Summer Programs: Mid-January and Already Feeling the Heat


BALDWIN PARK, CA — Although the recent drops in temperature remind us of anything but summer vacation, many educational summer programs for high school students open applications now. To ensure prospective attendees have fair reviews of their applications by the time acceptance letters or emails are sent out before break, many summer programs have application due dates set in the first few months of the new year. While many of these programs are learning intensive, the educational experience is quite different from that of a typical high school. Some programs offer fieldtrip opportunities, some require dorming at a college for attendance, and some are even free.

Interested? No worries. I have compiled a list of interesting and free summer programs that may be right for you.

pomona college
Pomona College / Claremont, CA

Pomona Academy for Youth Success (PAYS)

Attendance Dates: June 19 – July 15, 2016

Application Available: Currently Open

Application Due Date: February 19, 2016

Hosted at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, PAYS is open to high school students and is a commitment program, meaning if you are accepted as a freshman, be prepared to attend the summer program for the next three summers. Besides the summer residential experience, PAYS also includes yearlong workshops which aid PAYS scholars with SAT prep, studying, and college counseling.

Scripps College / Claremont, CA

Scripps College Academy (SCA)

Attendance Dates: TBA

Application Available: January 2016

Application Due Date: TBA

“Scripps College Academy (SCA) Scholars is an intensive, multi-year, pre-college program for high- achieving young women with limited resources who seek to become the first generation in their families to attend college,” says the SCA’s official website.

Students accepted will be dorming at Scripps College in Claremont, CA for a two-week Summer Residential Program. Students will also explore topics of race, culture, and gender and further develop their writing skills.

Telluride Association Summer Programs (TASP)

University of Michigan / East Lansing, MI
University of Michigan / East Lansing, MI

Attendance Dates: June 26 – August 6, 2016

Application Available: Currently Open

Application Due Date: January 26th, 2016

“A Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP) is a six-week educational experience for high school juniors that offers challenges and rewards rarely encountered in secondary school or even college,” says TASP’s official website.

This program is open to high school juniors. TASP offers a set of four summer seminars — two hosted at the University of Michigan and two hosted at Cornell University. Applicants have the opportunity to attend a six-week program at one of the seminars. TASP is perfect for students who are looking for an intellectual challenge this summer.

University of California, Los Angeles / Los Angeles, CA

Summer Math and Science Honors Academy (SMASH)

Attendance Dates: June 18 – July 23, 2016 (Berkeley and UCLA), June 25 – July 30, 2016 (Stanford)

Application Available: Currently Open

Application Due Date: (Early Application Deadline) February 1, 2016, (Registration Deadline) February 15, 2016, (Regular Application Deadline) March 1, 2016

“The program not only reinforces the students’ STEM academic identities, but also focuses on developing their critical thinking, civic awareness, leadership and sense of social responsibility,” states the SMASH official website.

SMASH is a five-week summer program available at Berkeley, Stanford and UCLA. Students who attend SMASH are offered opportunities to learn in rigorous STEM courses and opportunities to take part in year-round workshops.

Chapman University / Orange, CA

Chapman University Economics Summer Institute

Attendance Dates: June 27, 2016 – July 01, 2016

Application Available: February 22nd, 2016

Application Due Date: April 8, 2016

“These workshops introduce students to Experimental Economics, attract potential economics majors and identify promising individuals for internships and pre- and post-doctoral fellowships,” states the official Chapman University programs’ site.

This program is held at Chapman University in Orange, California, but is not a residential program. Students are expected to commute to the program once they are accepted. This program allows high school students to explore the topic of economics through interesting analysis, problems, and experiments.

santa clara uni
Santa Clara University / Santa Clara, CA

Santa Clara University Summer Engineering Seminar (SES)

Attendance Dates: (Session 1) July 10-14, 2016; (Session 2) July 17-21, 2016; (Session 3) July 24-28, 2016

Application Available: Currently Open

Application Due Date: March 4th, 2016

“This special summer experience is for current high school sophomores and juniors who are interested in exploring the field of engineering. The program is designed to acquaint participants with the engineering profession, the academic expectations of college, and the nature of life at a university,” says the program’s official web page.

The program takes place in Santa Clara, California. SES scholars will have the chance to attend introductory level engineering courses that will cover Bio, Civil, Computer Science, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.

These programs are free for accepted applicants. However, some expenses may not be covered, but details vary amongst the different programs. To clear anything up, make sure to visit each program’s website, familiarize yourself with the program, and get started on the applications.

Final tips for applicants: Be you. Show your uniqueness. If the program accepts you, enjoy the experience. If it doesn’t, take some time to mourn the loss but move on. There are a lot more opportunities waiting for you. Just seize them.

Just share it.