FYRE Pre-Orientation Program

FYRE aims to provide first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented first-year students with the resources and community to feel supported, celebrated, and ready to take ownership of your Harvard experience.

fyre students

Why start Harvard with FYRE?

The First-Year Retreat and Experience (FYRE) program aims to provide first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented (FGLI/U) students with the resources and community to feel supported, celebrated, confident, and ready to take ownership of your college experience, knowing that you have a special community of friends and advisers to mentor you throughout your first-year at Harvard.

FYRE strives to bolster the strengths and skills you already have and complement them with the confidence and community needed to kickstart your Harvard experience. Throughout FYRE, you will connect with faculty, staff members and administrators, and upper-level student leaders who will welcome you and help you become more familiar with the many college resources and offices available to support you throughout every step of your educational experience.

At FYRE, you will join a tight-knit community of 160 other first-years and 32 Team Leaders who will become a key part of your support network on campus. Each and every activity and event at FYRE is designed to help you understand how to navigate your Harvard experience, including topics such as academics, financial aid, social life, health and wellbeing, networking, work study, and other on-campus opportunities.

We hope to provide students with a genuinely positive and supportive community that allows first-years the space to ask any and all questions related to transitioning to Harvard. The FYRE community strives to provide a strong base of support for each of our students well beyond our extended two-week program.


Programming Information

FYRE will take place in-person from August 19-25, 2022! During the week of FYRE, students will get to participate in workshops and presentations from student support offices (like the Office of Career Services and the Academic Resource Center) to learn about how they specifically support first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented (FGLI/U) students. You’ll get to hear from and talk with professors from a variety of disciplines at Harvard. In addition, our 32 amazing FYRE Team Leaders will run panels about academics, finances, and social life at Harvard, and host an empowering open mic session about challenges and resilience at Harvard.

Lastly, the core of our program, which makes FYRE so special, is the community. All FYRE students will be placed into FYRE families — a tight-knit group of 10 students led by 2 Team Leaders, which will be your home base throughout the program. You’ll get to know your families personally through small-group reflections, fun activities, and direct mentorship from your Team Leaders. Throughout the program, you’ll also get to know the other students and the rest of the Team Leaders through community mixers and evening activities. We hope that by the end of our program you will feel equipped, empowered, and excited about starting your Harvard educational experience.


Who is eligible?

FYRE is a pre-orientation program geared towards students who are the first-generation in their families to go to college, students who are from low to modest income backgrounds, and students whose high schools are under-represented in the Ivy League. In partnership with the staff from the Harvard Foundation, our FYRE co-chairs and 32 FYRE Team Leaders will welcome 160 incoming first-year students into the Harvard community and help them prepare to transition into college life.

FYRE will leverage the incredible diversity of experiences found among the student community at Harvard, and we are excited to welcome you to our community on campus.

Can I attend FYRE and another Pre-Orientation program?

The majority of incoming Harvard students choose to participate in pre-orientation to build a social support network before the year begins. Descriptions of all Pre-Orientation programs are included in your admission packet and online. All pre-orientation programs occur simultaneously— therefore, participation is limited to one program.

How do I apply?

Registration for all pre-orientation programs begins on Monday, May 9 and closes on Monday, May 23. You may rank order up to two programs of interest. On Monday, June 6, you will be notified of your program placement, and you have until Monday, June 13 to confirm your spot in the program.

Connect with our Community!

The best thing about Harvard is its people—the students, faculty, staff, and alums who make living and studying at this institution so remarkable. Everyone here is unique, with their own stories, interests, and talents. You are unique, too!

You have special qualities and characteristics that make you perfect for Harvard. We really hope you choose to come here. As you’re thinking about joining this community, and making Harvard your home away from home, you may want to connect with some of the folks who will be your peers, your mentors, your teachers, and advisers.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about FYRE, please email our FYRE Co-Chairs at harvardfyre@gmail.com, our FYRE Director at fyre@fas.harvard.edu, or call the Dean of Students Office at 617-495-1574.

For more up-to-date information follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter all under @HarvardFYRE.