Summer Opportunities for Teens

Should Your Teenager Attend a Summer Scholar Program?

One of the most critical decisions facing families this time of year is what to do with your teenager over the summer break. Teenagers will have approximately 8-10 weeks of unscheduled time to relax, have fun, and hang out with friends. Taking time to renew and refresh is essential.  So is using that time wisely.

Colleges and universities offer many outstanding programs that will introduce your teenager to more in-depth study in their area of interest.

Why take the time to attend a program? Competition for college admission is fierce. Top colleges and universities look for students who are serious about their choice of study. One way to stand out is to attend at least one program between sophomore and junior year (rising junior) and another program between junior and senior year (rising senior) in your area of interest.  These programs vary in length of time, from 3 days to 8 weeks, and cost, from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. They are truly diverse.

Programs exist locally, throughout the United States, and overseas. The sky is the limit when it comes to finding programs. Application deadlines differ, so be careful to follow each program’s instructions carefully.

Below is a sample list of websites that list programs of interest. Do a more thorough search online for specific programs in your area of interest.

Brown University, Providence, RI: Summer@Brown

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Disease Detective Camp (tuition-free; non-residential; rising juniors and seniors)

Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA: Summer Research Program

Clark University, Worcester, MA: Summer Science Program (tuition-free)

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY: Online classes for High School Students

Duke University, Durham, NC: Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP) (programs from 4th to 12th grade; financial aid may be available)

George Washington University, Washington, DC: Science & Engineering Apprenticeship Program and Internships

Health Jobs Start Here, California: Internships & Volunteering (list of various medical internships and volunteer opportunities throughout California)

Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, Baltimore, MD: Summer Programs

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA: High School Summer Programs

Michigan Tech, Houghton, MI: Summer Youth Program

Princeton University, Princeton, NJ: Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA)

Quest Bridge College Prep Scholarship (providing scholarships and resources)

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY: Biology & Biotechnology Paid Co-op/Internships (NOTE: this contains a detailed list of many internship opportunities, including some for high school students)

Stanford Linear Accelerator Center: Youth Opportunity Program (summer internship employment)

Stanford University, Stanford, CA: Office of Science Outreach (list of science-based outreach programs at Stanford University)

Stanford University, Stanford, CA: Summer Residential Camps

Stanford University Center for Clinical Immunology (CCIS), Stanford, CA: Stanford Institutes of Medical Research (SIMR) Summer Internship Program

Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX: Clark Summers Program

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA: Summer Sessions and Special Programs (remote)

University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA: Summer Programs

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI: Telluride Association Summer Programs for High School Students

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA: Summer & Special Programs

University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY: Summer High School Institute

University of Southern Florida Area Health Education Center (USF AHEC), Tampa, FL: Health Professions Summer Academy (a residential program for local junior and senior students; minority and underrepresented students highly encouraged to apply)
Brain Expansions Scholastic Training Program (BEST):
The Apprendice Doctor:
USF Pre-College:

Explore Health Careers:

University of Maryland, College Park, MD: Youth Scholars Program (Pre-College Students)

University of Maryland College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, College Park, MD: Summer Research Initiative and Internships (rising juniors and seniors)

For more insights, opportunities and guidance, contact Andi Frimmer, expert college admissions counselor at Prep4CollegeNow. Contact Andi at 760-877-7200 or email her your questions at

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