The Best Summer Programs for High School Students With Applications Open

Summer beach
September 5, 2023
6 min read


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/4/22

College summer programs for high school students are a great way to stand out on college applications and find a productive use for your summer. You’ll be surprised by the vast amount of opportunities. 

From time to time, you may hear about college summer programs, like internships and various camps that open applications to students. However, you may not know which summer programs for high school students are the best or when to apply. Consider the following if you’re looking for college summer programs for high school students.

If you know what kind of college major you want to follow or what kind of experience fits your interests, you’re not far from finding the best summer programs for you to attend. 

Here, we cover the best summer programs for high school students to help you get a jump start on your search. We’ll discuss deadlines, when to apply, and the best programs to help you build your candidacy for college!

When to Apply for College Summer Programs

College Summer Programs are a great way to jumpstart a college education and find recognition for future scholarships. So long as you apply and meet all the requirements, you’ll have a chance to be considered. However, when researching which programs have potential, it’s essential to consider deadlines and when is best to apply.

Most of the best summer programs for high school students run by universities start accepting applications in the fall of the year before the program starts–with deadlines typically falling in late April. Some programs also have rolling applications extending beyond the deadline. If you’re thinking of applying, now’s the time. 

If you plan on taking any standardized tests, research when the ACT or SAT Testing Dates and Deadlines fall before you sign up. If you plan on signing up for any of these college programs, build your study plans beforehand with the dates in mind. The SAT and ACT show their summer testing dates well in advance.

Best Summer Programs for High School Students & Deadlines

Below is a list of the best summer programs for high school students with open application windows. These programs can be categorized based on their main subject: Business, Science, Engineering, or Tech. This list uses the current top Forbes Summer Programs as a base.

Science Summer College Programs

Does a science-driven research program with hands-on experience in various fields, from chemistry, physics, and biology to subjects not taught as commonly in high schools, like robotics, medicine, and research, sound interesting? If you dream of a science-based career path, the following programs could influence your future. 

1. Future Physicians Summer Program 

Future Physicians at the University of Southern California is a great summer program for Students looking to learn about how doctors work in a hospital environment. 

  • Deadline: May 5, but with a Rolling Deadline
  • Program Date: June 18 - July 15, 2023
  • Cost: $10,020 for Summer Residence, $7160 for Commuters
  • Age Range: 17 or older

2. Smith Summer Science and Engineering Program

The Summer Science and Engineering Program at Smith College, or SSEP, provides a unique medicine-based curriculum with prospectives on women’s health for students interested in learning more about research on the topic. 

  • Deadline: Rolling Deadline
  • Program Date: July 9 - 22, 2023, and July 23 - August 5, 2023
  • Cost: $4,630 for One Week, $7,885 for Two Weeks
  • Age Range: High School Students

3. Research Scholars - Bioengineering Broad Overview and Techniques

The Research Scholars - Bioengineering Broad Overview and Techniques at UC San Diego program share the bio-lab environment with high school students. Students interested in the new mechanics behind bioengineering and related fields should apply. 

  • Deadline: Rolling Deadline
  • Program Date: June 12-16 and June 19-30
  • Cost: $1,300 to $2,900
  • Age Range: 10th-12th Grade (Minimum age of 14 for Online)

4. Rising Researchers

As a strong choice for a science summer program, Rising Researchers pairs students with a mentor for a one-on-one experience to learn about analysis and advanced-level research. Students will work towards building their virtual research presentation.  

  • Deadline: Rolling Deadline
  • Program Date: 10 weeks of Programs
  • Cost: $4,900
  • Age Range: Rising 9th Grade to College

Business Summer College Programs

Are you a student and aspiring young entrepreneur with great ideas but needing the knowledge to start and run your own business? Any of the following business programs will teach you the basics from some top experts from major American business schools.

1. Camp Business

Camp Business at Drexel University teaches the students the basics of American business from a University’s perspective. Note that this program is competitive based on your high school transcript. However, based on your performance during the internship, you have a chance of winning scholarships. 

  • Deadline: Rolling Deadline
  • Program Date: July 9-14 (Commuter) July 16-21 (Residential)
  • Cost: $950 for Commuters, $2,000 for Residence
  • Age Range: High School Students

2. Entrepreneurship Academy

Entrepreneurship Academy at Georgetown University applies many business ideas, like market research, prototypes, and business management, at a level that a high school student can understand. While this program has a competitive application, it will help you start a business major.

  • Deadline: Rolling Deadline
  • Program Date: July 2-14
  • Cost: $5,500
  • Age Range: Rising Ninth Grade to 12th Grade

3. Beta Bowl

Beta Bowl takes the leadership ideas presented in a high school beta club and applies them to business and entrepreneurship. As a virtual program, you’ll take on outcome-focused curriculums with chances for one-on-one training. Students that have participated have gone on to great colleges with scholarships. 

  • Deadline: Rolling Deadline
  • Program Date: 4-12 weeks (programs start every month)
  • Cost: $797-$3,997 (All Virtual)
  • Age Range: High School Students

Engineering and Tech Summer College Programs.

Do you see a bright future for yourself working for the tech industry? Check out some of the best summer tech programs for high school students.

1. BlueStamp Engineering

BlueStamp Engineering wants students seeking to elevate their high school education with experience in engineering to create a professional portfolio. 

  • Early Deadline: April 30th, Late Deadline: May 31st
  • Program Date: 2-6 weeks (Multiple Summer Programs)
  • Cost: $4,900 for In-Person, $2,200 for Virtual Participation
  • Age Range: Rising 9th to 12th Grade

2. Terp Young Scholars

Terp Young Scholars at the University of Maryland provides high school students with the chance to take a college class for three hours of credits that fit into any of the technology-based majors to get a preview of what their courses are like. 

  • Deadline: May 1st, but with a Rolling Deadline
  • Program Date: July 10-28
  • Cost: $1,500-$2,500
  • Age Range: 10th to 12th Grade

If any of these programs appeal to you, consider applying now!

FAQs: Summer Programs for High Schoolers

Below are some common questions about college summer programs for high school students.

1. When Is the Latest I Can Apply for a College Summer Program?

The latest you can apply to a college summer program will ultimately depend on each program’s deadline. Some programs will accept applications a few weeks before the scheduled program starts, but it’s best to apply early to increase your chances of getting in. 

2. When Should I Start Applying for Summer Programs?

You should start applying as soon as the summer program opens up their applications. This will give your application a better chance for review as you’ll have less competition earlier on in the application process. 

3. What Is the Difference Between a Summer Program and an Internship?

College summer programs allow students to explore their interests, develop skills, and engage in work-study within a college setting. 

Some programs even offer college credits to high school students and allow them to experience college life. An internship for high school students is work experience that is typically unaffiliated with a college that helps students gain skills within a specific field.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a way to spend a productive summer and get a taste of college life, try applying to available summer programs for high school students. You may figure out what you want to do with your life or find out what path you’ll want in engineering, science, or tech industries you never knew were possible. 

Best of luck!

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