Although summer break seems pretty far off, students who plan to use their summers wisely need to start making plans now for top summer programs now. Summer offers a lot of unique opportunities for college-bound students to explore their options, familiarize themselves with college life, and boost their college applications. While application deadlines for a lot of programs have already passed, there are still many prestigious programs that are accepting applications, including the ones we’ve listed below.
Top Summer Programs for High School Students
West Point’s Summer Leaders Experience
A week-long immersion in academic, military, and social life ideal for those students considering applying to West Point, the Summer Leaders Experience program is highly competitive. Applications are open to high school juniors.
Brown University’s Pre-College Programs
Brown University offers a wide variety of summer programs, including both online and on-campus courses in many subject areas. Other Brown programs offer both domestic and international travel opportunities. Some programs are open to students in 10th grade and below, but most are limited to juniors.
Columbia University’s Programs for High School Students
Columbia University offers domestic and international immersion programs that are ideal for exceptional high school students seeking intensive summer programs. Columbia also offers the opportunity for students to take credit-bearing classes alongside undergraduate students.
Cornell University’s Summer College
Cornell offers summer programs ranging from three to six weeks in length in a wide variety of subject areas. These programs offer college credit, and many of them are open to high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
Washington University in St. Louis’s Summer Experiences
Washington University in St. Louis offers summer programs for middle and high school students. The High School Scholars Program offers college credit while the High School Institutes and the Middle School Challenge programs do not.
University of Southern California’s Summer Programs
USC offers non-credit bearing 2-week classes and credit bearing 4-week programs in a wide variety of subject areas. Many class options are already full, so be sure to apply soon.
Harvard University’s Secondary School Program
Harvard offers highly competitive 7-week programs that can be taken online or on-campus. These programs offer college credit and the opportunity to experience life as a Harvard student.
Carnegie Mellon University’s Summer Pre-College
Open to rising juniors and seniors, Carnegie Mellon’s pre-college programs offer programs in the arts and credit-bearing Advanced Placement/Early Admission courses.
SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) Pre-College Summer Programs
SCAD offers weeklong seminars for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors and the opportunity for rising seniors to enroll in two college courses while experiencing life as a SCAD student.
Marist Summer Institutes
This program is geared toward rising juniors and seniors. Students earn college credits in one of several academic areas. Marist offers programs in New York and Italy.
PROMYS (Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists)
Offered through Boston University, this six-week residential program is intended for gifted high school math students who want to explore the creative side of math.
University of Chicago’s Summer Programs for High School Students
The University of Chicago offers several 3- and 4-week immersion programs open only to high school students. These programs are offered at the University of Chicago campus and at campuses in Beijing, Bengaluru, and Hong Kong. The University of Chicago also offers the opportunity to enroll in summer courses or to explore partnership programs.
George Washington University’s Pre-College Program
GWU offers credit-bearing college intensive programs for rising juniors and seniors and noncredit immersive programs for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors. These programs are offered in a wide variety of subject areas, ranging from the arts to STEM.
Barnard offers 1- to 4-week programs in a wide variety of program areas ranging from entrepreneurship to dance, allowing students to experience life in New York City.
Students who enroll in these intensive learning programs not only get an invaluable immersive learning experience but also get a faculty recommendation to bolster their college applications.
What Summer Program Is Right For Me?
If you’re having trouble figuring out which program will best fit your needs, C2 can help. Get a free college admissions planning consultation with a certified expert today!