Many colleges offer academic summer programs for high school students. These programs usually a glimpse into the college experience, with college level classes, dorm living, etc. They can be an excellent way of seeing what college life can be like, so we recommend these programs for their enrichment and insight into a student’s academic motivation. However, the advantage gained by a college summer program is not necessarily any better than a great summer service project, job, or interest-driven project.

Two additional words of caution about college summer programs:

1: Each program will have a different philosophy about monitoring its students, some strict and some lax. Make sure to ask about supervision on campus when you research college summer programs.

2: Acceptance to a college’s summer program does not in any way guarantee you admission to the college’s undergraduate program nor does it even give you an edge except in the more general way discussed above. You should participate in a summer program because you find it interesting, not because you hope it will put you on the fast track to admission to that school.