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128 Pre-College Summer Programs for High School Students

Posted by Justin Berkman | Jun 3, 2016 10:00:00 PM

Extracurriculars

 

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Summer programs provide high school students with opportunities to explore their academic interests and spark new passions. Also, they allow high school students to get a taste of college life and meet other students from all over the world.

In this article, I'll provide a list of colleges throughout the United States that host summer programs for high school students. Furthermore, I'll give information about what pre-college summer programs are like and let you know how to select the right program for you.

 

What Is a Pre-College Summer Program?

A pre-college summer program offers high school students the opportunity to take classes at a college and experience college life during the summer. Most programs range from 1-7 weeks.

You can take programs that focus on such diverse subjects as writing, leadership, entrepreneurship, and engineering. Many summer programs offer both a residential and commuter option. Students can stay in dorms with their peers, or they can commute from home if they live close to the college.

Furthermore, not only are students able to take classes from college professors or visiting scholars, but they’re also able to listen to lectures from alumni and participate in social activities. Many selective private colleges, including  Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia, offer pre-college summer programs for high school students.

Some pre-college summer programs are open enrollment (anyone can attend) and others require admission through an application process. The selective programs typically require teacher recommendations, application essays, and standardized test scores. Check a specific program's website for its admission requirements.

While these programs can be fun and educational, most of them are expensive. There are some free programs and many programs that offer financial aid for qualified students, but summer programs often cost thousands of dollars.

 

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Pictures of Money/Flickr

 

How Did I Create This List of College Summer Programs for High School Students?

I relied on information from Summer Program Finder, which helps locate various summer programs, to create the list. I looked up the programs in each region of the country and listed the colleges that host programs by state.

In addition to the listed programs, there are also summer programs for high school students that are not housed at colleges. Additionally, especially because programs are evolving, there may be programs at colleges that aren't listed. You can look at a specific college's website to see if the college offers summer programs for high school students.

Also, many colleges allow high schoolers to take classes during the summer term. Again, if you're interested in a certain college, you can look on its website to find available summer opportunities for high school students.

 

List of Summer Programs

Alabama

School Location
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL

 

 

Arizona

School Location
Arizona State University Tempe, AZ

 

 

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California

School Location
California College of the Arts Oakland, CA
UC Berkeley Stanford, CA
UC Davis Berkeley, CA
UCLA Davis, CA
UCSB Los Angeles, CA
UCSD Santa Barbara, CA
USC La Jolla, CA

 

 

Colorado

School Location
Air Force Academy Colorado Springs, CO
Johnson & Wales Denver, CO

 

 

Connecticut

School Location
US Coast Guard Academy New London, CT
Yale University New Haven, CT

 

 

Delaware

School Location
Delaware State University Dover, DE

 

 

District of Columbia

School Location
American University Washington, DC
The Catholic University of America Washington, DC
George Washington University Washington, DC
Georgetown University Washington, DC

 

 

Florida

School Location
Johnson & Wales North Miami, FL
University of Miami Coral Gables, FL

 

 

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Georgia

School Location
Emory University Atlanta, GA
Georgia Tech Atlanta, GA
Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, GA

 

 

Illinois

School Location
 Northwestern University Evanston, IL
 University of Chicago Chicago, IL
 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL

 

 

Indiana

School Location
Indiana University Bloomington Bloomington, IN
Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Terre Haute, IN
University of Notre Dame South Bend, IN

 

 

Kentucky

School Location
Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY

 

 

Maine

School Location
Colby College Waterville, ME
University of New England Biddeford, ME

 

 

Maryland

School Location
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
Maryland Institute College of Art Baltimore, MD
University of Maryland College Park, MD
US Naval Academy Annapolis, MD

 

 

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Massachusetts

School Location
Babson College Babson Park, MA
Bentley University Waltham, MA
Berklee College of Music Boston, MA
Boston University Boston, MA
Brandeis University Waltham, MA
Emerson College Boston, MA
Hampshire College Amherst, MA
Harvard University Cambridge, MA
MIT Cambridge, MA
Smith College Northampton, MA
Springfield College Springfield, MA
Tufts University Medford, MA
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MA

 

 

Michigan

School Location
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI

 

 

Minnesota

School Location
Carleton College Northfield, MN

 

 

Missouri

School Location
Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO

 

 

New Hampshire

School Location
Dartmouth College Hanover, NH

 

 

