5 Best High School Summer Programs

With summertime just a few months away and deadlines steadily approaching, it’s time to consider where you’ll be studying and how to find the best high school summer program out there for you. It can be equally entertaining and beneficial-allowing you to cultivate your skills and interest; grow as a leader and even boost your odds of getting into a competitive university. If you ask me, that doesn’t sound like a bad plan at all. Here’s my list on the five best high school summer programs:

1. Summer College Program at Cornell University

What do Superman, Bill Maher and E.B. White all have in common? They’re proud alumni of Cornell University, a prestigious Ivy League located in Ithaca, N.Y. Every year, Cornell’s award-winning Summer College Program offers talented high school students-sophomores to seniors-from around the world the opportunity to experience college life with world-renowned faculty and classes. Prospective students can get a head start; explore careers from law and government to space research, enhance their college application and make friends from all around the world.

Program Dates: Summer College runs for three or six weeks, between June 25 and Aug. 9.

Registration information: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, though it’s best to apply early as programs tend to fill quickly.

Cost: The three week program will run $5,790, while the six week program is $9,575. Fortunately, financial aid is available!

2. Research Internship in Science & Engineering Program at Boston University

Located in the quintessential college town of Boston, BU’s unique research internship in science and engineering program provides academically motivated high school seniors the opportunity to perform university-level research. Students can choose from a range of subject areas, such as astronomy, chemistry, medicine and engineering. Past research projects include creating a poster presentation and in some cases, submitting their work to science fair competitions, like the Intel Science Talent Search.

Notable alumni: Martin Luther King, Jr., Bill O’Reilly and Howard Zinn.

Program Dates: The program starts on Monday, July 4 and ends Friday, August 12.

Registration information: Applications must be postmarked by Friday, April 1.

Cost: Tuition and fees come out to $4,190 (doesn’t include room and board).

3. Newsroom by the Bay at Stanford University

Calling all you so-called rising student journalists, you’re definitely in luck this month! Stanford’s prestigious Newsroom by the Bay, a week-long journalism camp for students and advisors, has extended their deadline to April 20. This special week-long j-camp is designed to teach students 21st century journalism curricula and improve their writing and critical thinking skills. Participants will also work in teams and create content exclusively for Newsroom by the Bay.

Notable alumni: Vincent Cerf, the “father of the Internet” and former U.S. President Herbert Hoover.

Program Dates: The program runs June 26 through July 1, 2011.

Registration information: Open to incoming high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. The deadline has been extended to April 20.

Cost: The program fee is $1,350 for residential students and $795 for commuters.

4. Acting and Performance Institute at UCLA

In the land of movies and starlets, I can’t think of a better place to study acting and performance other than Los Angeles, Calif. This summer, the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television is offering a six-week intensive program, called the Acting and Performance Institute, for aspiring high school students, grades 9 through 12, interested in theater or a career in the performing arts. UCLA is world-renowned as one of the top universities out there. Being in such close proximity to Hollywood, it’s not uncommon to see all walks of life in the entertainment business.

Notable alumni: Actor James Franco and Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa.

Program Dates: The program starts on Monday, June 20 through July 20, 2011.

Registration information: On a space available basis, but it’s best to apply as early as possible.

Cost: The program fee costs $2,800, which includes registration, unit fees and excursion fees.

5. Business Leadership at Georgetown University

Considered the oldest Catholic university in the United States, Georgetown is offering high school students a crash course in the fundamentals of business; for the prospective entrepreneurs of our generation. Located in Washington, D.C., home to President Barack Obama, Georgetown’s business leadership program has partnered with Team Business to provide students with real, simulation activities. Topics covered are: business law, finance, strategy, marketing and organizational planning. Georgetown’s business program is designed to help students develop practical skills and shape them into professional leaders.

Notable alumni: Former President of the United States, Bill Clinton and current Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia.

Program Dates: The program runs during session two, between July 10 and Aug. 13.

Registration information: All high school sophomores, juniors and seniors in good academic standing are eligible to apply. Admissions are made on a rolling basis, but the priority deadline is May 1.

Cost: Tuition is $1,074 per credit, which doesn’t include housing meals and other miscellaneous fees.