Yearly colleges receive lots of applications from hopeful high school seniors. With such numbers getting into college is quite competitive, and college admissions officers are looking for standout students who are dedicated and showcase a well-rounded profile. Other than extracurriculars, summer programs are a great profile builder for students. If you are interested in getting into top-rate colleges all over the world, here are several top pick summer programs that can help you build a well-rounded character profile.
Benefits of applying to a summer program
Summer programs are great. They add in that extra variety required in a student’s life to help them apply for higher education. At summer programs, you learn from positive role models, and you get or develop your self-confidence, self-reliance, and independence. You get to show college recruiters that you are more than your grades or academic achievements. There are various activities at these programs that allow you to try your hand at different things breaking up the monotony of school.
Through these summer programs, senior high school students get to meet many people from different backgrounds, make new fields as you learn about their different cultures, and get a taste of college life. This kind of exposure can improve your cognitive skills, such as critical thinking or problem-solving. You also get a greater understanding of the world around you, better preparing you to live in a diverse place the world is.
Top summer program picks
- Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP)
The TASP program is offered at Cornell University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Michigan. It lasts for six weeks, and it is free. The cost of tuition, room, and board, books, and travel, if needed is covered, thesis eliminates any financial barrier that might prevent bright kids from attending. This program is devised for the intellectually curious. It allows high school juniors from different backgrounds to grow their intellectual vitality, sense of community responsibility, and interpersonal awareness. TASP offers no grades or college credit, but you are encouraged to focus on your work for your enrichment instead of striving for a reward.
- Research science institute (RSI)
The RSI program gathers 80 of the world’s most outstanding high schoolers at MIT for a free five-week program, so they can experience the research cycle in its full glory. By combining on-campus courses in scientific theory with off-campus work in science and technology, you get to work on and produce individual projects with the help and guidance of experienced researchers and scientists at MIT. The program culminates with you presenting a written and oral presentation of your project.
- Research in science and Engineering (RISE)
The RISE program gathers the best scientifically gifted minds in high school at Boston University for six weeks. Students are afforded two paths: internships or practicum positions. If you choose internships, you will get hands-on experience working on research projects under the keen eye and mentorship of the university’s distinguished faculty members, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students. If you opt for the practicum path, you will focus on computational biology under an instructor’s keen guidance. It is excellent for learners who prefer a more structured approach to learning.
- Economics for Leaders (EFL)
This program runs for about a week and can be held at different colleges such as Yale, the University of Michigan, UC Berkley, etc. It aims at giving future leaders hands-on experience applying economics in the decision-making process: the economical way of thinking. It seeks to make budding leaders like yourself more effective by showing them how to use financial analysis when coming up with public policies and other leadership choices while imparting a deeper understanding of leadership and developing leadership skills. The program is quite competitive and will cost you about $1800 to get in.
- Stanford University Mathematics Camp (SUMaC)
This program is a residential mathematical program ideal for high achievers looking to be challenged in math and learn about the latest mathematical research and how maths applied across different scientific fields. The math camp lasts for about four weeks, and during this time, you learn advanced mathematics through guided research, group problem-solving, and lectures. The camp culminates in a research project where you get to present your projects to your peers. This enables you to gain valuable experience in the communication of math to a group and what’s it like to be a mathematics major.
This journalism camp was founded in 2001 to address the lack of diversity in the media sector. JCamp brings kids from different cultural, racial, religious, and political backgrounds for six days of intense journalism training. You get hands-on training in other journalism areas, such as broadcasting, magazine, newspapers, online media, and photojournalism. By participating in learning sessions and workshops with top journalists, you get to produce media packages for the Jcamp’s news website. The program is free for those selected.
- Clark School Program
Where most programs focus on one area of study, the Clark School program included multiple subjects, everything from math to music. Its subject diversity makes it open to a lot more students; however, the program is very selective, and only 12 students are chosen to participate. The program runs for seven weeks at Texas Tech University, and if selected, you get to spend this time with other students from all over the world. Over the seven weeks, you get hands-on research experience in whichever field you choose while working one-on-one with a faculty member to cover the intense program planned. The program is free; however, you may have to cover the cost of getting to and from the program.
- Norte Dame Summer Scholars
Throughout this two-week program, you get a taste of what college life is like. Participating in one of the twenty-two fields ranging from theatre to world politics, Notre Dame’s program participants get a preview of college academics while learning college credit for completing the program. There a lot more to college than just classes; the program aims to encourage learners to work on their courts work outside a class setting with ample time to sample the vibrant social side of college life.
- Summer Academy for Math and Science (SAMS)
It is a six-week residential program for marginalized high schoolers interested in seeking a degree in a STEM-related field held at the Carnegie Mellon University. You get to choose between two tracks: computer science or science and engineering. Whichever subject you choose, you get to learn from the university’s renowned faculty while gaining more knowledge and a better understanding of different STEM fields through instructional and hands-on training.
- Bank of America Student Leaders
Through this program, students are connected with local non-profit programs for eight weeks with a leadership summit at the end. The program is organized and paid for by the Bank of America, meaning you get a stipend during those eight weeks. You won’t be working for the bank but a local non-profit organization affiliated to the bank.
When picking a summer program, the essential thing is finding one that suits you. While these are some well-known programs out there, they might not be the best fit for you. Choose a program that meets your personal needs and interests. It will mean doing a lot of research, but it is all worth it.