Summer Programs for High School Students

Here’s How to Pick a Great Summer Program for High School Students

by | Mar 1, 2017

Summer programs can be a great opportunity for enrichment and learning as well as a way to enhance your college opportunities. At the most selective universities, admissions officials do consider how you used your summer vacations. For some students this means going on a community service trip abroad, for others it means a great internship or college course, or a summer job. There are lots of options to find the best summer program for your needs.

Four Tips to Pick a Summer Program

  1. Follow your interests: Don’t visit Guatemala to work on a Habitat for Humanity project unless you care about housing for underprivileged communities. Over the course of a high-school career it becomes obvious that you worked on projects only to pad your résumé. So pick things you care about.There are programs for students with virtually every interest. Whether you care about video game design, journalism, computers, or writing, you can find a summer program that will help you advance your interests.
  2. Consider the program’s reputation: Work with a coach who can help you find a program that fits your interests and is highly reputed. The quality of the instruction and mentoring you’ll receive at the program matters for its own sake. It also matters because admissions officials will consider it. Many top universities offer great summer programs, and those can be opportunities to learn and build relationships at those universities. If you’re considering applying to the University of California at Santa Barbara, for example, you can attend one of their many summer programs. Ivy League universities like Harvard also offer exceptional summer programs.
  3. Be honest about money: For students who don’t need to earn money for college, many great programs are worth the expense. But for students thinking about supporting their college education, getting a paying gig can be a great option. You’ll learn a lot about working, saving, and discipline by getting a job. For students in the middle, there are thousands of great internships that don’t pay money. You can teach kids to play the drums, volunteer at your local animal shelter, or read to students at a local childcare. These build your experience for work, teach you valuable skills, and will be great on your résumé when you apply for college.
  4. Start early: March is the time to start working on your summer plans. The good internships, job opportunities, and summer programs can be competitive, so getting an early start is critical. If you create a shortlist and get your application in now, you can have a great, fun, productive summer.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Venkates Swaminathan

Venkates Swaminathan

Venkates Swaminathan (Swami) is the founder and CEO of LifeLaunchr, the world's first virtual college admissions coaching platform, and a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Swami has been an executive in the education and technology industries for over 25 years. He has an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois, and a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. He is the father of a child in college, and in his spare time, he is a jazz and Indian classical singer and pianist.

Recent Posts

Filling Out the FAFSA: Your Guide

Filling Out the FAFSA: Your Guide

The Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the basis on which colleges decide financial aid, so it is important students and parents fill them out.