Summer programs: start looking IN WINTER

OK, I’ve been through this before and I’m going to give a little mini-lecture on the summer programs process for those who are new to this

If you haven’t already, START LOOKING AT PROGRAMS NOW. Spend a Saturday afternoon reading through this forum’s archives, use Google, etc. Here’s a general starter list, some science, math, and engineering ones, a list of free ones, and some tips for independent research/internships. (Note: there was a really good list of summer programs that someone posted to Google Docs but I can’t find the link - it’s in the CC archives somewhere, though.)

For those who are currently

Seventh- and eighth graders: There are less programs for you than there are for high schoolers, but you should find a suitable program (preferably, programs) and apply. If you’re doing Duke TIP or a similar program, you’ll also have to take an ACT/SAT - which is a beneficial experience.

Ninth graders: If you haven’t done a summer program before, now is the time to get involved. You should also look at a structured volunteer program, a job (if your state’s labor age requirements let you), or any other “constructive” activity that will help you develop as a student and learner.

Tenth graders: There are a lot of programs from which you can choose. Do NOT put off a structured summer activity/job/etc. until next year!

Eleventh graders: You have the most opportunities available. Get a job, find a summer-long volunteer opportunity, apply to summer programs that will benefit you and make you grow intellectually. Start early - start NOW. Many people started in November. But some people will wait until April or May (gasp) - if you start that late, YOU WILL BE STARING AT PASSED DEADLINES or SUPER EXPENSIVE PROGRAMS. This is by far the most important summer (between junior-senior years) for summer programs.

Seniors! Almost … done … must … get … through … last … semester … but when you’re free … I suggest just getting a job/internship, doing research, preparing for college, etc. There aren’t a lot a lot of programs for graduated seniors but whatever you do is what you’re doing for yourself.

Speaking of which, do not automatically go for the most “prestigious” programs or the ones at big-name universities. If it costs more than $4,000 for two weeks or less, doesn’t include college credit, and is not a real research program, you’re probably getting ripped off - search CC for any reviews/experiences that might be helpful in distinguishing these programs.

If you decide to apply to a competitive program, the free ones are often the most selective - beware of deadlines, some of which have already passed and many of which are looming in February! These are due in March or later but still, DO NOT WAIT.

Grades: grades are important; lack of straight A’s aren’t going to be an automatic dealbreaker but a trend of poor performance/slacking off, as reflected by your transcript, is a bad sign. If you’re a freshman/sophomore, DO NOT SLACK OFF. It will feel fun until the first semester of senior year … and then you start worrying how many B’s colleges will forgive even with top test scores.

Speaking of which - take the ACT/SAT if you haven’t already, and you should probably have the PSAT/PLAN done as well (if you’re at the right grade level, etc.). You can send test score updates even after a program’s application deadline; just add a note to the app saying you plan on sending newer scores when they’re available.

A lot of programs will ask for teacher/counselor recommendations - start scouting teachers now! They’ll also be helpful for writing college recs. Ask seniors/recent alumni of your high school which teachers write the best recs; if you’re able to read the recs, you can also tell which teachers to ask or not ask for college recs in the future. Try to pick recent teachers that know you well; avoid academically insignificant people like coaches unless there is something specific they can highlight about you. Some programs require certain subjects (e.g., a math program might ask for at least one math teacher rec; a science one might request a math teacher and a science teacher). Even if you hate your math teacher, be nice to them so they can write you a great rec when you need it. Ask early, ask now - recs take a little time to write!

Do not think of the program admissions people are your enemies. They are your friends and question-answerers. Also, if you have concerns/queries, CALL, don’t email (unless specifically instructed not to call). Emails get lost; replies are delayed. If you call, you’ll almost certainly get a prompt answer from the right person.

Most important thing to remember: what you get out of a program/summer experience is what you make of it. If you are rejected from the “prestigious” programs you applied to, still attend a backup program (yes, you’ll want one or two of those, just like with college admissions) and make the best of it. Colleges want to know what you learned and how you grew; your intellectual development and your whether your curiosity was triggered. If you go to Ivy League Summer College and just get drunk and party the whole time - that’s a waste of a couple thousand dollars, will be recognized by colleges as “not a real summer program” on your resume, and will have been a waste of a summer.

Oh yeah - don’t do a program just to boost your resume or make you look better to colleges. That should be a side effect, not the main purpose. If your goal is just to have some programs on your resume, you’re doing it wrong.

CC is your friend; the people on here, at least the brighter ones ;), have more experience and combined knowledge than any other college adviser or counselor.

