At this point in your college admissions process, you most likely will have received a wide variety of emails from colleges encouraging you to attend a prestigious summer program. Many schools have these summer programs (Harvard, Brown, the CTY program at Princeton) although the question remains: are they really worth it?
The answer: If you have to pay, the program is a waste of your time.
If you are trying to impress college admissions officers, they will be in no way impressed by attending a program that actively recruits “students” (really, customers) and costs many thousands of dollars.
This, of course, begs the question: are any programs worth it?
And, fortunately, the answer is yes, there are plenty of prestigious, respectable programs. In addition to being impressive, these programs are usually free or very reasonable. The catch-22 for these miracle camps? They are highly competitive.
Think the TASP program, MITES, or a states’ governor’s school (which some, but not all, states offer). These programs will likely involve a lengthy application process that will, in many ways, be good preparation for college admissions. If you are qualified enough to be accepted, these programs have the added benefit of allowing you to meet many of your future potential classmates, as well as creating an excellent essay topic for your application.
Do you know of any other prestigious summer programs? Are you curious as to whether a program is impressive or not? As always, comments and questions are welcome.