2017 Summer Programs with Generous Financial Aid

16 Comments 11 February 2016


Summer Pre-college Programs are a wonderful opportunity for students to get incredible college experience while still in high school. Pre-college programs are also a great way for students to bolster their admissions chances, gain valuable work experience, build relationships, and explore their career opportunities. Unfortunately, many programs do not offer sufficient financial aid for underrepresented and under-resourced students. Because of this, we’ve compiled a list of the programs that actually offer aid to their participants!

Check out the official list below. Each entry includes a link to the program’s official website, as well as information on application deadlines, program dates, and  financial aid packages or scholarships available to qualified students. If you know of any programs that offer aid we’ve missed, please let us know in the comments below.

Programs are listed alphabetically


Barnard College Summer in the City

New York City, New York

Application Deadline: Rolling admissions

Program Dates: June 25 – July 21

Description: Students select two courses, a morning class and an afternoon class to be attended Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. On Wednesdays, students participate in our Beyond The Gates Series. Areas of study include acting, literature, architecture, political science, journalism, and more. See website for more details.

Financial Aid: Barnard will be offering a number of partial scholarship awards as well as one full scholarship for the program. All scholarships are based on financial need. Find out more and apply for aid here.


Camp College

Four Illinois Locations:

Augustana College
Knox College
Monmouth College
Western Illinois University

Application Deadline: May 12th, 2017

Program Dates: July 11-14, 2017

Description: Through the support of IACAC, Camp College is a free opportunity for rising seniors to learn about aspects of the college search and application process from college and high school counselors. Students will be able to have the experience of living on a college campus, while attending sessions on the college application process. Students will be provided food and lodging free of cost.


Carleton College Summer Program

Northfield, Minnesota

Application Deadline:

  • February 13, 2017 –  1st Round deadline for general and scholarship applicants and final deadline for international applicants
  • March 27, 2017 – 2nd Round deadline for general and scholarship applicants (this is the last day to apply for a scholarship for summer 2016)
  • May 16, 2017 – 3rd Round deadline and all applications close

Program Dates: Varies, refer to the college’s website (link is above)


Liberal Arts: introduces African American students to the strengths of a liberal arts education through a variety of courses in science, art, social sciences, and technology.

Quantitative Reasoning Institute: substantial college-level experience in how social scientists think about the world, measure important variables of study, prepare research, and present their findings.

Science institute: learn how different areas of science all link together. Students have the opportunity to complete a guided research project and earn college credit.

Writing Program: high school juniors with strong reading and writing abilities, the program teaches students how to compose academic papers similar to those they will write in college

Financial Aid: Financial Aid is available for these programs. Each program has different qualifications for financial aid and scholarships so check Carleton’s website (listed above) for details. The Liberal Arts program is free for all accepted applicants.


Carnegie Mellon Pre-College Summer Program 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Application Deadline: April 1

Program Dates: June 25 – August 6

Description: Our Pre-College programs will show you what life at Carnegie Mellon is all about – from the classroom to what’s happening on weekends. You’ll meet people from all over the world, be inspired by our world-renowned faculty, take part in the excitement of campus and have the opportunity to explore the city of Pittsburgh.

Financial Aid: Some financial and merit-based scholarships will be available to select students who have been accepted into the Art & Design program. They must complete the scholarship application and submit a digital portfolio by May 1.


Colorado State University Native Education Forum

Fort Collins, Colorado

Application Deadline: TBA

Program Dates: June 7-11

Description: The Native Education Forum is a five day summer program for rising high school juniors and seniors. Students will gain university classroom experience, earn one academic credit, research issues critical to Native American/Indigenous communities, and get valuable assistance from professionals in the university application process. While on campus, students will have the chance to interact with university faculty, staff and currently enrolled students as they discuss and evaluate important issues that affect indigenous communities.


Colorado State University Black Issues Forum

Fort Collins, Colorado

Application Deadline: TBA

Program Dates: June 7-11

Description: The purpose of the Black Issues Forum is to provide students a vehicle to demonstrate their written and oral communication skills and to enhance their leadership potential. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with university faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students as they discuss and evaluate the important issues of today that affect the Black community at the local, state, national, and/or global level.

The Black Issues Forum is sponsored by Colorado State University’s Office of Admissions.


Cornell University Summer College

Ithaca, New York

Application Deadline: April 1 for Financial Aid, April 29 for Summer College Program

Program Dates:

Three-week, session 1 June 25-July 16, 2016
Three-week, session 2 July 17-August 6, 2016
Six-week programs June 25-August 9, 2016

Description: We offer precollege programs for talented high school students. Experience the excitement of college life, take college courses with renowned faculty, and enjoy an “unforgettable, life-changing summer.”

Financial Aid:

Summer College offers a limited number of partial scholarships that are awarded based on:

  • a family’s demonstrated financial need
  • a student’s academic achievement and promise, and
  • the availability of funds.


Davidson July Experience

Davidson, North Carolina

Application Deadline: March 31

Program Dates: July 3-23

Description: July Experience, which takes place July 5-25, 2016, is a powerful pre-college summer academic experience for rising high school juniors and seniors who are highly motivated, academically oriented, and self-disciplined. It takes place on the campus of Davidson College, one of the nation’s very best liberal arts colleges.

Financial Aid: Scholarship funds may be available to students with financial need. This financial aid is awarded on the basis of need and academic achievement. Financial aid requests should be submitted at the time of your application and are due Friday, March 31, 2016.


Elmhurst College

Elmhurst, Illinois

Application Deadline: TBA

Program Dates: TBA

Description: The Academy is a remarkable two-week program for students between their junior and senior year in high school, who are considering careers in areas such as mathematics, and the natural and physical sciences. In classes and seminars, you’ll sharpen your math skills, explore important topics in science, and master a variety of computer programs.

Financial Aid: Scholarships are available


Emory Pre-College Program

Atlanta, Georgia

Application Deadline: Rolling admissions

Program Dates

Session A (noncredit): June 20 – July 1, 2016
Session B (noncredit): July 5 – July 15, 2016
Session C (noncredit): July 18 – July 29, 2016
Infectious Diseases Institute (noncredit): July 5 – July 22, 2016
TOEFL Prep Institute (noncredit): July 5 – July 22, 2016
Session 1 (credit): May 16 – June 24, 2016
Session 2 (credit): June 27 – August 5, 2016

Description: It gives college-bound rising juniors and rising seniors an exciting glimpse of academic and residential life at a top-ranked national university. High school students may explore topics with professors who are the leading experts in their fields, enroll in classes with college students, and earn transferable college credit.

Financial Aid and Scholarships: Awards range between $500 and $1000, depending upon need and academic merit. Awards will not cover the full program cost.


Entrada Scholars

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Application Deadlines:

Seniors: February 1, 2016

Juniors: March 7, 2016

Program Dates: June 17 – July 14, 2016

Description: Enroll in a 3-4 credit college course in areas such as English, history, biology or psychology.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

$4200 scholarship applied to full cost of attending; some scholarships for the $500 fee


Google in Education Computer Science Summer Institute 

Application Deadline: March 5, 11:59 PST

Program Dates: 


  • Cambridge, MA: July 10th – July 30th
  • Chicago, IL: July 18th – Aug 5th
  • Mountain View, CA: July 11th – July 29th
  • New York City, NY: July 20th – Aug 7th
  • Seattle, WA: July 13th – July 31st




Kick start your university studies in computer science with an unforgettable summer program at Google. Google’s seventh annual Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) is a three-week introduction to computer science for graduating high school seniors with a passion for technology — especially students from historically underrepresented groups in the field.

CSSI is not your average summer camp. It’s an intensive, interactive, hands-on and fun program that seeks to inspire the tech leaders and innovators of tomorrow by supporting the study of computer science, software engineering and other closely related subjects.

As CSSI students, you will learn programming fundamentals directly from Google engineers, get an inside look at some of Google’s most exciting, emerging technologies, and even design and develop your very own application with fellow participants that you will showcase to Googlers in local offices.

You’ll attend the program at one of our Google office locations in Mountain View, Calif., Boston, or Seattle/Kirkland, and experience firsthand Google’s unique and innovative office culture. And at the end of each day, attendees will enjoy a unique residential experience in dorm-style housing at local universities.

