Monday, July 19 - Friday, July 23, 2021

The ACLU National Advocacy Institute College and Community Program will prepare college-aged participants (ages 18-24) for lifelong engagement in grassroots organizing, policy development, and legal advocacy. This week-long program is designed to engage Institute alumni, as well as other college-aged participants, to bring their advocacy skills and passion for campus and community organizing to the next level. Participants will enhance their knowledge of civil liberties and social justice issues, as well as learn about internships and professional opportunities in public policy, law, communications, and social impact work to help them prepare for a career in the law and public service.

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The ACLU College and Community Program will prepare students ages 18-24 for lifelong engagement in grassroots organizing, policy development, and legal advocacy. This week-long program virtual program is designed to engage Institute alumni, as well as other college students, to bring their advocacy skills and passion for campus organizing to the next level. Students will enhance their knowledge of civil liberties and social justice issues, as well as learn about internships and professional opportunities in public policy, law, communications, and social impact work to help them prepare for a career in the law and public service. 

 Key program elements will include:

  • Electives covering the ACLU’s wide array of issue areas, taught by communications experts, lawyers, policy advocates, and other professional organizing staff from the ACLU and partner organizations.
  • Daily seminars in small groups to explore social justice and civil liberties issues.
  • Life-long connections and support structures with other young activists from across the country.
  • Boosting political knowledge and campaign abilities, learn more about mobilizing issue-based advocacy campaigns, growing a team, identifying a strategy for engaging with policy-makers, and maximizing impact for the issues that drive you.

Monday, July 19 - Friday, July 23, 2021
Virtual Program

College-aged students *18-24 are welcome to apply. Participants must be at least 18 years old at the time of the program and completed one year of college or have graduated high school at least one year prior. Participants who graduate from high school in the spring of 2021 are encouraged to apply to the High School Program.

The ACLU College and Community Program is looking for participants who demonstrate a keen interest in civil liberties issues and social justice advocacy. Participants are not required to have previous familiarity with civil liberties issues or advocacy methodologies (and those who are already deeply immersed in civil liberties issues/advocacy will have a unique opportunity to deepen their skill set and expand their organizing network).

The ACLU values a diverse Institute audience and an inclusive culture. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, citizenship, disability, and record of arrest or conviction, or any other personal identity characteristic. We are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a person with a disability and have any questions or need assistance applying online, please e-mail institute@aclu.org.

Students are required to complete the following requirements before the application deadline for the admissions committee to consider the student for the program.

  1. Submit a completed online application
  2. Submit letter of recommendation

The admissions process for the program is built around three application deadlines: Early Decision, Priority Decision, and Regular Decision. Preference will be given to applicants who submit their applications during the Early Decision and Priority Decision deadlines. Applicants will hear from the admissions committee within three weeks after the deadline. Once applicants are accepted, they will be required to submit a registration form and submit a non-refundable deposit to secure their spot in the program.

  • Early Decision: February 14th
  • Priority Decision: March 14th
  • Regular Decision: April 18th

The ACLU is committed to providing scholarship opportunities for students who qualify based on family income. Full and partial scholarships will be available.

Financial aid awards are based on need. Students must apply for Financial Aid at the same time as the Program Application. Students will receive their program admissions decision and financial aid decision at the same time.

Please complete the separate financial aid application and include your application number.

The tuition fee for the Virtual Program is $250 per student which covers all experiential learning activities and social events.

Our full FAQ can be found here.

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