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Top pre-college summer programs for 2023

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Pre-college summer programs are classes at the college level designed for motivated high school students who want to start their college careers early. Pre-college summer programs give kids a wide range of advantages and an opportunity to get a feel for the collegiate environment. Students who participate in summer programs have the opportunity to make lifetime friends, experience campus life, and earn college credits.

Students in high school who enroll in a pre-college program get the chance to experience what college-level education is like. To put it another way, they are better equipped for college life and even know how to make their college application stand out from the crowd.

A pre-college program is also an excellent technique to assist a student in narrowing down their major selection. High school students can obtain a taste of the educational requirements for their future job choice by enrolling in a pre-college campus program. This is tremendously helpful, especially if a student can decide before committing to a particular academic major or before losing important credits (time and money) if they change their minds.

Pre-college programs are a cutting-edge approach for students to delve deeper into their academic interests and acquire a sense of university life. If given the chance, pre-college programs can be very beneficial and pleasant.

Top pre-college summer programs

1. Duke University

One of the top summer pre-college programs in North Carolina and beyond is provided by Duke University. Although there are commuter options for students attending participating schools, Duke’s summer programs for seniors are offered in five two-week residential sessions. Additionally, Duke University offers two hybrid sessions over the course of two weeks, one of which is held on campus and the other online. Depending on the package chosen, these programs can be had for anywhere between $3,200 and $3,400.

Established in the 1830s by Quakers and Methodists, Duke University is a private, research-based postsecondary institution. The electric power tycoon James Buchanan Duke, who started the endowment, which is today worth more than $12 billion, is honored by the school’s name. More than 16,700 kids were enrolled at the institution. Numerous publications list Duke as one of the top colleges in the world.

2. Cornell University

In order to provide high school students (current sophomores, juniors, and seniors) a taste of college academics (and campus life) before they start their freshman year, Cornell University’s School of Continuing Education (Cornell CSE) offers a residential pre-college summer program. Students can select from more than 50 Cornell University undergraduate courses that last three or six weeks for about $4,800.00. These acquired credits from Cornell may be accepted as college credits, at the discretion of the appropriate school.

Since its founding in the middle of the nineteenth century, Cornell University has operated as a private, statutory land-grant institution of higher learning. The institution is also a marine, space, and solar grant university with 14 colleges and schools. Classes are taken in Ithaca, NYC, Qatar, and online by more than 25,500 students. One of the few Ivy League universities in the nation is Cornell University.

3. University of California-Los Angeles

Through its Precollege Summer Institutes, UCLA provides a pre-college summer program. As a residential or non-residential student, college students can take classes at UCLA during the summer sessions for one to three weeks. The program fee for eleven different fields of study ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 depending on the student’s choices. For California high school students who qualify for the program, UCLA offers merit- and need-based scholarships.

The ten-campus UC system, which was established in 1919, includes the LA campus. With over 45,500 students enrolled, UCLA is a higher education institution that receives space grant funding. Year. Since the university’s founding, UCLA athletes have represented the United States in the Olympics, with the exception of 1924. Every representation, barring 1932, featured a gold medallist.

4. University of California, Berkeley

One of the top pre-college summer programs on the west coast is provided by the University of California, Berkeley. The residential summer session at Berkeley gives students the chance to experience campus life while earning college credits and taking part in extracurricular outings and events. Chaperoned residence halls with daily food plans are offered. The approximate cost of this wonderful summer at UC Berkeley is $15,100. To complete their exposure to the collegiate atmosphere, students can choose to attend college preparation programs.

The oldest of the UC member schools, the University of California, Berkeley was established in the 1860s and is now regarded as one of the top universities in the world. UC Berkeley is a statutory land-grant and space-grant university with more over 45,000 students enrolled annually. It is divided into fourteen colleges and schools. Numerous research institutions, including those for math/science and space sciences, are housed at the school. National labs in California and New Mexico collaborate with Berkeley.

5. Brown University

By participating in an on-campus program in Providence, Brown University offers high school students the chance to experience the potential and difficulties. Students can choose from courses lasting one to six weeks. The price to enroll in Brown’s premier pre-college program varies depending on a number of factors and can be anywhere between $3,200 and $13,850. Students have the chance to experience an Ivy League environment while taking classes with international students. Be aware that Brown University offers grants and waivers for the application cost for this program.

The research university Brown University was established in 1764, making it one of the seven oldest institutions of higher learning in the country. More than 10,000 students attend Brown, an Ivy League school with a space grant, either on its urban campus or online. With an admittance rate for first-year students of just 5%, Brown is one of the most elite universities.

6. University of Pennsylvania

In addition to letting them choose from a variety of on-campus coursework, the University of Pennsylvania offers a residential pre-college program that aids in preparing them for the collegiate experience. The pre-college residential program at the University of Pennsylvania gives high school students the chance to obtain academic credit from UPenn that can be used to fulfill future college requirements. Depending on how many courses a student selects to enroll in during the summer, the cost of the Penn pre-college program ranges from $13,246 to $21,114.