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New Jersey

School Location
Caldwell University Caldwell, NJ
Centenary College Parsippany, NJ
The College of New Jersey Ewing Township, NJ
Drew University Madison, NJ
Fairleigh Dickinson University Teaneck, NJ
Monmouth University West Long Branch, NJ
Princeton University Princeton, NJ
Ramapo College Mahwah, NJ
Rider University Lawrence Township, NJ
Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ
Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ

 

 

New York

School Location
Alfred University Alfred, NY
Barnard College New York, NY
CCNY New York, NY
Columbia University New York, NY
Cornell University Ithaca, NY
Fashion Institute of Technology New York, NY
Ithaca College Ithaca, NY
Marist College Poughkeepsie, NY
Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, NY
NYU New York, NY
NYIT New York, NY
Parsons School of Design New York, NY
Pratt Institute Brooklyn, NY
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY
The Rockefeller University New York, NY
Sarah Lawrence College Bronxville, NY
Skidmore College Saratoga Springs, NY
Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
SUNY Oneonta Oneonta, NY
Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
Union College Schenectady, NY
University of Rochester Rochester, NY
US Military Academy West Point, NY
Vassar College Poughkeepsie, NY

 

 

North Carolina

School Location
Duke University Durham, NC
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
University of North Carolina-Greensboro Greensboro, NC
Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC

 

 

Ohio

School Location
Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH
Columbus College of Art and Design Columbus, OH
Ohio State University Columbus, OH

 

 

Oregon

School Location
Lewis & Clark College Portland, OR

 

 

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Pennsylvania

School Location
Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
Gettysburg College Gettysburg, PA
Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA
Penn State Berks Reading, PA
Penn State Erie Erie, PA
Penn State New Kensington New Kensington, PA
Penn State University Park State College, PA
Penn State York York, PA
Susquehanna University Selinsgrove, PA
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA

 

 

Rhode Island

School Location
Brown University Providence, RI
Johnson & Wales Providence, RI

 

 

South Carolina

School Location
Clemson University Clemson, SC

 

 

South Dakota

School Location
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Rapid City, SD

 

 

Tennessee

School Location
Sewanee Sewanee, TN
Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN

 

 

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Texas

School Location
Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX
University of Houston Houston, TX
University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX

 

 

Vermont

School Location
Middlebury College Middlebury, VT

 

 

Virginia

School Location
Hollins University Roanoke, VA
University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA
Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
William & Mary Williamsburg, VA

 

 

Washington

School Location
University of Washington Seattle, WA

 

 

Wisconsin

School Location
University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI

 

 

Should You Attend a College Summer Program?

Really, it’s up to you whether or not you decide to attend a summer program. You can check out our post on whether or not you should do a pre-college summer program for a detailed explanation of the pros and cons. Summer programs can provide you with a good opportunity to explore your academic interests or take a class in a subject that’s not offered at your school. Also, you can make friends, experience college life, and get a better idea whether or not you’d want to attend a specific school.

On the negative side, most college summer programs for high school students are expensive, and they may not provide much help getting into college (unless it’s a highly selective program that’s offered at no or minimal cost). Do your research, and if a program is something you can afford and would enjoy, then you should go for it. It may stimulate your academic and personal growth, and it can help you determine your future goals.

If you know you want to do a pre-college summer program, there are a number of factors to consider to help you select the right program for you.

The location of the program is an extremely important consideration for many students. If you have a dream school or a college you're strongly considering, you may want to do a program on that school's campus to get a better feel for the college and demonstrate your interest in that school. Also, you may want to save money by going to a program close to home. Or you may want to be able to spend a few weeks living in a city like New York or Boston.

Additionally, be sure to select a program that's in line with your interests. If you have a passion for creative writing, then you can cultivate that passion in a writing program. If you're fascinated by business, you can hone your business skills in an entrepreneurship program.

Finally, you may need to consider the cost and length of the program. If you have a limited budget, you may have to focus your search on cheaper programs that you'll be able to afford. If you have other obligations or activities you're hoping to do during the summer, you may want to choose a shorter program.

You can use this list and the Summer Program Finder to identify programs that match what you're looking for.

 

What's Next?

Do you want to become a doctor? Maybe you'll be interested in doing a medical summer program.

If you want to explore your interests during the summer without leaving home or paying to attend a summer program, perhaps you can get an internship.

Are you interested in other ideas for summer activities? Learn more about what you can do during the summer.

 

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Justin Berkman
About the Author

Justin has extensive experience teaching SAT prep and guiding high school students through the college admissions and selection process. He is firmly committed to improving equity in education and helping students to reach their educational goals. Justin received an athletic scholarship for gymnastics at Stanford University and graduated with a BA in American Studies.



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