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Considering on What to Apply to as a HS Sophomore

LollipopLol123LollipopLol123 7 replies4 threads New Member
Hey! As a sophomore, my guidance counselor really stresses on getting involved in something over the summer, such as an internship or summer program. I live in NJ, but I'm not sure on where to specifically start. My guidance counselor suggested programs, such as TASS, but I'm unsure if I'm completely going to get in. Any recommendations? I'm not sure if it helps, but I'm also a first gen. student, and qualify for financial aid. I'm primarily interested in STEM, and are there any ways I can showcase this besides summer programs? Thank you so much!!
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Replies to: Considering on What to Apply to as a HS Sophomore

  • BoyboywestcoastBoyboywestcoast 8 replies1 threads New Member
    Anything you do over the summer, as long as it is meaningful to you, will help you get into college. This could be volunteer work at a local hospital, library, or summer camp. You could also start your own project, or you could take classes at a local community college or online through Coursera or EdX to name a few. Lastly, you can and should apply to summer programs.

    First, you must know what you want and what you can qualify for. Most colleges offer summer programs in which you go to their college and take one or two college classes, usually for credit. BUT these programs usually cost a lot of money, although in most cases, you can get a partial/full scholarship for these programs. So if you want to spend summer at Harvard or Stanford, apply to those.

    You could also try looking up "free summer programs". I will give you some links to get started. You can find many national and regional programs, and I'm sure NJ has a governor's school (but that might be for juniors). Anyhow, depending on your skills and/or underrepresented status, you may be able to narrow down the large list. Since you did suggest you are first-gen and low income.


    Keep in mind that the free programs are usually the most competitive ones. Nonetheless, you should not be afraid to apply since they tend to accept a broad range of students based on academics, financial circumstances, and personality.

    The Summer Academy for Math and Science (SAMS) is one I personally attended, and I can attest that it is one of the most life-changing experiences you will find. I would go on, but this post is already quite large.

    Remember, summer programs are not necessary for college. It is your experience that will take you to where you need to be. Hope this helps. Good luck
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  • Techno13Techno13 310 replies11 threads Member
    Definitely don't sit around all summer-- but do something you will enjoy. You don't have to spend money. Lots of churches have service mission trips. Volunteer somewhere in your community. Get a job. My kids have done pre-college programs, worked jobs, gone on mission trips, etc. They have all been worthwhile in their own ways. Beware not all pre-college programs are created equal. Some are just teen camps for rich kids (and profit centers for colleges). Some are very high quality opportunities for learning and self-discovery.
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  • LollipopLol123LollipopLol123 7 replies4 threads New Member
    @Boyboywestcoast , thanks! I've done a summer program at a local university last year, and I'm in a few activities in school, like my Math Club and Science Fair. I'll look into the websites you sent me! Thanks again!
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  • LollipopLol123LollipopLol123 7 replies4 threads New Member
    @Techno13 , thanks! I'll look into it!
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  • BoyboywestcoastBoyboywestcoast 8 replies1 threads New Member
    @LollipopLol123 Let me know how it goes!
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