We know that you have lots of questions, and we're here to answer them for you.

Why J-Start?

Why do students choose a January start?

Each J-Start student has their own reason for choosing a January start at Trinity. Taking a gap semester can give students the time they need to take care of personal matters, garner work experience, focus on personal growth, spend time volunteering, or to travel abroad. The J-Start program is designed for students who want to build their own journey and no J-Start student’s path will be identical.

What do students who are enrolling in J-Start do during the fall?

Students often use the gap semester to explore new opportunities and interests. A few to consider:
Go Abroad – Students with a desire to travel can take advantage of the many external organized programs designed for students who want to spend time abroad while continuing to learn and expand their knowledge base.


Organizations like AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity and World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms offer programs for students that include arranged housing and food and, sometimes, financial scholarship incentives.

Take Time for Yourself

Some students find after high school they need some time to distance themselves from academic stressors, allowing them to have a renewed passion for learning when they return.

Intern and/or Work

Building a resume doesn’t have to start after graduation, some students choose to use their fall semester to accept opportunities to garner real-life experience and save money.


When are applications due?

It is recommended that students apply for J-Start by the regular admissions deadline in January for the best opportunity to secure their spot in the class. For students who were not able to or did not apply by January 15, the Trinity admissions team will continue to review applications on a rolling basis.

Can I use the Common Application?​

Yes. Students applying for J-Start can mark their preference for the program in the Common Application.

When will I be notified about my acceptance?

Acceptance letters for the J-Start program at Trinity will begin to be released in late March.

Are the admissions criteria for J-Start different than for fall enrollment?

The application requirements and evaluation factors for J-Start are the same as for all candidates for admission to Trinity College.

How can I apply for financial aid?

Please follow the application instructions​ for J-Start. You must indicate on your admissions application that you wish to be considered for financial aid. It is too late to apply for Trinity grant assistance after you have been admitted. However, late applicants may apply for federal aid assistance.

When are financial aid applications due?

All application materials for J-Start are due by January 15, 2019 for the Class of 2023.

I was admitted for fall 2019, but now I would like to defer to January. Can I enroll as a J-Start?

Deferral requests will be taken into consideration on a case by case scenario. We encourage you to contact the Office of Admissions to speak to a Trinity representative about your specific request.

Is J-Start for transfer students?

J-Start is designed to be for first-year students who have not previously attended a four-year institution. Students who are transferring from a different program and/or school are welcome to apply as a Trinity transfer student. Transfer students are given individualized attention during their first semester to make their transition into Trinity a seamless experience. For more information about transferring to Trinity, please visit our Transfer Admissions page or contact our admissions team.

Enrollment and Arriving on Campus

When does J-Start begin?

J-Start begins in early January with a two-week orientation right before the start of the regular spring semester. J-Start students will arrive on campus on Sunday, January 5, 2020.

Where will I live?

At Trinity, first-year students are housed in residence halls close to other members of their first-year seminar. J-Starts are no exception, and you’ll live in a residence hall close to other J-Starts, who will also be your first-year seminar classmates.

How do I get my courses for the first semester?

In November, shortly after you confirm your enrollment, you will be contacted by members of your advising team. You’ll be guided through the course registration process.

Whom do I contact if I am interested in trying out for a varsity athletic team?

Please contact the head coach for the specific sport. Contact information can be found on the athletics website​.

Will I be part of a Bantam Network Nest?

You, along with the other J-Starts, will be enrolled in a first-year seminar during the spring semester, and the entire seminar will be part of a Nest.

Academic Experience

How is the J-Start experience different from a traditional fall start?

In many ways the experience is very similar, whether you start in the fall or in January. You will be a part of a first-year seminar, part of a Nest in the Bantam Network, and live in close proximity to other first-year students. But whereas students who start in the fall participate in a brief three-day orientation, J-Start students begin with a two-week orientation before the spring semester starts.

What will I be doing on campus during the two weeks before the start of the spring semester?

You’ll take a credit-bearing class together with other J-Starts, as well as participate in a variety of programmed activities including social and community service opportunities as well as nuts-and-bolts orientation sessions. You’ll meet your academic adviser as well as your career adviser, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to engage with various resources in Hartford.

Will I have an academic adviser?

Yes. Your first-year seminar instructor, who you’ll meet during the two-week orientation, will be your adviser. Later on, once you declare your major, you’ll have a new adviser in your field of study.

How soon will I need to declare my major?

Class of 2022 J-Starts who begin in January 2019 will need to declare a major in the fall of 2020, midway through their fourth semester.

Class of 2023 J-Starts who begin in January 2020 will need to declare a major in the fall of 2021, midway through their fourth semester.

Will I be able to study away during my time at Trinity?

Definitely! At Trinity, we encourage all students to think about study away, and we advise all students to plan early and talk with their adviser about where and when to plan a semester abroad. Visit the Office of Study Away’s webpage to learn more about Trinity’s study abroad programs.


Which class will I be a member of?

As a J-Start student, you will matriculate with and be associated with the Class of 2023.

When will I graduate?

With a standard course load and without extra credits, you will be able to complete your graduation requirements by December of 2023.

Can I graduate in three-and-a-half years in May along with the rest of my class?

While J-Start is not designed to be an accelerated program, it is possible to complete your degree in three-and-a-half years through a combination of A.P. credits, heavier course loads during some semesters, transfer credits from courses taken elsewhere during the summer or before you matriculate, or by taking courses during Trinity’s Summer Session and/or January Term. However, doing so requires planning and depends on your major, and it should be handled in close consultation with your adviser.


Trinity College Admissions Office

300 Summit Street
Hartford, CT 06106
8:30 a.m.–4:30p.m.