I have been looking into several Pre-College Summer Architecture Programs, mainly Cornell, Washington University in St. Louis, Cal Poly, and others. Are these programs beneficial in any way? Will they boost my chances of getting accepted into some of these schools? Are they worth the cost? Will it look bad on one college application if I attend a different college’s programs but not their own?
If you are serious about ultimately applying for a degree in architecture, any additional experience in the field will be beneficial. If your only wish is to build up your “resume” for your application to the schools you list above for a different major, those summer programs will not provide a significant boost in your chances of acceptance.
Any architecture experience, either in a summer program, or working (volunteering) for a local architectural firm will enhance your chances of acceptance into a school’s architecture program. Schools really won’t care what summer program you went to as much as they can perceive your seriousness about the profession.