Admit it: With temperatures dropping and snow falling, most students are not thinking about summer, yet now is the time for high school students to plan for a summer that will enhance their academic and social development. Students considering selective schools should utilize academic programs being offered by many colleges across the United States. These programs vary in length from one week to full summer terms with courses that address many areas of study. Crisp Consulting + Coaching offers strategies to enhance your summer as you prepare for college.
Start Small. A one to three week course is perfect if this is your first summer away from home. These programs, such as the ones hosted by the Furman University Summer Scholar Program or the Davidson College July Experience, offer courses from sustainability to premedical school sciences to literature. Students live together in supervised dormitories and participate in class work, activities, labs and seminars.
Start Smart. Universities such as Brown, Emory, Harvard and the University of Southern California offer multi-week pre-college programs. These academically-focused programs offer high school students the opportunity to earn college credit. In some cases, students take regular college courses for credit alongside college students and participate fully in campus life. These longer programs allow students the opportunity to earn three to eight college credits. Participating in a summer program from a selective college does not guarantee undergraduate admission to the host school, but it will demonstrate your academic seriousness to most admissions committees.
Start Seriously. Enrichment courses provide students with the opportunity to seriously pursue a developing academic interest. St. Olaf College offers concentrated studies in music, Duke University offers intense studies in creative writing and Cornell University partners with Shoals Marine Lab to offer biological research internships in marine sciences.
Now is the time to start planning your summer experience. These programs are often competitive and require an application to be submitted by mid-March. These programs offer a wonderful opportunity to explore academic life on a college campus and enrich a developing interest or passion. Although attending a school’s summer program will not influence admission to that particular college, it will demonstrate academic dedication. Doing well in a summer program also demonstrates your level of commitment and will weigh positively in the admissions process.
Brian D. Crisp is an international educational consultant with Crisp Consulting + Coaching who works with families to optimize and realize their unique educational fit and admission success. As a former professor and administrator, Brian has the knowledge and skills to counsel families in all aspects of educational planning.