Summer programs for high school students, particularly pre-college summer programs located on college campuses, have greatly proliferated in numbers over the past few decades to the point where there are now hundreds of programs to choose from.
Many others promise to meld the best of a (safe and supervised!) teenage summer with opportunities that can challenge your child and add texture to their Common App essay and other essays.
- Your child may get the chance to study a subject and/or get hands-on experience beyond what their high school offers.
- Your child will be able to get a firsthand feel for what college life is like, which may make transitioning to college easier when the time comes.
- Your child will get exposure to a specific campus and type of environment, which will help them make an informed decision about what kind of school they could best succeed at (e.g., an urban setting vs. a rural one, or a large research university vs. a small liberal arts college).
- Your child might be able to earn college credit or use a course to place into a higher level in college or high school.
- Your child might develop a relationship with an instructor who would be willing to write them a letter of recommendation for college.
- Your child will be able to meet and befriend like-minded peers.
- Pre-college summer programs are frequently very expensive. For example, Yale’s Young Global Scholars program typically charges $6,500 for two weeks.
- The selectivity, prestige, and academic rigor of programs can vary quite a bit and don’t always correspond to the academic reputation of the host college.
- Most summer programs are nothing more than “cash cows” and will accept any high school student able to pay the bill. Participation in these summer programs will be viewed by your prospective colleges as evidence of wealth, rather than evidence of any special ability, even if these programs happen to be offered on an Ivy League campus. As such, they do nothing to improve your admission prospects.
Summer Programs for High School Students
The following is a list of potential summer programs for high school students. Please note, Boca High does not endorse any of the below for-profit businesses and this a basic list of opportunities that are available.
- Boston University
- California State Summer School for the Arts
- Carnegie Mellon – Summer Academy for Math + Science (SAMS)
- Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics (HCSSIM)
- Michigan State University – High School Honors Science, Math and Engineering Program (HSHSP)
- Princeton University – Summer Journalism Program
- Stanford University - Institutes of Medicine - Summer Research Program (SIMR)
- Stanford University - Mathematics Camp (SUMaC)
- Stony Brook University - Garcia Scholars
- Stony Brook University - Simons Summer Research Program
- University of Iowa – Secondary Student Training Program (SSTP)
- University of Michigan - Math and Science Scholars
- University of Notre Dame – Leadership Seminars
- University of Oxford - International Summer School
- University of Pennsylvania/Wharton – Leadership in the Business World
- Yale Young Global Scholars
Other Summer Programs
- U.S. Air Force Academy – Summer Seminar
- U.S. Coast Guard Academy – Academy Introduction Mission (AIM)
- U.S. Military Academy – Summer Leaders Experience
- U.S. Naval Academy – Summer Seminar
Other Summer Programs
- Foundation for Teaching Economics – Economics for Leaders (EFL)
- Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Camp - FREE
- Jackson Laboratory – Summer Student Program
- LaunchX - online program
- MDI Biological Laboratory Summer Research Fellowship
- Monell Center Science Apprenticeship Program
- Parsons Academy - online program
- Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists (PROMYS)
- Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP) - FREE