What are Summer Programs for High School Students?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 05 January 2020
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Summer programs for high school students typically refer to educational and/or travel programs that are conducted by a variety of universities or specialized arts/science/technology academies. They tend to be less summer camp, though many students may have the option of living on campus, and are more about fine-tuned studies for gifted and talented kids. This doesn’t mean that all programs are solely for gifted and talented students, but students who do well in them are usually those actively engaged in what they’re studying or doing.

There are many very well known universities that offer summer programs for high school students, and these include names like Cornell, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, Yale, and Harvard. Though these programs are often more discussed than others, that doesn’t mean very good state schools or various private schools don’t have these programs too. If a parent wants a high school student to stay near home, they can certainly check nearby colleges to see what programs they might offer.

Some of the summer programs for high school students are really about academic preparation for college, and others may allow students to explore an area of previous studies in more advanced form. For instance, students might be able to take science courses that wouldn’t be offered to them until college, and lovers of English literature could study humanities or literature that is much more in keeping with college level inquiry. Many programs will grant college credits for participation in classes, though others do not.


In contrast to the programs focused on study in academics, some may be more concerned with travel or exploration of another country. A few of these originate at a university that is based in another country or are located at a satellite university in a foreign country that is affiliated with a local college. After traveling to that university, students might live and study there for a month or two, while taking trips to see local sites of interest. Alternately, a college can offer a travel program to places like Europe, and lead a group of students on a tour of a particular country or several countries.

Additional summer programs for high school students may be particularly tailored to the interests of talented young adults. There are acting workshops, fine art studies, writing clinics, music schools, archaeology summer programs and many more. Such programs are diverse in range and offer lots of education opportunities and chances to improve already developing skills.

It’s fair to state that a lot of the top summer programs for high school students can be very pricey. Some schools may have scholarships, but these are only available to a few students. Well known university schools, may cost thousands of dollars, and might last anywhere from one week to eight weeks. Those who feel discouraged by pricing really should look to summer programs at local colleges, as they may be much less expensive. Moreover, students who simply want to advance their studies may do this inexpensively at most junior or community colleges. While this route doesn’t have as much prestige, it does accrue college credits for most high schoolers that are 16 or older.



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