Ben Franklin established the University of Pennsylvania as a private institution of higher learning in the 1750s, making it one of the country’s colonial colleges (those that were established before the American Revolution). Each year, the university enrolls more than 22,200 undergraduate and graduate students. The list of prominent academics, scientists, and politicians among the University of Pennsylvania graduates is extensive.

7. University of California, Davis

The University of California, Davis provides a range of residential college-level courses for high school students (ages 14 to 18) that give them the chance to have a taste of college before they graduate from high school. Depending on the student’s topic of study, which can include environmental toxicology, theater, equine science, pre-med, coastal and marine sciences, and innovation & entrepreneurship, pre-college program fees and expenses range from roughly $6,000 to $6,600.

Public land grant university The University of California, Davis is regarded as a Public Ivy institution of higher learning. Every year, more than 31,100 students attend UC Davis. The largest and best-rated veterinary school in the world is located at UC Davis. Of the 10 campuses in the University of California system, the University of California Davis is the furthest north.

8. Georgia Tech’s College

Every summer, the Georgia Tech College of Design (GT) offers a two-week pre-college design program that is split into two sessions: June and July. This residential Georgia Tech program for high school students includes courses in industrial design, music technology, building construction, and architecture for rising juniors and seniors. Each two-week course in Georgia Tech’s pre-college design program costs $2,300 to enroll in. These courses emphasize the interdependence of design, technology, and building, among other fields.

As part of the endeavor to rebuild the south following the Civil War, Georgia Tech, originally known as the Georgia Institute of Technology, was founded in the middle of the 1880s. More over 35,600 students attend Georgia Tech, a member of the state university system. Six schools and colleges that provide programs and degrees in science and technology make up the institution.

9. Johns Hopkins University

One of the top summer residential programs in the country is offered by Johns Hopkins University to high school students. For each of the two-week programs, Johns Hopkins offers high school students three sessions in the following subjects: STEM, Preparing for College, Foundations of Medicine and Health, Humanities, Social Sciences, Psychology & Brain Sciences, and Film & Media. The cost of tuition for each course at Johns Hopkins University is $5,500.

Established in the 1870s, Johns Hopkins University is a research-based higher education institution. In addition to the nation’s capital and Maryland, JHU also has campuses abroad in China and Italy. Each year, more than 27,100 students enroll in classes offered both online and on one of JHU’s campuses. One of the top 10 universities in the world and the US is Johns Hopkins University.

10. Georgetown University

In Washington, DC, Georgetown University has a pre-college program available. This intensive program for high school students lasts one to eight weeks and offers a wide range of academic options. Among the options are leaders in activism, nursing, economic policy, social justice & public policy, biotechnology, and creative writing. The pre-summer program at Georgetown University costs about $6,700.

Georgetown University is a private institution. During the 1780s, a bishop of the Roman Catholic faith founded it. The school is divided into eleven graduate and undergraduate schools/colleges and is still linked with the Jesuit Christian church. 18,500 students (from more than 125 nations) attend classes at Georgetown both on the Washington, DC, campus and online. The men’s basketball team from Georgetown has won a record eight Big East championships.

FAQS on pre-college summer programs

What are the most competitive summer programs for high schoolers?

Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP)
Research Science Institute (RSI)
Program in Mathematics for Young Student (PROMYS)
The Summer Science Program (SSP)
Boys/Girls State
Boys/Girls Nation
Research in Science & Engineering (RISE)

Do colleges care about Precollege?

Even though participating in a summer college program at a specific university can show that you are interested in that college, most universities make it plain that doing so does not guarantee admission or even provide you an advantage during the application process.

What summer jobs look best on college applications?

Food Service & Hospitality
Assistant Coaching
Retail Work
Starting A Self-Employed Business
Freelance Writing

Are summer jobs worth it?

A teen's confidence may increase if they land a summer job because it will provide them the chance to experience success in the hiring, training, and working processes. Time management abilities and the capacity for networking are two talents that a summer job may assist develop.


Pre-college summer programs are now a well-liked method for high school students to acquire a taste of college life and for universities to showcase their offerings to prospective students. It’s considerably more immersive than simply visiting colleges, but a touch less demanding than the actual freshman year (you won’t gain 15 pounds in a matter of days). Although pre-college programs are unquestionably cool, we’d term it college with training wheels because training wheels aren’t.

Pre-college programs are available for every interest, including STEM, the performing arts, business, and medical. They are also available from every type of school, including public and private, big and little, conventional and unconventional. Every pre-college program is unique, whether it emphasizes academics or research, personal development or course credits, but they all share a lot of similar characteristics in their approach and goals.

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