IF YOU DON’T APPLY, YOU CAN’T GET IN. Don’t ask, “Should I try applying for this program?” or, “Am I good enough?” - do your best on the application and just send it in. Because without sending in an application, you have a 0% chance of acceptance into that program.

Hey, I’m always free for advice (PM me - that sends me an email notification) and most other CCers are, too.

Also, sorry for the tl;dr-ness and can a mod sticky this if there are no objections? I’d like to create a comprehensive tutorial thread so please add on any general advice I’ve missed.


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<p>Nice! I remember seeing your name frequently during my largely unsuccessful quest for something to occupy my time during the summer last winter/spring. I think we applied to a few of the same program. Anyway, I’m glad to see that you posted all of your insight and I wholeheartedly agree with your advice.</p>

<p>Good luck to all of the 2013’s who are looking for something! I sincerely hope you all get something, but if you don’t, take solace in this: I was rejected from a smorgasbord of programs in my junior year, and I was accepted to Harvard in the early round. I also felt as if those rejections (essentially inconsequential), prepared me for rejections I might have had to face in the college admissions process (fairly consequential, even though [thank God!] I didn’t have to face any).</p>

<p>Anyway, tangent tangent tangent… Good luck guys!</p>

Chaseholl- A great post and thanks for doing it.

I have a couple of points to add:

  • If a deadline has passed do not be afraid to call and ask them if they will still accept your application. My DS did not learn about some summer programs until a week past the deadline. He called the summer programs and begged them to take his application which they agreed to as long as he fed-ex it to them. He ended up getting accepted to a wonderful program LEAD.

  • Even if the superstar student from your high school is applying to the same summer program do not be discouraged. Still apply. The ASB President; 4 year varsity sport and higher GPA student applied to same program as my DS. My DS thought he had no chance but he ended up being accepted to the program and his fellow classmate was waitlisted.

  • If you get rejected from summer programs then think about creating your own. Look up to see who does work in your intended field of study and ask if you can shadow them for a week. Design your own internship. People love to see students with initiative so be proactive. Remember the worse that can happen is being told “no” which just means you are in the same place where you started. It is always better to just try.

Good Luck to everyone.

<p>pokm12, I got rejected by a number of programs, too, and I ended up going to my backup, which was still a wonderful experience (with more work than I expected, too!). Congrats on Harvard … I have to wait until March/April to hear anything back from anyone :P.</p>

<p>itsv, your first point is a great example of how flexible many programs are. Obviously, this doesn’t mean we’re suggesting people to procrastinate on applications, but (just like with many college admissions offices) a slightly late application is often still considered.</p>

<p>Ah, glad to see this stickied :slight_smile: Thanks mods!</p>

<p>Awesome post full of great info. There are some deadlines though that have already passed, so summer programs are something one should be clued in about at the end of summer (in preparation of the following summer).</p>

<p>Also, do not underestimate the value of a summer program, and it doesn’t have to cost anything. </p>

<p>Programs that are not selective aren’t worth your money, unless you really just have it to burn. And yes, there are surely exceptions, but in general, it’s true.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>@Chaseholl- As a member of this thread for the past 2 years, it was funny seeing you stress many of these points in all the individual threads over and over again. Great idea to simplify it into this thread and thanks mods for stickying it.</p>

<p>Another note. If you notice multiple posts in a row by different shady looking users be careful. Some programs cough<em>blueprints</em>cough seem to have a fair amount of posts on here that appear to be advertisements. While I do not actually know how good many of these programs are, I would advise you to do some more digging.</p>

<p>Nice post. I know you’ve mentioned it above, but would you happen to have a list for graduating seniors?</p>

<p>Unfortunately not, and I’ve been trying to find one. I noticed some posts inquiring about programs for graduating seniors have been ignored, so I’m guessing there are few such opportunities. I’d suggest either volunteering, traveling, or getting a job/internship.</p>

<p>Or, learning a new skill (like EMS training) or language (even sign language), or starting your own business. There are plenty of things to do that require graduating seniors to structure their own programs.</p>

<p>Update: listings for various subjects</p>

<p>While browsing several websites, I found pretty comprehensive listings of summer programs for all grades/levels in various subject areas. I copied a couple of the more popular topics’ lists to CC in the event that the original lists go offline.</p>


<p>General lists:</p>

<p>[La</a> Salle College High School: Pre-College Summer Programs](<a href=“]La”>Summer Programs | La Salle College High School)</p>

<p>[Summer</a> Camps and Programs for High School Students and Middle School Students: Summer Education Programs, High School Summer Programs, Summer Precollege Programs](<a href=“]Summer”></p>

