Everything you need to know about Summer Programs

Summer programs offer students the opportunity to gain worthwhile experience, build their connections and further their passions. This blog post will tell you about the pros and cons of attending a summer program while also dispelling some myths.

What does a Pre-College Summer Program offer?

Pre-college summer programs allow students to further their passions or simply explore new fields by taking classes at a college and getting a preview of college life over the summer. These programs typically range from 1 week to 8 weeks. Most programs offer either a residential or commuter option for students. In the residential option, students get to stay in dorms with their peers and attend various event throughout the college. In the commuter option, students commute from home to the college.

These programs can be open enrollment where any one can enter or be selective in which students have to go through an application process. This application process can consist of essays, standardized test scores, teacher recommendation, and the resume of the student. Some selective programs have requirements considering the grade level, age, and gpa of the student for applying. The specific criteria can be found on the website of the respective summer program.

The Benefits of Summer Programs

Summer Programs offer students various opportunities to better understand the field they are interested in, make lifelong friends, gain work experience, and get exposed to college life.

Exposure and College Life

Summer programs give you a peek of what college life would actually be like. Many students, initially, have trouble adjusting to college life and this can significantly ease the transitions when you do go to college. Furthermore, taking classes and learning from college professors can give you an idea for what expectations will be like when you attend college.

Work Experience

Some summer programs offer the opportunity students to gain work experience in specific industry. Students get to work and learn from distinguished professors and industry leaders who can help students further their understanding of their respective field.

College Credit

You have to option to earn college credit in some summer programs if you meet certain criteria such as having high grades. It is important, however, to consider that some of the college credit offered only applies to the college of the summer program you are attending.

New friends

These summer programs allow you to meet people from all around the world who have a similar mindset and drive for a subject like you do.

May boost your resume

Taking summer programs shows colleges that you have a drive for your academic passions and are spending your summer meaningfully. Getting selected to selective summer programs like TASP and RSI shows you are an exceptional student and impresses admissions officers.

It is important to consider, however, the fact that some college experts see summer programs as a place for wealthy students in which no merit is involved and everyone is accepted regardless. Moreover, many colleges explicitly state that attending their summer programs will not give you priority admissions. Therefore, it is important to attend summer programs that are tied with your interests.


Pre-College summer program costs can range from being free to as high as $10,000. For instance, Stanford’s SUMaC summer program costs $7,000 in total for both tuition and housing. However, need and merit based financial is offered for some summer programs that may help alleviate the costs.

Is it worth attending a Pre-College Summer Program?

Summer programs offer the opportunities to further your passion, meet new people, gain work experience, and get a glimpse into college life. If you have the money and consider it a valuable investment of your time then attending a summer program can give you lifelong experiences.

Summer programs will help your resume if you attend summer programs that are tied to your interests. In fact, attending highly selective programs which cost little to no money will help boost your chances of being admitted to selective colleges. In the end, the experiences and opportunities you get out of summer programs will greatly benefit you .

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