NHI is familiar with the fact that from one day to the next, high school seniors are expected to make the transition to independent adult life. The CWS prepares students for the emotional ups and downs of adapting to life away from their parents, making large financial investments, managing time effectively, understanding various cultures and lifestyles different from their own, and making critical decisions that eventually chart the course of their life journey.
“NHI students are intellectually curious, mature beyond their years, and globally responsible citizens who enrich our campus community.” ~Michael Gaynor, Director of Admissions, Villanova University
For five days, the CWS shepherds students into the transition of going into independent mode – adulthood – and the responsibilities that come with it. Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) is the core methodology of this program, which engages students in an investigative and question-driven approach to mapping out the next 12 to 60 months of their lives.
Of NHI’s three high school leadership programs, the CWS represents the most serious and thought-provoking experience. It is also the program that tests students’ ability to transform challenges into workable solutions.
The Two-Part Learning Experience of the CWS
PART ONE involves two days where top college admissions counselors from NHI’s College Register coach student participants on all aspects of the college admissions process. Making it fun while learning, the CWS is organized into a league of competing students who are carefully taken through the various stages of college admissions, which include expert guidance on the common application, essays, interviews, letters of recommendation, financial aid, and resume/curriculum vitae.
PART TWO shifts away from college admissions to personal life skill development and management. Knowing that high school students in their senior year will shortly be making the transition into college life, major attention is given to managing multiple factors that comprise decisions – even emotional, psychological, and cultural demands. Education Directors make sure that students have a mental model for asking themselves serious, adult-like questions regarding life decisions. This process helps guide students in the complex, expensive, professional, and emotionally charged decision of college.
CWS Attendance Details
NHI hosts the Collegiate World Series on the campuses of top university/host partners. Safety and student security are top priorities of the NHI staff, who work tirelessly with the campus safety team at each university to ensure that students are well cared for during the program.
While students must manage their own transportation to the CWS host city, once on the ground, NHI works to arrange a shuttle service for transportation to and from the host university from designated airports, bus, and train stations.
Upon arrival to the campus, students register and are assigned to stay in single-gender residencies with plenty of older mentors staying on each floor if students have special needs or concerns.
What to Expect
As soon as you arrive, NHI staff are there to greet you at the airport or on campus.
The first afternoon begins with getting reacquainted with old friends from the Great Debate and LDZ and meeting new NHI members. Afterward, your first challenge begins! Meet and interact with VIP college admission officials who will have a real impact on your future college plans. The idea is to get to know them and market yourself.
Day two is grueling! Undergo five college admission scenarios including essays, applications, letters of recommendation, interviews, and resumes. By the end of this day, you’ll have a solid beginning on the college admission process with feedback from top college admission representatives. Then go relax and enjoy time with friends.
No NHI program is an “NHI program” without tough challenges and curriculum. Day three is about understanding inquiry based learning and a process of questioning to get down to core challenges that face us in life. This process quickly turns into teams, tournaments, and nerves. After an all-day brain fry, enjoy an evening out on the town.
Day four is perhaps the most sentimental of NHI experiences. Not only does a championship IBL team emerge, but students wipe away the tears during the NHI Graduation Ceremony as they receive their official diplomas and cords. Only students who complete the rigorous CWS course receive these honors.
Day five is for reflection and discussing the future. CWSers return to their schools as ambassadors to help others learn about the college admission process.
How to Become a CWS Participant
If you are a college bound 11th grade student (graduating class of 2021) and have a minimum 3.2/4.0 (standard) or 4.0/5.0 (weighted) or 88/100 GPA or 8.8/10 GPA, with firm intentions of going to college, then you qualify for admission.
- Applying is just the first step. You can download an application by clicking here or you can apply online here.
- Once we receive the application, verification of your grades and the application processing fee of $20, you will get notification of admission to the CWS. From there you will work with an NHI representative to make arrangements for tuition and to complete other release forms and travel information.
- Next summer you will be invited to participate in an online webinar, receive pre-conference reading materials, briefing book, and guidance on how to prepare for the CWS.
How Much Does CWS Cost?
The CWS is NHI’s capstone leadership development experience. With a history since 1991, the CWS has a strong reputation among hundreds of parents, colleges, and high schools as accelerating student preparedness for college. Depending on the region of the country and university host, the CWS is estimated at a rate of $1,200 per student and well worth it. The good news is that your expected family/school contribution is only $695, which includes a $20 application fee and $150 deposit. How is this program so affordable, when other programs charge as much as $2,000 for a week?
If you qualify for admission, our university partners underwrite a large portion of the costs before you even apply. We also have an annual team of investors and volunteers who contribute resources and donate their time. Together these resources help make the NHI tuition more accessible to families and school entities. In addition, applying early gives you more time to find resources for transportation. Space is limited, so stake your claim early with an upfront tuition payment or work with our team on another option.
