What are Summer College Programs for High School Students?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 21 October 2018
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A number of higher-learning institutions offer summer college programs for high school students. These include community colleges, technical schools, and universities. Programs often are designed to stimulate interest in certain subject areas while exposing children to a higher standard of learning. It also can serve to get high school students acquainted with attending secondary educational institutions.

Summer college programs for high school students can vary greatly depending on the institution sponsoring the programs. Areas of concentration can range from art to leadership to science. Some programs may last a few weeks while others may span the entire summer. When such programs are offered by institutions that have dormitories, students often are given the option of living on campus.

Those interested in participating in summer college programs usually are required to apply earlier in the year. As with most traditional college courses, there generally is a limited number of openings available for each program. Applying early can offer a student the opportunity to apply elsewhere if she is not accepted.

The application could be as simple as a form that needs to be completed. Sometimes a complete application involves other documents such as a school transcript, an essay, or certain types of samples. For some talent-based programs such as those in art or music, these samples may be a major determining factor. In scholastic programs, the academic record of the student normally weighs heavily on the decision for acceptance. An application fee also is commonly required.


If accepted into one of the summer college programs for high school students, a person generally is required to pay a deposit to reserve her space. The remaining amount usually can be paid in installments. There typically is a final due date by which the full amount of tuition must be paid. Many of these programs also offer a certain number of scholarships.

Summer college programs for high school students often are structured to function similar to which the institution normally operates. A student may have a choice in certain courses while others are required. There usually are a number of courses and activities scheduled each day. Students often work with highly qualified professors and attend presentations by renowned speakers.

There are numerous benefits to summer college programs. One of the most attractive is the fact that the high school student often gets credit for her coursework which will count if she decides to attend that institution after graduation. It also may count toward her coursework at another institution. These programs also typically expose students to an angle and depth of learning that normally is not available in high schools.



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