Ask questions about summer programs here!

Hi CC,

I am currently a senior and have been accepted to some of the best summer programs in the nation. I encourage anyone to ask questions!

Here’s my credentials (it’s a chance thread :stuck_out_tongue: )

Here is a list of the programs I have been accepted to over the past three summers:
COSMOS (attended)
SIP (UCSC one)
SIP (the other more well known one)
Awesome Math
USA/Canada Math Camp
TASP (attended)
Ross (attended)
Simons Research Program
Was an alternate for RSI (sad boi)
EPGY (Stanford)

I hope that I can help everyone get into their summer programs! I will gladly look over any application essays. Just PM me. Keep in mind that I cannot guarantee anything, but I will try my best to help. Also, I am just a student with college apps so I may be late responding to y’all.

MODERATORS’ NOTE: Anyone is free to ask or answer questions in this thread.

im so glad i found this post!! could you tell me about your time at TASP? i saw on your other post that you seem to be cs??

good luck with all of your college apps!

Hi @kanagawa ,

Yes, I am interested in majoring in computer science in the future. However, I want to pursue a double major in screenwriting. I ended up selecting TASP because I would be able to connect with other minority students as well as attend one of the most prestigious summer programs in the US. My time at TASP was like none other. From attending fantastic lectures to participating in engaging discussions, I never had a dull moment! Furthermore, I got the chance to explore Cornell University and the phenomenal town of Ithaca.

I would just ask what you think the most important components of the applications are.

What tips would you give for students applying to STEM oriented programs, especially MITES and Simons Research Program?

^ @GoBears2023

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the late response. I had some issues with my account. Shoutout to Sorin for being an amazing person!

@Sonomom Which application are you referring to?
@TheMadScientistX I would say pay attention to your essays. Although your awards may look impressive, they also look at your essays. Given that you will more than likely present something in these camps, they want to make sure that you can actually write well. In addition, I would say that it helps to have some type of research done beforehand. For example, before going into my junior year summer, I had an internship at my local state college where I was conducting research on machine learning. Furthermore, olympiads can’t hurt as well. If you have the time, I would seriously consider trying to compete in the AMC series, USAPhO, USAChO, USABO, and USACO competitions. These will all greatly contribute to your application and are ways to prove that you are in fact competent.

@GoBears2013 hey, so for us sad bois applying this year with no time for the competitions like AMC, USAPhO, etc (cause they’re all in the spring), do you have any advice for what we could do in these last few months to improve our applications? (Other than essays obviously), and especially for the science-oriented programs


For sure! Well, given that most applications are due in the spring, you have 2-3 months do something. Honestly, if you have not done anything at all in STEM, I would consider restrategizing and applying for internships rather than STEM programs like HSHSP and RSI. However, if you have a relatively strong background in STEM, whether it be previous research experience, hard coursework from school, etc. I would recommend doing an internship or some type of research. Keep in mind decisions for these programs don’t come out until late april, beginning of may. Therefore, if you have some good project, you can submit it to ITS, ISSF, or one of those science fair competitions and hopefully receive an award which you can update the admission committees about!

In reality, these summer programs cannot be prepared for in a few months. It takes years of preparation and planning before you can start shotgunning the prestigious ones. If you are trying to make a fast break for one of these programs, your best bet will be doing an internship. Given that you have no experience in STEM excluding school coursework, you can possibly get a fantastic recommendation from a professor which you can attach to your application. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them here or PM me if it is personal. I will be willing to help look over your essays if you want!

Hey, thanks so much for the reply and suggestions!! I sent you a PM :slight_smile: @GoBears2013

@GoBears2023 Would you be able to read my first Tasp essay and tell me what you think?

@TheMadScientistX Sure!
PM me the essay and prompt.


That’s a really long list! I’m applying to UCSC SIP, HSHSP, and Garcia at Stony Brook this year.
I don’t have research experience, but my activities and school course load is very STEM-y.
Do you think you would be comfortable sharing your essays? I’m really lost on the format and what a successful application looks like. Especially for HSHSP, since they don’t even have space for a resume/activities list on the application. Thanks!

Hi @edewan,

I’m sorry, but I am not comfortable with sharing my essays as they have some personal information that I would rather keep private. However, if you send me your essays, I would be willing to give some tips of improvement!

@GoBears2013 I totally understand. Thanks for the editing offer! I’ll definitely pm you when I finish.

I just had another question. I know HTML/CSS, but I don’t really have much programming experience in other languages that are used in research. Will that hurt my chances? Are research projects without CS in those programs common?

HTML/CSS will only help for website creation and such. I would say that it can only help your application. However, lots of times professors will give you “bonus points” if you have experience with C, C++, Java, Python, and MATLAB. Yes, there are soooo many projects that don’t use computer science. As long as you have accomplishments in other fields such as physics, biology, and chemistry, you should be fine :slight_smile:

Any feedback on summer programs on medical sciences for a high schooler. I will be a rising sophomore next summer.
Any universities that offer summer programs that are worth mentioning.

hi does anyone have any advice for HSD?

@kanagawa I have never hear of HSD. Maybe if you can provide a link to their website I can do some research and give you pointers :smiley:

@virus0987 COSMOS, Stanford PreCollegiate Summer Program, or you can just do medical research through an internship. I would recommend volunteering in a hospital as well!

Also want to give a shout out to UC Davis’ YSP program. My senior attended this the summer between her sophomore and junior year and got SO much out of it. She was one of 5 rising juniors, so it’s mostly rising seniors, but check it out: