High School Summer Programs - Black Enterprise

High School Summer Programs

Summer isn’t just a time to lounge around with friends and take trips to the beach. For students who are serious about getting accepted to top colleges, summer is also the time to participate in programs that will set them apart from their peers. Martha Allman, director of admissions at Wake Forest University says that even if a student is not in the best school system, summer programs offer “enrichment opportunities [and] enhance your education.”

There are numerous programs available, all of which vary greatly in location, cost, duration, and selectivity. Typically, programs last from one week to one month beginning in June or July. Aside from some government-funded programs, which are free, costs range from $500 to $4,000 for domestic programs and $4,000 to $7,000 for international programs. Don’t let costs deter you, however, because the majority of programs offer merit scholarships and need-based financial aid. Application deadlines differ greatly; some programs close acceptance in the fall, others in the spring and some offer rolling admissions until all spaces are filled. As a general rule of thumb, apply as early as possible because scholarship deadlines are always earlier.

Many colleges and universities have summer programs for high school students so it is key to check out an individual school’s Website, or contact the summer term office for more information.

Isaac Black, founder of Black Excel: The College Help Network, says, “Involvement might signal things about your character, drive, leadership potential, personal initiative, self-confidence and maturity, special talents and skills, and whether you’ll be a plus on a particular campus.”

Not all summer programs are competitive, but use them as a practice run for applying to college. Some require letters of recommendation, high GPAs, interviews and community involvement. Students can also earn up to three college credits at many programs, thus increasing their benefit. Here you can find a wide range of summer programs and resources sure to suit the needs of any student:



Global Scholars: Expand your knowledge of world affairs through college-level coursework and videoconferences with students worldwide. www.aidemocracy.org/globalscholar

LEAD Summer Business Institute: Experience life as a student at one of the nation’s leading business schools. www.leadprogram.org

National Student Leadership Conference: In programs ranging from entrepreneurship and business to forensic science, students participate in leadership workshops, career simulations, and hear prominent guest speakers. www.nslcleaders.org

Honorable Mentions:

Boys or Girls State www.boysandgirlsstate.org

Citizenship Washington Focus http://4hcwf.org

Congressional Youth Leadership Council www.cylc.org

Exploration Summer Programs www.explo.org

Governor’s School http://ncogs.org/web

Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs www.jkcp.com

Presidential Classroom www.presidentialclassroom.org

Tavis Smiley Foundation Leadership Institute www.youthtoleaders.org

Upward Bound www.ed.gov/programs/trioupbound/index.html

Ventures Scholars Program www.venturescholar.org

Level Playing Field Institute www.lpfi.org



Academic Study Associates Program: Summersion and Summerfuel programs provide exciting cultural immersion and pre-college programs. www.asaprograms.com

LEAD-America Ambassadors Abroad: