Many colleges and organizations offer summer programs for high schoolers, so they can get a feel for a college campus, meet interested students and instructors and pursue subjects of interest.  Some programs offer scholarships.  They could be just the thing to prepare your student for college and college admissions!    Here are a few opportunities worth exploring:


Cornell's Summer College is one of the nation's longest running precollege academic programs. It brings over 1,000 academically talented high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors from around the world to the Cornell campus in Ithaca, New York, each summer for three- and six-week programs. Summer College students:

  • experience what it's like to live and learn at a great Ivy League university,

  • take real university courses,

  • work closely with Cornell's world-renowned faculty,

  • earn three to six college credits,

  • explore majors and career options,

  • get a jump on successful college applications,

  • make friends from around the world, and much, much more.We offer programs between June 24 and August 8 in dozens of subjects, from architecture to veterinary medicine.

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth offers summer programs at universities around the Country.  Priority deadline is January 18 but there are rolling admissions after that.  There are programs for students from grades 9-12 and even younger.  They are open to students who already participate in the CTY program and to other bright students.  They are costly, but  financial aid is available for low income students.  

MIT "does not offer a traditional open-enrollment summer school program where any high school student can come to campus to take courses and live in the dorms.  However, several partner organizations run small, specialized programs on campus."  For example, studying the human genome or building a robot.

Stanford High School Summer College "is where exceptional high school students, ages 16–19, take Stanford undergraduate courses and earn college credit."

Telluride Association offers summer programs for juniors and for sophomores at Cornell and University of Michigan.  Applications must be submitted January 24.  These programs offer challenging content for bright students (you may have received an invitation because of your PSAT score but you can apply even if you did not).  The programs are free and the Association will offer financial assistance for student who need help with travel costs.

Here’s a great website to search for summer programs: College Express and a list of some of the best.

The Davidson Institute in Nevada provides programs for Gifted 13-16 year olds during the summer and throughout the school year. You have to take the ACT or SAT to apply!

Regional Approaches to Climate Change - Pacific Northwest Agriculture (REACCH PNA) is a USDA-funded, multi-institutional project focused on improving the long-term sustainability of agriculture within the region. REACCH partners (University of Idaho, Washington State University, Oregon State University and USDA-ARS) are teaming up to offer a total of 10, 9-week long, undergraduate internships across the three institutions.

So You Want to Work at NASA
"An out of this world career or internship might not be as far out of reach as you think. Check out all the ways you can get involved!"

There are a lot of other summer programs out there.  Some don’t cost much or anything to attend.  Some are in the nature of scholarship programs.  There is a youth summit in Washington DC for students interested in public transportation.   Apply between by or before February 17, 2017.  This Bank America Student Leadership Conference offers a paid internship at home followed by a conference in DC.  Applications are due by or before January 27, 2017.  This list from The Collegiate Blog identifies 80+ free summer programs for high school students.  



The Joy Ceivy Foundation provides scholarships to low and moderate income girls so that they can attend these great programs.



Planning Ahead: The College Visit Circuit | Forbes
Planning college visits for Spring Break? Here is some great advice about how to make the most of your trip. 

Springtime College Visit Readiness |
"Springtime is the ideal time of year for high school juniors and their families to visit colleges as they are still in session and you can see authentic college life. By doing an official visit, you also let the colleges know you are serious about the possibility of attending—this is so key for competitive colleges which now value demonstrated interest as a major component of the admissions process.  Here are 10 tips to help guide your college visits."

What to Do When Colleges "Recommend" an Interview
Some schools "recommend" but do not "require" an interview. Here is some advice about what that means. It may be important if you are visitiing the school this summer and won't have a chance to make it back during senior year. If that is the case, you might want to consider contacting the admissions office to see if you could make time for an interview.

College Fly-In & Diversity Programs

“One of the most important factors is in deciding if a college is right for you is whether or not you can picture yourself as a member of campus and for many students this means a campus visit.  If the college isn’t nearby, however, being able to make the visit might not be possible due to financial limitations.  The good news is that a number of institutions offer free fly-in programs, travel assistance scholarships, overnight programs, and diversity programming that comes at little or no cost to students accepted to their programs!”

Twilight Tour at UI Kimberly Research and Extension Center Offers Family Fun
The free field day functions as a science fair for children and adults who live nearby and for those who work in agriculture. The tour illustrates the range of research conducted by College of Agricultural and Life Sciences faculty and staff. The event alternates between the Aberdeen Research and Extension Center and Kimberly.