Can I Fundraise?
NHI’s cost reductions are built into the tuition.
2020 CWS Costs ……………………………………………………………………
University Partners, Volunteers, and Sponsors ……………………………
2020 CWS Total Tuition …………………………………………………………..
– $ 650
= $ 715 USD
As you read above, the CWS would be much more expensive if NHI charged families for services that the university and volunteers provide. To make it even more accessible, half of NHI participants do some fundraising or find a school or community sponsor. NHI provides you all of the tools necessary to raise even a small portion of your tuition.
Some students work as a group or are assisted by a school club or administrator and get some portion of their tuition covered. Other times families may petition their administrators or school districts for assistance. Different school based programs that have supported NHI students in the past include: AVID, GEAR UP, Federal Programs, College Access/Readiness, Talent Search, Upward Bound and Migrant Education.
NHI provides sponsor letters in English and Spanish that can be shared with community organizations and businesses. The intent of the letter is to explain the importance of investing in our young leaders, and that the young person seeking support is a top college bound student. It also explains the tax benefits they can receive by donating to NHI as a 501c3 nonprofit organization in the United States. You can download this letter at 2020 CWS Sponsor Letter. You might want to visit local businesses that you and your family frequent.
Other times your parent’s employer may be able to invest and there are many nonprofit organizations that set aside dollars to support youth endeavors. Try looking up your local Hispanic/Latino Chamber of Commerce, groups like LULAC, ALPFA, SHPE, and even Latino resource groups within major companies in your town like Verizon, Seton, Coca Cola, IBM, Exxon and others.
Not that different from little league or everyone chipping in for a quinceañera, many NHI students raise their tuition by joining forces with family members, friends and supporters.
NHI provides an online tool that allows individuals to contribute as little as $5 to your tuition. With just a few minutes and clicks, you as an admitted student can customize a fundraising site and share it with close friends. Also, students can work with their parents and other supportive adults to tap their networks. You can choose to be creative and name your campaign to make it special. Afterward, thank all your investors and let them know how you enjoyed the CWS experience with a photo! Set up your fundraising page here.
What Happens After CWS
After the CWS experience you will hear from NHI about future opportunities that remind you of the valuable lessons we all share at the program. The campaign to sign up for the CWS or compete for a staff mentor role starts in August and September. Throughout the fall semester, student mentors work with NHI to launch outreach and recruitment activities in their communities and schools. Celebración takes place in the late fall semester to finish out the year with over 800 in attendance. And then you get ready for the Collegiate Leadership Network once you arrive to college. Also, you can apply for admission to the John F. Lopez Research and Management Fellowship, the “NHI Internship.” Throughout college, volunteering locally and participating in Celebración are ways to continue to build your network of NHI contacts and relationships. After college you will be able to continue participating with NHI as a senior volunteer, trainer, or ambassador but can also regularly connect with NHI alumni through our Professional Chapters in the Americas. You can remain as involved as you choose to be and connect to up to 90,000 members worldwide!
CWS Host Universities
“The connections I made with actual college admissions officers were invaluable during my college application process. I knew that I had an expert just a phone call away, one who knew me personally and who knew how I do things. At the CWS I learned ‘how’ to think when faced with all kinds of challenges.” Susana Lugo, El Paso, Texas, CWS 2014, Student at UT Austin.
“CWS engendered personal changes that are now essential to my mindset; I value thought and questioning above all and took with me the tools to get accepted to my dream school on a full scholarship.” – Miranda Brooke Amey, Corpus Christi, Texas CWS 2014, Student at Vassar College.
Briefing Book – In the Spring, a month before the program you will receive a final briefing packet. Included in this information is a schedule, university map, program details, packing lists, biographies on the site directors, information on the local host institution and local area, as well as health, safety, and security details. There is a briefing book that is specific to each of the three CWS programs.
Celebración – In 2003, NHI started sponsoring an annual convention in the fall semester that would convene top awards recipients and outstanding delegates from all of NHI’s high school, college, and alumni programs. The event has been held in Corpus Christi, Austin, San Antonio, and currently in Dallas, Texas. Annually, approximately 700 NHI members attend the program that celebrates the vast talents of the youth membership and community at large. Features include NHI’s largest college fair, high level training on community social entrepreneurship, national talent show, featured alumni guests, annual alumni and community awards banquet, and well as an opportunity to get to know the city of Dallas.
College Register – For well over 20 years NHI has maintained active and close working relationships with the admissions leaders and representatives of 75-100 colleges. NHI supporting institutions become official register members of the College Register which allows them to have a closer connection to the alumni and their families. Only College Register institutions are invited to participate in the NHI College fairs, the CWS as coaches, the Celebración college fair, and they are the only schools that receive the student directory. College Register institutions have always presented great opportunities to NHI alumni. Some offer NHI specific scholarships and fee waivers while other take a special interest in NHI applicants.
