We know that many high school students are still trying to figure out their answer to the age-old question” What do you want to do when you grow up?” No matter where you are in the high school journey, summer is the ideal time to explore interests and develop skill sets while having fun with new people in new places.
About Summer Programs
Many organizations; including colleges, and universities, offer summer programs for high school students. The program offerings are vast. Students can explore architecture at a prominent university or hone their screen or vocal presence as a thespian. Similar programs exist for students who are passionate about coding, business, medicine, fashion design—you name it.
Finding Summer Programs
The trick is finding the right program for you. At HelloCollege, we have a database that lists nearly 200 programs around the country in a variety of fields. It has served as a valuable resource in helping students narrow their possibilities. The popular website College Confidential also has a great list of summer programs.
Summer Program Tips:
- Start looking for a summer program as early in the calendar year as possible. A lot of programs have limited space and fill up quickly.
- Research the application process. For some highly selective programs, letters of recommendation and essays may be required. Also, the costs of summer programs vary widely, so you’ll want to determine your budget.
Tip: If money is tight, consider service opportunities, which are free and can be life-changing experiences. Obtaining a summer job also brings valuable experience, including accountability and responsibility.
3. Follow your interests. Authentic experiences, not the potential to build up your resume, should draw you to a summer program.
Often, students wonder if attending a camp at University will heighten their chances of being admitted? Very rarely. What it will do, however, is provide you with potentially transformative life experience and camaraderie with like-minded students. And in a general sense, you’ll at least show colleges that you’ve made a real effort to try to develop your interests and skills in a particular area.
Tip: Plan ahead. Many summer programs open registration as early as January.