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A summer program is very similar to summer school, but typically takes place at a college or university. These programs allow you to pursue your interests during your summer break by offering a range of options in all types of areas including the arts, sciences, athletics, and more. In this article, we will cover the benefits of summer programs and the steps you can take to find a program that is right for you.


Benefits of Summer Programs

Get a taste of the college experience

There are summer programs that have residency options where you can live in the dorms for the duration of the summer, giving you a sense of dorm life. Even if you are just a commuter, you will still experience the college campus and atmosphere. Summer programs can reduce anxiety for anyone who is uneasy about the independence college will bring.

Broaden your perspective

Trying something new, you’re bound to open your mind in all kinds of ways. You will likely meet people that come from various backgrounds, and learn how to interact with those who differ from you. This kind of exposure to new ideas and experiences is crucial to becoming a well-rounded adult.

Explore your passions

If you already know your passions, don’t hesitate to pursue them straight away. You don’t have to be a high school graduate to begin exploring those interests further. If you’re interested in passion projects, here are some ways to get started in high school.

Gain new skills

With so many programs to choose from, you can enhance a strength you already have or work to develop a new skill. There’s also the possibility of gaining hands-on experience that you might not attain at a regular summer camp. To learn more about gaining hands-on experience in high school, click here.

Express interest in a particular college

If possible, pursue a summer program at a school you might be interested in applying to. When schools see that you have already spent time on their campus, they will know that you are serious about attending their school. Even if you go to a summer program at a college and discover it’s not the right fit for you, you can appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the school!


Steps to Finding the Right Summer Program

Think about your goals

Ask yourself: Why do you want to do a summer program? Do you want to earn college credit? Are you hoping to explore a specific interest? Are you hoping to get a feel for the college experience? Answering these questions will shape the program that you choose.

Talk to your school counselor

School counselors are an awesome resource, and may already have information on summer programs. They will help match you to a program that fulfills all of your goals, and help you prepare all your application materials. (Some programs require high school transcripts and test scores).

Do your research

Start looking into summer programs during the fall or winter before you want to attend. Many programs have February/March deadlines and a limited number of spaces, so the earlier you begin exploring, the better. Keep in mind that many summer programs offer scholarships and financial aid, so be sure to look into that as well!