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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Outstanding (and Selective) Summer Programs, Non-STEM

Competitive applicants for top colleges, universities, and conservatories have taken their summers to develop their skills and talents.  There are many, many summer camps for high school students across the country.  Many universities host them.  For many colleges, they are a great way to earn money for the institution.  They also increase the likelihood of participants applying and attending their college.  But, most of these, despite their hefty price tag, do very little to nothing to build the students' profile.  That is certainly true at the most selective colleges and universities.

In order to help families find the selective summer camps, I have put together a couple of lists.  This post, as well as the adjacent one on STEM focused programs, lists a number of selective summer camps generally highly respected by selective colleges and universities.  Some are expensive.  Others cost nothing but transportation.  They all require applications, essays/auditions, and recommendations.

Since they are quite selective, it is wise to apply to additional programs as well.  At Celtic College Consultants, we have helped students find their passions, create a powerful college prep plan, and be accepted into top universities across the country.

Performing Arts

Tanglewood Institute at Boston University

Annual two to eight week institutes for age 14-20 (incoming 9th-12th and first and second year collegians.) Costs range from $3,000 - $8,500.  Financial assistance is available.

Applications are due January 29th and include an audition.

Indiana University music academies
varying dates

Annual two week programs for ballet dancers, pianists, saxophonists, string instrument players, percussionists from grades 7-12.  The programs are residential and include staying in a dorm and meals on campus.  Financial aid is available for the string and piano academies. 

Applications are due at various times.

Interlochen Arts Academy

Each summer, Interlochen offers one, three, and six week long residential programs for people from third grade through twelfth grade in performing arts ranging from theatre to strings to harp to ballet to modern dance to organ to piano to singing to percussion to winds to motion picture arts to creative writing.  Six week programs cost just over $9,000.  Three week programs cost about $5,500. Financial aid is available.

The priority application deadline for programs which involve an audition is February 1.

Business for Women

Young Women's Institute (at Indiana U)

Four one week programs for women with 3.5 or higher GPAs.  The only cost is your transportation to and from Bloomington, Indiana.  Participants attend workshops with the business school faculty and prepare real world business case projects.  They will build leadership and communication skills.

Applications are due by March 26th.


July 22 - 27, 2017

JCamp is a six-day multi-cultural intensive journalism training for high school students. Students learn from professional journalists and get hands-on training in writing, photography, television broadcasting, online media, and reporting. Sessions and workshops are led by experienced journalists from top media companies.The program is open to freshman, sophomores, and juniors.  All costs are covered, including airfare.  In 2017, JCamp will be at Temple University.

Applications are due by March 12th.

Princeton U Summer Journalism Program for low income students

August 4 to August 14, 2017

Annually 35-40 high school students from low-income backgrounds every summer to Princeton's campus for an intensive, 10-day seminar on journalism. The program is for juniors with at least a 3.5. All expenses, including students' travel costs to and from Princeton, are paid for by the program. Students who attend the program come from across the country. The combined income of your custodial parent(s)/guardian(s) plus child support payments, if any, must not exceed $45,000. Only 11% of applicants are accepted.

Applications are due February 24th.

Cronkite Institute for High School Journalism Summer Journalism Institute
June 4-16, 2017

This selective program brings top-performing high school students to Arizona State U. for two weeks of intensive, hands-on experiences in broadcast and digital journalism.  Students report and produce original stories and create an SJI website or news broadcast. Students are expected to cover their transportation to and from Phoenix as well as their incidental expenses.

Applications are due March 17th.


U Pennsylvania - Leadership in the Business World

The Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania have six summer programs.  These range from a program for international (non-American) students to programs open to 9th - 12th grade students to a program for rising seniors.

U Notre Dame - Leadership Seminars
July 15-26, 2017

Notre Dame Leadership Seminars explore topics affecting the global community. The courses are centered around vibrant discussion and a robust exchange of ideas. This creates a context in which students are encouraged to examine their own conclusions and hone their own leadership capacities by improving their communications and analytical skills.

Expenses for students accepted to Leadership Seminars—including transportation to and from Notre Dame—will be paid for by the University except the $150 enrollment fee. Approximately 100 students are admitted to Leadership Seminars each year, and students are eligible to receive one college credit upon completion of the program.  The program is for juniors with at least a 1360 on the new SAT, or 31 and above on the ACT.

Applications are due January 30th.


Economics for Leaders
various dates and sites

Economics for Leaders (EFL) is a selective one week long annual summer program that teaches leaders how to integrate economics into the process of decision-making in a hands-on, experiential environment. The goal of EFL is to give promising students the skills to be more effective leaders and to teach them how to employ economic analysis when considering difficult public policy choices. The program is competitive with approximately two applicants applying for each available space.