Collegiate Leadership Network “CLN” – In the early-1990s NHI established a formal college undergraduate organization. The Collegiate Leadership Network conference was a 4-5 day event held during the school year which would allow for members to expand their base of relationships while continuing the conversations from the summer. An attempt at putting ideas into motion. In the early 2000s, the CLN went beyond the continental U.S. with a conference in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico and San Juan, Puerto Rico. After a brief hiatus, the CLN has been revived at Celebración with chapters in metropolitan areas and on college campuses. Members act as field volunteers in the community with NHI and learn from carrying out local outreach, recruitment, and fundraising. Annually, they are able to connect with the Professional Alumni Network locally and nationally at Celebración.
Collegiate World Series “CWS” – NHIers “graduate” from the organization’s high school programs at the Collegiate World Series (CWS). Only at the CWS do students receiving official NHI honor cords and the NHI diploma. The program features the Tournament Series where representatives of NHI’s College Register coach students on the first hand truths and challenges of college admissions and financial aid. Students are grouped in college teams and practice their interviewing, essay writing, and self-marketing skills. The second half of the experience evolves to the Thought Series where students used Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) challenges to prepare for making important life decision. CWSers leave the programs equipped with the tools to successfully seek admissions to a competitive four-year college and the know how to self-manage and self-navigate the real life human challenges and opportunities of one’s early adult years.
Education Director – NHI’s faculty is made up of home office team members but primarily a certified and trained corps of alumni professionals. Annually, NHI alumni are nominated or appointed and undergo several sessions of advanced training in organizational dynamics, the Institute’s learning theory and pedagogy, and the study of community leadership as well as the Latino community. Education Directors are also undergo training and coursework in sexual abuse prevention as well as receive a full background check. Their certifications are renewed annually with NHI’s home office. Normally, pairs of Education Directors are mobilized to lead and direct each NHI summer learning experience.
Family Contribution – NHI learning experiences like most camps, retreats, conferences, and seminars have associated costs and financial obligations. Long ago, NHI ventured into this work by collaborating with university partners and community supporters to make the experiences more accessible to students. The CWS alone would cost $1,000 on average if it were not for the investments made by our host institutions and team of volunteers. The tuition or family contribution for each experience reflects approximately one third of the total costs. In some cases, students qualify for support from their schools or school district. In many cases, students will employ NHI’s sponsor program or on-line based fundraising tool to marshal their family contribution. Remember, two thirds of the program’s expenses and costs are never passed on to you. We will work a reasonable plan or fundraising program to help you with your family contribution.
John F. Lopez Research and Management Fellowship – Annually, NHI employs a team of undergraduate and graduate students who serve as interns at the home office in Maxwell, Texas. Named after NHI alumnus and current trustee John F. Lopez, Jr. who was the organization’s first junior staff member and unofficial intern. Students work with a sponsoring organization or their universities to underwrite ten weeks of service in the summer.
Meals – The tuition includes all meals with the exception of one dinner, which is ordinarily eaten out during a local excursion. The meals include the arrival day dinner through breakfast on the final day. It’s important to bring some extra money to cover: late night pizza orders with your friends, arrival day lunch, departure day lunch, and the excursion evening dinner.
Residences – Students reside in the university dorms and are assigned roommates. Women and men are divided into separate buildings and/or halls by gender. All students are assigned a counselor who is responsible for their whereabouts, safety, and security. These individuals conduct nightly room checks after lights out. Students are strictly prohibited from going into dorms of the opposite gender or being outside of their rooms or dorms after curfew.
Security -NHI works closely with the university to ensure the safety and security of all students during the program. All NHI volunteers and staff must be cleared through a criminal background check prior to the program. Security checks include roll calls every morning during the first assembly, throughout the day, and during evening meetings prior to lights out. Unless on a planned excursion, students are not allowed to leave the campus or the group for any reason without the expressed consent of the Education Director. No visitors other than parents are allowed on the campus during the program, unless during published visiting hours. Students are not allowed to bring vehicles onto the campus. NHI has a Zero Tolerance policy on drugs, alcohol and firearms. Students are not allowed to leave their dorm rooms for any reason after curfew.
Tuition – The $695 tuition includes meals, materials, housing and the course. It does not include the Third Reality (approx. $15) reading material, one meal and spending money. It does not include transportation to the host university. NHI does offer local pick up and drop off services to the airport, bus or train station for approximately US$40 when students arrive within a particular time frame. As a 501 c 3 non profit organization, NHI tuition contributions from donors and sponsors are tax deductible. Ask your accountant how it might apply to you.
University Host/Partner – The university host/partner institution acts at the “home” for each NHI program. CWS hosts include: Elizabethtown College (Pennsylvania), University of South Florida (Tampa), and the University of North Texas (Texas). Aside from providing the facilities and space, each host institution makes a financial contributions towards the real cost of the CWS.