Providing various benefits and opportunities, pre-college programs that are held at different universities over the summer are something that all high school students should consider.
Many high school students feel tentative about the transition from high school to college. The college environment is a completely new experience for them, both in terms of living and learning.
Pre-college programs help with this because they take place on a college campus. This helps students become more accustomed to the academic environment.
The location is also beneficial since many of these programs offer commuter and residential options, meaning that the participants can either commute every day or stay in a dorm room to get familiar with living on campus.
The programs themselves vary in content, which is another contributing factor to the opportunities they offer. Some programs are strictly focused on one field of interest, which is helpful for students who already have an idea of where they want to go career-wise.
Other programs hold various career exploration and counseling activities for students who are not sure of the field they want to enter. The programs can include research labs, various workshops, PSAT and SAT prep, lectures given by college professors, and even the option to take college classes with transferable college credit.
The programs that are available often depend on the university. Some universities only offer one or two different programs, while others hold many.
Freshman Keerat Champi says, “I was surprised by how many different kinds of programs I read about when I researched them. There’s something for every different interest, whether it’s biology, engineering, journalism, and even the military.”
Almost every state has at least one university that holds a pre-college program, which is good for students who want to stay close to home over the summer and also for students who have the interest and opportunity to travel.
These programs are especially helpful for students who are considering applying for a specific university in their senior year. Attending a pre-college program for that university not only provides exposure to it, but it also enhances a college application by showing that a student has previously displayed interest in that university.
One benefit of these programs that is often overlooked is the opportunity to meet new people who share similar interests. Working and living with other students is a good way to make lasting friendships with people from all over the country.
However, it is important to note the criteria of the programs before looking at the application. Some programs require applicants to have a certain GPA, while others may only allow students in certain grade levels to attend.
Sophomore Rachel Modi says, “When I looked at different programs last year as a freshman, there were a lot that I was interested in, but they were mostly only open to current sophomores and juniors. Now, as a sophomore, I’m excited to have the opportunity to try the programs that weren’t available to me last year.”
It is also vital to check the attendance fee, which varies between programs and universities, and whether or not the program offers college credit, as well as commuter and/or residential options.
If a student meets all the requirements, then it is also important to look over the application carefully. Many programs require applicants to write at least one essay, along with providing a high school transcript and teacher recommendations.
Even if a student applies for a program and is not accepted, that student gains experience in completing applications. This is useful when it comes time to filling out college applications and writing essays for them.
With the many different benefits of pre-college programs, it is easy to see why high school students should take advantage of this opportunity and look into universities that host these programs.
Would you consider applying for one of these programs and, if so, which ones?