Through a partnership with the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, two semester hours of undergraduate credit are available to students attending EFL. There is an additional fee of $244 for the credits and students who opt to receive credit must complete additional assignments.  Financial aid is available for the program.

Current sophomores and juniors are welcome to apply.
Early Application Deadline – Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Standard Application Deadline – Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Yale Young Global Scholars

Yale offers a number of summer programs including sustainable development and social entrepreneurship, math and science, applied science and engineering, international affairs and security, biology and biomedical science, and politics, law, and economics.

Admission is selective.  The median SAT is 2200 (of 2400) and the median ACT is 33. 30% of recent applicants were accepted. Applications are welcome from international students as well as Americans. Tuition is $5,800, which does not include transportation to and from New Haven, CT.  Partial and Full need based scholarships are available.

Applications are due January 31st.


Texas Tech - Clark Scholars
June 19-August 2, 2017

The Clark Scholar Program is an intensive seven week summer research program for highly qualified high school juniors and seniors. Scholars to have a hands-on practical research experience with outstanding and experienced faculty. The Scholars will receive a $750 tax-free stipend and room and board. This program provides opportunities for research in all academic areas in the university.

Research can be done in these areas: Accounting, Advertising, Agriculture Sciences, Animal & Food Sciences, Anthropology, Architecture, Art, Autism, Bilingual Education, Biological Sciences, Business, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Classical and Modern Languages, Communication Studies, Computer Science, Dance, Design, Economics, Education, Electronic Media, Energy, Engineering, Finance, Journalism, Nutritional Sciences, Geosciences, Health/Exercise/Sport Sciences, History, Horticulture, Human Development & Family Studies, Law, Management, Marketing, Mathematics and Statistics, Medicine, Music, Natural Resources Management, Philosophy, Physics and Biophysics, Plant & Soil Sciences, Political Science, Psychology, Public Relations, Social Sciences, Sociology, Theatre Arts.

Applications are due February 8th.  International Students are eligible/welcome to apply. Applicants must be 17 by the time the program starts.  Recent participants' SAT score was greater than 2276 (out of 2400) and PSAT was greater than 223.

Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP)

TASP is a free six week long program.  Students attend TASPs because they want a personal and intellectual challenge. Telluride Association seeks students from all kinds of educational backgrounds who demonstrate intellectual curiosity and motivation, rather than prior knowledge of the seminar’s subject matter. TASPers participate solely for the pleasure and rewards of learning with other intelligent, highly motivated students of diverse backgrounds. The TASP offers no grades or college credit.

Each morning students attend seminars for lectures and involved discussions on various subjects.  In the afternoon, participate in a public speaking program.  One of the program’s remarkable features is that the students are responsible for organizing most of their out-of-classroom time through weekly group meetings and on smaller committees. This element of self-government is an essential part of the TASP experience. Students plan all kinds of activities, including group-wide discussions, field games, community service projects, music and theater events, reading groups, and excursions to state parks and art museums. Participants also share responsibility for keeping their environment clean and safe.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Top STEM Summer Programs for High School Students

Preparing to apply for college starts early.  Summers are prime times for students to explore their interests and for students aiming for top universities to distinguish themselves.  Applying to summer programs is similar to applying to colleges.  Applications include essays and require test scores, transcripts, and recommendations.  There are other programs available, but these are very highly regarded.  Since they are quite selective, it is wise to apply to additional programs as well.  At Celtic College Consultants, we have helped students find their passions, create a powerful college prep plan, and be accepted into top universities across the country.

STEM Programs

1.     Research Science Institute/Center for Excellence in Education at MIT
June 25 - August 5, 2017 

Each summer, 80 of the world's most accomplished high school students gather at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the Research Science Institute (RSI). RSI is the first cost-free to students, summer science & engineering program to combine on-campus course work in scientific theory with off-campus work in science and technology research.This extremely competitive competitive science and engineering summer program combines on campus work in scientific theory with off campus work in science and technology research.  During the program, students will read the most current literature in the field they choose.  They will draft and execute a detailed research plan and deliver conference style oral and written reports on their findings.  Many use their research projects as a basis for entry to science competitions like the Intel Science Talent Search, International Science and Engineering Fair, and the Siemens Science and Technology Competition.

Students invited to the program receive free tuition, room, and board.  Their only expense is transportation to and from MIT.  Invited students typically have PSAT math scores of at least 740 and reading of at least 700.  Their ACT math scores are typically at least 33 with at least 34 verbal scores. The program is not for high school seniors.  Applications close January 26th.

