What comes to mind when you think of summer? Summer job? Fun in the sun? Travel? How about college preparation? And did you know that colleges will take note of how you have used your summers as an indication of your educational preparation?
Working at a summer job can certainly help you save money for college and provide adult mentors, but think about investing some time at a summer program on a college campus. Many are free or low cost, with scholarship options. The right choice can help you learn what it’s like to be in college, where your career interests can lead you, and how to connect with more people who can help you in the college process.
Find a program that fits your academic area of interest or just narrow down the list of things that seem of interest.
- Many colleges and universities host summer programs for high school students. Finding a program on a college campus will expose you to the college experience and help orient you for college life.
- Ask your local college or university about the programs they offer. Or, if you know what college you might want to attend after high school, look there.
- Many programs are associated with some type of cost, so be mindful of that. If cost is a concern, ask the program if they have financial aid or fee waivers. And also be aware that there are free summer programs out there.
- Registration deadlines are extremely important. Some programs accept every student who applies, and some are very selective. The best way to ensure your selection is to apply early. Make sure all necessary documentation is in your application so that it can be processed and so that you can be considered for the program of your choice.
While these programs are important for your development and your future, remember that this is still your summer vacation. In other words, communicate with your family as to the best times for you to participate in these programs.
In the end, you should pick the summer enrichment program that is the best fit for you academically and socially. Choose something in which you have a serious interest, and ask as many questions as you can about the program you choose so that you know exactly what to expect.
To research summer programs, search within college sites for listings of their programs. You can also use Peterson's
to find a great variety of summer programs, from camps to internships.