Get the Most Out of Your Summer: Top Summer Programs

Chase Bagnall-Koger, News Editor

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Though the warm weather and beach days that come with summer vacation may seem ages away, the end of this school year is now less than a semester from now. For high school students that plan to apply to prestigious colleges – or just to stand out from the crowd at any university –  summer is not just a time to relax, but to build their resume. For those not occupied by summer jobs or classes, universities around the nation offer potential applicants summer programs, often specific to different areas of study. If you have not yet made plans for the upcoming break, check out the programs below!

University of Pennsylvania Engineering Summer Academy

The Engineering Academy at this ivy league school is a very selective program, which requires an official transcript and several supplements to allow the school to evaluate the academic interests and abilities of each applicant. The three-week, on-campus program combines “sophisticated theory with hands-on practical experience in cutting edge technologies” to immerse high school students in the world of STEM.  Applications for this program will be open from Jan. 27 to March 27.

Princeton Summer Journalism Program (PSJP)

This summer opportunity is a free journalism and college preparatory program for current high school juniors from low-income backgrounds who are interested in journalism. The 10-day program is held on the Princeton campus, and all costs including travel are paid for by the university. There, students attend lectures and workshops with Princeton professors and alumni, along with professional journalists. If you are interested in applying for PSJP, remember to submit an application by the Feb. 27 deadline.

Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) at MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers high school juniors from communities that have traditionally been underrepresented in STEM an opportunity to get hands-on experience in the area with this six-week residential program. Students with a strong academic record in math and science are encouraged to apply to take high-quality math and science classes and explore future STEM careers. All costs except transportation to and from MIT are covered by the University. More information about the program, as well as applications, can be found here.

McGill Summer Academy 

For students who may be interested in attending a college in another country, the McGill Summer academy is a memorable introduction to university life located on-campus in Montreal, Canada. The two-week program includes classes, workshops, activities, and trips, and is supervised 24/7 by McGill staff and students. Students in grades 10 or 11 can apply now; more information is available on the University’s website.

Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program

In this program, high school students are invited to the Stanford campus to work on a medically-oriented project with current Stanford college and graduate students. The program aims to increase the young generation’s interest in the natural sciences, as well as increase the diversity of the individuals involved in STEM research and practices. Applications to the program are open to current high school sophomores and juniors and must be submitted by Feb. 22.

Leadership Seminars at Notre Dame University 

Leadership Seminars is a 10-day program held on the Notre Dame campus each year for students who “show impressive leadership” in their communities. Only 90 students are admitted each year, and Notre Dame assumes financial responsibility for their tuition, housing, and meals while they participate in seminars and activities to better their leadership skills. If you are interested in this program, don’t hesitate to apply; the deadline for all applications is Jan. 27.

If none of these programs are appealing, click here for a list of the top summer programs for the summer or 2020, as compiled by Ms. Driver, the Gables CAP Advisor. Many of these programs are no cost or nearly free, and need-based scholarships are available for the more expensive opportunities. Regardless of students’ income or areas of interest, summer programs are an effective way for high schoolers to become familiar with top colleges and explore career options before applying to universities in the fall.