The program's schedule:

Week 1 - Intensive STEM courses with top professors
Weeks 2 - 6 -  Individual research projects conducted under experienced scientists
Week 7 - Students prepare written and oral presentations on their research

June 26 - August 8, 2017

For the summer between junior and senior year, this annual research program at Stony Brook University offers hands on research in the STEM fields.  The acceptance rate for this competitive program is around 12%.  Like RSI, the application process requires an essay and recommendations.  Students need to be nominated by their high schools; each high school is limited to three nominations.  Applications must be sent by January 18th.

During their time on the Stony Brook campus, Simons Fellows are matched with Stony Brook faculty mentors, join a research group or team, and assume responsibility for a project. The Simons Fellows conclude their apprenticeship by producing a written research abstract and a research poster.   At the closing poster symposium, students are presented with a $1,000 stipend award.

There are several other programs at Stony Brook for scientifically inclined high school students. 

June 12 - August 3, 2017

Students are juniors or seniors and must be 16 years old to participate in this annual program.  There is no cost to the program; student researchers receive a $500 stipend.  Students will spend 40 hours/week in the lab.  There are no dorms; students come to campus each day so Bay area residency is a soft requirement.  There are 8 institutes (immunology, neurobiology, cancer biology, bioengineering, stem cell and regenerative medicine, cardiovascular biology, bioinformatics, genetics and genomics).  Students indicate their area of interest.

Application period: December 15 - February 25th.

4. COSMOS (California State Summer School for Math and Science)

UCSD –  all clusters:
UCSD Computer cluster: – embedded computers
UC Davis – all clusters:
UC Irvine – clusters (academics drop down menu)
UCSC – all clusters (see drop down menu)
UCSC – computer networking & robotics:

An annual intensive four week summer residential program for students completing grades 8-12.  Apply to only one campus.  Typical students have a 3.5 GPA. Application period is 1/17 – 2/17, math & science teacher recommendations are needed.  It’s very selective.  Only 160-200 students/campus.

June 18 - August 5, 2017

An annual seven week intensive residential summer research program for students between junior and senior year in high school.  Students will work on a research under the mentorship of a university researcher.  This program costs $3,800; financial aid is available.

Applications are due March 15th.  Students must be in the upper 20% of their high school classes, have taken at least three years of college prep math and two or more years of science.

June 12 - July 8 or July 11 - August 10

This four week summer program helps students explore entrepreneurship by launching businesses.  The first week is more intensive with time in the classroom to lay the foundation, after which classes are only in the mornings with the majority of time spent working on your startup - interviewing customers, planning, and prototyping.The program costs $6095 and financial aid is available.  It is open to students in grades 9-12.

Application deadline: February 20 (Best to apply early - Early deadline is in December.)
The admissions committee looks for candidates who show initiative, action-orientation, coachability, and a fit with our values. We look for students who show to us that they have what it takes to become successful entrepreneurs. There are no minimum grade or activity involvement requirements.  A video is required as part of the application.

Program I and Program II both run July 10 - August 5, 2017

Intensive study in advanced math for talented rising juniors and seniors.  There are two courses: Program I and Program II, with unique topics for each course.  Students are enrolled in one program each summer and may return for a second summer.  The $6,500 tuition includes room and board and transportation to and from the San Francisco International Airport.  Need based financial aid is available.

Program I: Abstract Algebra & Number Theory, with research in cryptography, constructibility, coding theory, and symmetry.

Program II:  Algebraic Topology, with research topics to be determined. 

Applications are due March 3, 2017SUMaC students are selected based on their grades in math courses, their performance on standardized math exams and math contests, their teacher recommendations, their reasons for wanting to come to SUMaC as expressed on the SUMaC application, and their performance on the SUMaC admission exam. Particular emphasis is placed on the admission exam, which is a collection of challenging math problems for applicants to work on at home over an extended period.

U of Iowa Secondary Student Training Program
June 21 - July 28, 2017

SSTP is an annual five and a half week residential summer scientific research program for sophomores and juniors. Students will conduct research in a university research group under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Students will also produce a research poster and paper as a part of the program.

The program has a fee of $5295. This fee covers all room, board, materials, and admission to all regularly scheduled activities. 3 semester hours of credit are given by the University of Iowa and cost approximately $900 . Students and their families will assume responsibility for transportation to and from SSTP and incidental expenses, such as souvenirs and snacks. Consideration for financial aid will be made after the students are selected.

Applications are available November 1 and are due February 3. 

Additional Programs:

Research in Science & Engineering at Boston U.

Canada/USA Math Camp

Summer Academy for Math & Science at Carnegie Mellon U.

Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics

Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program

MIT Minority Introduction to Science & Engineering

MathILy at Bryn Mawr College

Michigan Math and Science Scholars

Monell Center Science Apprenticeship Program

National Institutes of Health Summer Internship in Biomedical Research

Ross Mathematics Program at Ohio State U.

Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists