HMI Summer Term Frequently Asked Questions

Students apply to the HMI Summer Term as high school freshmen, sophomores, or juniors. Our summer students are typically between 15 and 17 years old.

No. Many of our students have never backpacked, hiked, or skied before. We teach all our students what they need to know to survive and thrive in the wilderness. All necessary outdoor gear can be rented at HMI and financial aid awards include reduced-price or free gear rental.

For a detailed overview of who should and should not participate in HMI programming, view our Essential Eligibility Criteria

No. Your polished personal essay–as well as your writing in the Writing Seminar and on backpacking expedition–is what you take home at the end of the program. 

No. Many students choose to to do so, but this is entirely up to the student. 

We can easily accommodate vegetarians and students with mild dietary restrictions and food allergies. Students with severe food allergy or dietary restriction should know that, while we do our best to use clean kitchen utensils and cookware to prepare food, we cannot guarantee zero cross-contamination. Our gluten-free options are made and cooked in the same facility and ovens as our regular, gluten-containing food items. We cannot guarantee (without fundamentally changing the nature of our program) that food items prepared at HMI are 100% free of gluten (or other allergens) as there is always a possibility of trace amounts crossing over from other kitchen areas. Before applying, please be in touch with the HMI Admissions office to discuss any severe allergies or dietary restrictions.

You may view our current dates and tuition on our Tuition & Affordability page. 

We have 33 students each Summer Term.

Students facing mental health challenges at HMI can turn to their advisor and our part-time licensed psychologist. Additionally, some students continue sessions with a mental health professional at home through video chat. While on backpacking expeditions, students have limited-to-no access to outside mental health professionals. Our rural location means mental health supports beyond those listed above is very limited.

While some students with mental health challenges have thrived at HMI, others–particularly those with moderate to severe mental health issues–have struggled significantly on our wilderness expeditions and on campus because of the intensity of living in remote areas, exposure to situations outside of our control (such as weather), and the lack of private time and space. Many students who struggle in similar situations at home have not found intensive wilderness and residential settings easier to navigate. For these reasons, we do not recommend HMI for a student who has recently completed a residential behavioral therapy program. 

Please contact us to talk about how we could best serve your student. In addition, we are happy to share our knowledge of the many excellent wilderness therapy programs in the United States.

HMI is not a wilderness therapy program. Our school has no therapeutic focus or program components to help students deal with addiction, mental health issues, or unresolved traumas.

HMI has a zero-tolerance policy around drug and alcohol use. Students enjoy significant independence on our campus but are expected to make all decisions with community safety and trust in mind. The presence or use of illegal substances on our campus represents a breakdown of this trust and and we cannot support students who engage in such behaviors.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis through February 15th. For more information, visit the Apply Now page. 

HMI Summer Term Informational Webinar

HMI Admissions Director Ray McGaughey and Admissions Associate Lupe Bobadilla are joined by Dave Clark-Barol, Director of Summer Programs, and a recent HMI Summer Term alumna and her family for this webinar. After the webinar, there is a brief overview of HMI financial aid policies and practices. Recorded January 19, 2021.