If you're contemplating your summer plans, you may want to consider pre-college summer programs. These programs offer high school students the opportunity to live and learn on a college campus.
A pre-college summer program offers high school students the opportunity to take classes at a college and experience college life during the summer. Many programs offer a residential and commuter option. Students can stay in dorms with their peers, or they can commute from home if they live close to the college. Typically, these programs range anywhere from one to eight weeks.
During these programs, not only are students able to take classes from college professors or visiting scholars, but they’re also able to listen to lectures from alumni and participate in social activities. Many selective private colleges, including Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia, offer pre-college summer programs for high school students.
Some of these programs are open enrollment (anyone can attend), and others require admission through an application process. The selective programs typically require teacher recommendations, application essays, and standardized test scores. Check a specific program’s website for its admissions requirements.
Pre-college summer programs are expensive. For example, an 8-credit course at Harvard’s seven-week secondary school summer program costs $5,900 for tuition and $5,400 for housing. That doesn’t even include transportation costs if you don’t live near Harvard, for example. However, Harvard (and many institutions) will offer some financial aid that covers part of the tuition for students with outstanding academic records who demonstrate financial need.