Summer introduces a wide variety of opportunities for students. In addition to volunteering or a job, a student can use the time to pursue a wide variety of established summer programs or camps that provide enrichment in specific areas of interest. These activities may include intensive learning in a university environment, or service and adventure programs in the country or abroad. Though these programs provide excellent enrichment for you, be certain that you are honoring your passion for a specific academic or personal interest, not your passion for admission to a particular college.
Some items to consider if you are thinking about applying to summer programs:
Before you embark on an expensive venture, read what some experts are saying about these programs.
“Don't assume that attending an academic program on a college campus will help you get into that school. The frenzy to get into such programs often rivals that of the actual college admissions process in some quarters. If you choose them, do so for personal enrichment and not to impress admissions officers at the school in question.” Peter Van Buskirk, The Admissions Game.
“What we care about is that students have done something that means something to them...It’s not a good idea to engage in something because the student or family believes it will augment their ability to get in.” Richard Shaw, Stanford Dean of Undergraduate Admission, as quoted in Ritzy Teen Summer Programs, by Rebecca Davis O'Brien, Daily Beast, June 3, 2011.
“You don't necessarily need to spend the summer with your nose in a book, but you do need to put your summers to work by pursuing activities that display drive and initiative…Colleges are mainly looking for what we call ‘angular' kids. They're not looking for well-rounded students; they're looking for well-rounded student bodies. So in order to position yourself as an angular kid, you have to highlight those one or two passions, interests, strengths and run with them.” Katherine Cohen, IvyWise.