<p>[Cogito</a> - Programs - Summer Programs](<a href=“]Cogito”></p>

<p>[Programs</a> Alphabetically | Enrichment Alley](<a href=“Quizzma » Free Test Answers and Quizzes for Students”>Quizzma » Free Test Answers and Quizzes for Students)</p>


<p>Pre-college/summer college/talent search programs:</p>

<p>[Imagine</a> Links to Summer Programs](<a href=“]Imagine”></p>



<p>[College</a> Lists / Summer Programs - Writing<a href=“mirrored%20at%20%5Burl%5D”>/url</a>.</p>



<p>[url=&lt;a href=“College Lists Wiki / Summer HS Programs - Architecture”&gt;College Lists Wiki / Summer HS Programs - Architecture]College</a> Lists / Summer HS Programs - Architecture](<a href=“College Lists Wiki / Summer Programs - Writing”>College Lists Wiki / Summer Programs - Writing) / <a href=“[/url]”></a></p>

<p>[International</a> Counselor - Summer opportunities #12: Explore architecture](<a href=“]International”></p>



<p>[College</a> Lists / Summer Study - Architecture and-or Engineering<a href=“”>/url</a>.</p>



<p>[url=&lt;a href=“College Lists Wiki / Summer Study - Business”&gt;College Lists Wiki / Summer Study - Business]College</a> Lists / Summer Study - Business](<a href=“College Lists Wiki / Summer Study - Architecture and-or Engineering”>College Lists Wiki / Summer Study - Architecture and-or Engineering)</p>



<p>[College</a> Lists / Summer Study - Leadership](<a href=“College Lists Wiki / Summer Study - Leadership”>College Lists Wiki / Summer Study - Leadership)</p>



<p>[College</a> Lists / Summer Programs - Language Intensive](<a href=“College Lists Wiki / Summer Programs - Language Intensive”>College Lists Wiki / Summer Programs - Language Intensive)</p>


<p>Math/Computer Science:</p>

<p>[College</a> Lists / Summer Programs - Math Computer Science](<a href=“College Lists Wiki / Summer Math Programs and Camps for High School Students and Teenagers”>College Lists Wiki / Summer Math Programs and Camps for High School Students and Teenagers)</p>

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<p>Here are two great program and internship lists I stumbled upon while searching for summer opportunities:</p>

<p>[Summer</a> Programs | Cogito](<a href=“]Summer”></p>

<p>[Internships</a> | Cogito](<a href=“]Internships”></p>

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<p>Omg I just finished college apps and now I have to start on this</p>

<p>Here’s a handy website with a list of summer internships: [High</a> School Internships](<a href=“]High”></p>

<p>I love you for that, omg.</p>

<p>We are very happy to announce that the 7th annual ‘Sensing Our World’ summer science program for middle school students will again be offered on the campus of The University of Notre Dame. The week-long program is scheduled for July 9-13 and, should funding and the number of applications allow us to do so, we will replicate the program during the following week, July 16-20.</p>

<p>Our interdisciplinary program theme this year is “Global & Public Health”, and will include presentors representing the colleges of Science, Engineering, and Arts & Letters, as well as several research centers. Information and downloadable application forms are available at <a href=“[/url]”></a>.</p>

<p>We hope you will share this opportunity with administrators, teachers, parents, and students.</p>

<p>I think this thread would be more helpful without the promotional text (tl;dr, you know) but thank you for that information.</p>

<p>I am going to be a sophomore this fall, and applying this summer for a program, do you guys have any beginners advice? Thanks in advance.</p>

<p>I am a biotechnology student ,currently in my 3rd year of bachelors in India. I am looking for internships in US universities. My GPA is not that great due to some personal issues that cropped up during exams ,so I failed a few exams in college but I have potential to do research and I love science. I am currently working on a research project in India and my report is due in November. I would like to do a summer research internship in the US or UK in May-June, for 2 months. Please give me some information on this.</p>

<p>I am a biotechnology student ,currently in my 3rd year of bachelors in India. I am looking for internships in US universities. My GPA is not that great due to some personal issues that cropped up during exams ,so I failed a few exams in college but I have potential to do research and I love science. I am currently working on a research project in India and my report is due in November. I would like to do a summer research internship in the US or UK in for 2 months. Please give me some information on this.</p>

<p>Ok I’m going to be a rising senior this summer but the only problem is that for this entire summer, I’m going to be traveling to see family and stuff. The only summer program I have done is Duke TIP which I did for two summers. Will this effect me??</p>