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?
- 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.
What are you hoping to get out of your pre-college program?
This is a basic one, but it’s absolutely crucial to answer before you can really narrow down any of your choices from a college summer programs search. It’s important to determine if what you’re looking for is an experience of life on your own, or academic opportunities, or an experience of a new location, or anything else. You can read more about pre-college summer programs.
Answering this question is not going to mean that you shouldn’t look at the other traits or qualities of potential pre-college programs. But it does mean that in your search for college summer programs, you’ll have an idea of what the most important criterion is for you. If you want to go to a new place, a new location, somewhere you’ve never been before, then you’ll know not to pick some place to which you’ve traveled previously. If you want to know what life is like on your own, then you’ll know not to pick some place very close to home. If you want to go somewhere to further your own academic interests, then you’ll know to be certain that the program you choose is providing courses or academic opportunities in your subject.
What’s the duration of the pre-college program?
Another simple one, right? Well, maybe not. See, there are going to be all manner of pre-college programs available to you to choose from, and the duration of those programs is going to change your own experience. If you’re there for 3 weeks, that’s going to be entirely different from being there for 12 weeks. What’s more, if you’re at any one of the college summer programs that interest you for a relatively short amount of time, then it may be possible for you to attend more than one of those college summer programs to get an even more varied experience.
Chances are, this question is going to be most important in light of the prior question. If you’re looking into pre-college programs for an experience of life on your own, then you may want a longer program, to get your feet under you and really get a taste for that flavor of life. If you want to see some new places, or experience what life is like across different college campuses, then chances are you’ll want to go to a number of different college summer programs if you can. If you want academic opportunities, then a single, longer program which has excellent offerings may be right for you.
Regardless, though, the length of the pre-college programs you’re looking at is going to have a significant impact on whether or not you feel they’re right for you.
What’s the cost of these pre-college programs?
Chances are that if you’re a student, then you’re not going to be paying for your pre-college programs yourself, straight out of your own pocket. There’ll be exceptions of course, and for those students who are paying for any pre-college programs, the cost is going to be even more important. But even if your parents are willing to pay for the college summer programs you might choose to attend, or if you managed to get some kind of scholarship, the cost is still going to be very important to your overall choices.
You’re going to want to know the costs of living in the area, the costs of food, and the costs of anything else you might choose to do, be that traveling, participating in activities, or anything. Keep in mind that some cities will host college summer programs with significantly greater expenses than might others. Rural college summer programs especially should have a low cost.