mailed to the student. Allergy medications and a schedule for dispensing them must be given to the NMH health center. Antibiotics, allergy and cold preparations, and nutritional supplements are dispensed as needed. All medications are held at the health center and dispensed to students. Students may not keep any prescription medications in their rooms.
All absences must be approved by the Summer Session Office. Attendance is required at all classes, sports, and work assignments. Students should not request to be excused except in cases of illness. In such cases, they may be excused only by the school physician or nurses. Students who miss an excessive number of classes are liable for dismissal.
How do I pay tuition and fees?
You may pay online through our payment portal using your credit card, debit card, or e-check; or by check or bank wire.
How do I put spending money into my child’s account?
Parents can deposit money with NMH for the student's personal spending account through our online payment portal, and those funds can be withdrawn from NMH's cashier. Students with ATM cards can access spending money by using the TD Bank automated teller machine (ATM) in the Blake Student Center.
If a student has a TD Bank debit or ATM card, there are no fees for withdrawals at a TD Bank ATM. For cards other than TD Bank, there is a fee per transaction, and the student’s bank may also charge a fee. Those wishing to set up a TD Bank account must contact TD Bank directly (www.tdbank.com).
NMH spending accounts should be set up ahead of time when paying the tuition bill by including an extra amount designated for the student’s spending account. This can be done through our online payment portal on the Summer Session website by adding the dollar amount under “Student Spending Account.”
The advantage of establishing an ATM account is that the on-campus ATM is available at any time, and students can also access ATM funds while on off-campus trips. The NMH cashier’s office cannot process ATM deposits and withdrawals, and students can only access their NMH spending account during certain hours.
Funds deposited with NMH cannot be accessed through an ATM. Students cannot make withdrawals from their NMH spending account on the weekends, so they must plan ahead. Students should not keep large amounts of cash on their person or in their room.
How much money should I bring?
This is a personal preference and will vary for every child. Students should only need money for items such as toiletries, snacks, spending money on trips, and cash for traveling to and from NMH (at the airport, for example).
How do I check my account balance?
You may contact NMH's accounting office to get information on your child’s account by contacting:
Joanne Graves at firstname.lastname@example.org (or telephone 413-498-3268) or
Angie Fletcher at email@example.com (or telephone 413-498-3189)
You may also set up an account with My Kids Spending at www.mykidsspending.com. This will give you up-to-date information regarding your account. The accounts are updated nightly Monday through Friday.
My Kids Spending Information:
• Parents and students can create and access their My Kids Spending account. To create an account:
1. Navigate to www.mykidsspending.com
2. Select "Create Account or Add Student to Existing Account."
3. Fill in parent name, student name, student ID number, and email address to create a My Kids Spending account.
4. Students will only need accounts if they want to download and use the free My Kids Spending app, from Google Play (Android) or iTunes (Apple).
• Statements: Parents can request statements on-demand or by pre-selecting a low-balance threshold at which a statement will be automatically emailed.
• To request a statement, once logged into MyKidsSpending.com, select the "Statements" button. On the statements page, check "Request copy of statement" and click “Submit.” Statements are typically sent as an automated process overnight, so please allow up to 24 hours for your request to be processed.
• To have statements sent whenever the account balance drops below a specific point, check "Enable Statement Delivery" and enter the desired threshold in the box.
What are credit courses?
Many of our College Prep courses may be taken for academic-year credit (see College Prep, Major Courses, for those marked with an asterisk *). Many students are able to satisfy requirements during the five weeks for full-year courses, such as U.S. History, the sciences, or mathematics. A transcript with letter grade and a complete course description are sent to parents at the end of the Summer Session, and the awarding of credit is determined by the student's academic-year school.
How much homework will I have?
This will vary depending on your course(s). Rising Scholars should anticipate two hours of homework, College Prep students up to three hours of homework, and ESOL students two-three hours of homework per day.
Are courses held every day?
All students, regardless of program, attend classes Monday through Saturday. Classes finish at 11:30 am on Saturdays, and there are no minor courses or sports on Saturday afternoons or on Sundays.
Can I change my courses?
It is possible to change a major course or minor course during the first days of the Summer Session. Only the director or associate director may authorize such a change. No changes may be made after the second meeting of a course.
When and how will I hear if my child has been accepted?
Once all complete application paperwork is submitted, parents and students should receive an email from the Summer Session Office within a few days.
When and how will I hear whether I have been awarded financial aid?
Financial aid applicants will be notified of our decisions by email by March 15.
How should I address a package to my child?
You should use the following format:
(Name of Child)
Northfield Mount Hermon Summer Session
One Lamplighter Way,
Mount Hermon, MA 01354
(*Students will receive dormitory assignments when they arrive for Registration.)
How can my child mail something?
Items to be mailed must be taken to the mail room in the center of campus, adjoining Blake Student Center.
I am unable to reach my child. What should I do?
If you cannot reach your child by phone, text, or email, you should contact the advisor or, if the advisor is unavailable, the dorm head. Their emails will be provided to you at the start of Summer Session.
Is there internet access in the dorms?
Yes, wireless internet is available all over campus.