Should I bother applying to competitive summer programs like SSP, etc.?

<p>So this year, I was planning on applying to the Summer Science Program (SSP). I'm really interested in math and physics (although my interest in physics is stronger with regard to EE and MechE topics than astrophysics), and this program seems like an excellent opportunity to meet people with similar interests/enhance my knowledge etc.</p>

<p>In terms of stats, I think I'm ok - I've gotten a 5 on the AP Calc BC test, 800 on the SAT Math II (lol), 2340 on the SAT, and 240 on the PSAT.</p>

<p>However, I feel that I have a significant disadvantage in that I live in a relatively tech-friendly area, a suburb in which many people, my dad included, are employed by Microsoft and other similar companies. Despite this environment, I haven't accomplished anything significant in terms of math/science. I've employed physics/calculus to solve problems for our robotics club and made definite improvements in terms of the performance of our math club, but I haven't really done anything innovative. </p>

<p>Should I still consider applying for a program like SSP, where it seems that most of the people who get in are incredibly accomplished in the light of their background? If my chances are really poor, I feel like it'd be a better use of my time to do things like preparing for the AIME instead of working on the application.</p>

<p>tl;dr - Decent stats, rather poor ECs - is it still worth it to apply to competitive summer programs? </p>



<p>Absolutely. Don't think of it as "Should I bother ...?" because at that point, you've already set it up so that you consider it an annoyance to apply rather than a potentially enjoyable experience.</p>

<p>If you don't apply, you have zero chance of getting in. If you apply, you have a decent chance, at least looking at your stats.</p>

<p>If you live in a Silicon-Valley-type place, you could also see if any companies are offering internship opportunities, if that interests you.</p>

<p>How do you think those people got those accomplishments that you apparently envy? They applied/asked/tried. You should definitely apply if you are interested, you do have very good stats.</p>