Summer Start Initiative

North Carolina Central University School of Law offers a Summer Start Initiative (SSI) designed to give students a head start on their legal education. SSI introduces students to the material covered in the first-year, as well as the strategies they will need to successfully navigate our curriculum.

SSI participants begin study in first-year doctrinal courses and skills courses in late June, as opposed to the traditional calendar start in August. Upon completion of the summer program, SSI participants receive academic credit for their work during the summer. They then return to school in August and resume their studies, picking up where their summer course study left off. Participation in SSI allows students to complete the remainder of their fall semester work at a slightly reduced pace.

As an admitted student, you have the choice to start early once admitted.  But because space is limited and the program may fill, we urge you state your interest to attend by completing the appropriate box on your Intent to Enroll form, which you will submit with your enrollment fee to the School of Law. It is imperative that applicants who have indicated that they are attending SSI and no longer wish to do so, contact the Admissions Office immediately at to avoid paying tuition and fees for this program. If you are planning to continue with fall admission only, you are required to submit a revised Intent to Enroll form noting the change by June 19, 2023. Absent of extraordinary circumstances, enrolled applicants cannot switch programs after June 19, 2023.

More details follow:


What are the Costs?

SSI is deemed a summer school session and the applicable tuition and fees will be charged for those students who elect to attend. Tuition and fees does not include room and board. We do have a list of housing recommendations at the following link: Typically, final summer session costs are released in the late spring.

SSI attendees wishing to apply for financial aid for the program must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2022-2023 academic year, in addition to the FAFSA form for the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year. SSI is considered a summer session which is a part of the 2022-2023 academic year, requiring students to complete their FAFSA for both years to be considered for financial aid for both summer and fall. Directions appear below for completing the FAFSA in a timely fashion.

How does the SSI program benefit its participants?

There are very few academic endeavors that are as challenging and difficult as the first year of law school. SSI is designed to give students a head start on their legal education by introducing them to the material they’ll be studying, as well as the strategies they will need to successfully navigate our curriculum. Getting adjusted to the rigor of the classes in a professional school setting will be highly important to your first-year success. Our belief is that SSI will increase the odds that students will perform at a higher level during their first year, and give participants a solid foundation upon which to build for the remainder of their matriculation at Central.

What is the timeframe of the program?

For 2023, the program will begin June 26 and run until July 28.

Will SSI participants take the same classes during the summer that they will take during the year? Will participants receive academic credit?

Yes. SSI’s core classes will be the same classes that students will take all year. By successfully completing SSI, participants will receive four and one-half (4.5) hours of academic credit. In the fall, students will receive ten (10.5) hours of academic credit, giving SSI students a total of 15 credits heading into the Spring  semester.

Will books be needed for the program?

Yes. The books you will use in SSI will be the same books you will use for the entirety of the academic year.

Will there be limited seating for the program?

Yes. While we will accommodate as many students as possible, we unfortunately will be unable to offer a seat to everyone. If you are interested in the program, please submit your enrollment fee as soon as possible and complete the Intent to Enroll form to indicate your interest. We will confirm your place in the program and if space is not available you will be placed on our SSI waitlist.

Will there be exams during the program period?

Yes. Students will take a graded examination assessment in each of the major classes during SSI’s last week.

FAFSA Steps:

Please follow the following steps so your aid can be processed in a timely manner:

  1. Complete a FAFSA form for both the upcoming and prior academic year. Students are required to record the school code of 002950 for North Carolina Central University in Section Six of the FAFSA. Again, students must complete a FAFSA for both the upcoming and prior year.
  1. Upon completion, you should receive an e-mail from the Department of Education to the address listed on the FAFSA within one week of submission. The University should also receive an electronic file once you’ve completed this stage, usually within 48 hours of your submission. As we get notification of who is going to attend SSI, we can alert our financial aid office on main campus to potentially anticipate your application.
  1. Please verify that North Carolina Central is the university listed on the Student Aid Report. (SAR).
  1. We ask that SSI participants try completing this process by the end of May. That is an earlier deadline than may be the case at other institutions, but we want to make sure we have a little bit of latitude on our timeline to address any unexpected issues that arise.