top of page


Camp College 2022_Group 1_edited.jpg


There’s nothing quite like spending time on a college campus to jump start your plans for life after high school. For rising seniors, our Camp College initiative provides insight, guidance, support, and information for students and their families. Camp College starts with a planning retreat on the beautiful Sewanee: The University of the South campus in mid-June.  Admissions officers and college advisors from across the southeast work with students in small groups and one-on-one to cover all aspects of the college application and financial aid processes.

About the Program


PEF's Camp College, created in 1999, is an intensive summer program strategically designed to give rising high school seniors and parents specific support as students aim to succeed in college. The experience features a 3-day summer retreat at Sewanee: University of the South for up to 100 rising seniors facilitated by college & career advisors, school counselors, and college admissions officers from across the country. Camp College has provided insight, guidance, support, and financial aid information for more than 1,200 students who could represent the first generation in their family to attend college.

Camp College for Rising Seniors

College Planning Boot Camp sessions include scholarship essay writing, college searches, and a mini-college fair, as well as opportunities to meet other students and preview campus life. Parents/Guardians of accepted students will be invited to attend a financial aid workshop and orientation in late May and early June.


Students and volunteer group leaders will be housed in a dorm on Sewanee’s campus, just 45 minutes from Chattanooga. Transportation, rooms, meals, and materials are all paid by PEF, Sewanee, and other generous sponsors. For accepted students, there will be a $25 non-refundable enrollment fee.

Camp College for Rising Juniors

In 2021, PEF added a component which features a free 1-day planning retreat at MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) for 50 rising juniors.
The retreat serves as an opportunity for rising juniors to get ahead of the journey by learning from experts and each other thus becoming more knowledgeable on what it takes for a smooth transition from high school to college. Students work in small groups to discuss topics including mock admissions, college tour, what businesses expect, financing higher education, and finding the right college fit.

COVID-19 Update

Through a time of unprecedented challenges, we at PEF have been inspired by the tireless work of our community to continue to ensure that learning does not stop for our students, and educators and students get the support that they need. 


Please check individual program pages for information about specific programs and ways that we are working in partnership with Hamilton County Schools to maximize existing efforts.

bottom of page