Academic enrichment summer pre-college programs - Are they worth the juice?

Updated: Feb 6

Students seeking to explore their genuine interests are candidates for internships and summer programs. It is important to note that we do not advise students to swap an internship for an academic class during the school year.

  • Summer Programs - Summer programs are for students looking to set themselves apart from other students. - They can include programs in which the family pays for services (less important) and opportunities the students seek on their own that are selective (vs. paid). Volunteering locally and making opportunities vs. non-selective paid-for opportunities are most impressive.

  • Review opportunities - Our Summer Pre-college Programs list and our Summer Internships list are not exhaustive but provide ideas based on different programs of study. Summer program applications are typically released in mid-December or later. Some advantages of these types of programs:

  • An excellent way to get a feel for living on a college campus and experiencing a program of study

  • It is not a way to get an “inside track” at a selective school; however if a student connects with a professor who might write a recommendation letter, that builds depth into the application.

  • Free, highly selective programs or showing leadership in your community are better than non-selective paid-for programs, which can be pricey.

  • Independent Research Projects - Check out our partnership with Polygence!

  • Want to jump in? We provide guidance - Students use our feedback and resume tool to highlight their academic and extracurricular accomplishments. If recommendation letters are required, we help our students consider who to ask and how to ask, and they gain practice in meeting deadlines. If applications require essays, we help the student to consider what makes them tick and use their writing resource center to develop and outline the content.

Pre-college programs are not for all students, and we also love the idea of a traditional summer break. However, if your student is interested, we are excited to support them.


Summer Pre College Programs
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Download PDF • 125KB

Summer Internship Programs - High School
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Download PDF • 38KB

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