Financial Aid and Scholarships: CSSI is an all-expenses-paid program. Google will provide housing, meals and transportation for invited students.


Harvard University Summer Programs

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Application Deadline:

For financial aid: February 1st, 2016

Regular deadline: TBA

Program Dates:

  • SESSION I:June 26–July 8, 2016
  • SESSION II:July 10–22, 2016
  • SESSION III:July 24–August 5, 2016


Join other intellectually curious high school students on campus at Harvard, where you can explore topics as wide ranging as American law, philosophy, computer programming, and public speaking. The program features:

During your two weeks at Harvard, you attend class for three hours a day and participate in college readiness workshops or team-building events. In the evenings, you eat in the dining hall, finish homework in your dorm, and attend social activities.

Financial Aid: Scholarships are available to students with outstanding academic records who demonstrate financial need


Harvey Mudd College Fall FAST Program 

Claremont, California

Application Deadline: August 22nd, 2016

Program Dates: September 29-October 1
November 10-12

Description: The Fall Future Achievers in Science and Technology (FAST) Program is an opportunity for high school seniors from populations that are traditionally underrepresented in math and science, including women, students of color, and those who will be among the first in their families to attend a four-year college, to experience Harvey Mudd College.

Participants of Fall FAST will stay overnight in one of our residence halls, take campus tours (both at HMC and through our sister schools at the Claremont Consortium), sit in on classes, complete an interview with the Office of Admission, participate in a hands-on engineering workshop, and much more. There will also be discussions on admission policies, financial aid opportunities, campus resources, and the benefits of pursuing a tech degree at a liberal arts college. Participants will be doing all this while interacting with current Mudders, faculty and staff, and other college-bound students from around the country who share a passion for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Financial Aid: The Fall FAST Program is free to all participants, including all lodging, meals and travel accommodations (if applicable).

Missouri University of Science & Technology 

Rolla, Missouri

Application Deadline: May 15

Program Dates:  Two sessions: June 6-10 & June 20-24

Description: Rising juniors and seniors from historically underrepresented ethnic groups can participate in a week-long program designed to give students hands-on experience seeing what holding an engineering job is like.

Financial Aid: $180 registration fee includes room and board, supplies and all activities.


MIT Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES)

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Application Deadline: February 4 (for students who started their application by February 1)

Program Dates: June 12 – July 25

Description: Since 1975, this six-week residential program has leveraged a demanding academic atmosphere to help students develop the skills and confidence needed for success in technical fields. Along with calculus, physics, natural science, and humanities courses, students take a hands-on elective course and participate in lab tours and social events. MITES serves up to 80 student per year.

Financial Aid: This program is free for all accepted students


NYU Steinhardt Programs

New York, New York

Application Deadlines: Vary by discipline. See website for details, but most priority deadlines are between March 18 and April 18, and most final deadlines are between April 1 and May 15

Program Dates: Vary by discipline

Description: Every summer, high school to graduate students participate in NYU’s varied and exciting music and performing arts programs. Their programs vary from several instrumental performance programs including brass, broadway percussion, improvisational jazz, and piano, to vocal performance, music business, and music technology.

Financial Aid: NYU offers several performance and need based scholarships to accepted applicants. Please see their website for more details.


Penn State Honors Music Institute 

University Park, PA

Application Deadline: May 16, 2016

Program Dates: July 17-23, 2016

Description: The Penn State Honors Music Institute is an intensive, week-long immersion in the art of music making for talented high school students. As one of the most exciting summer music camps of 2016, specific areas of study include Chamber Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Piano, and Wind Ensemble. Students entering 9th grade in the fall of 2016 through students who will graduate in the spring of 2016 are eligible to audition.

Financial Aid: Partial scholarships are available to qualified students upon acceptance to the Honors Music Institute. Scholarship Information will be sent with registration materials to accepted participants.

Rensselaer PREFACE Summer Program 

Troy, NY

Application Deadline: March 25

Program Dates: July 10-23

Description: PREFACE is a two-week residential summer experience at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for talented high school sophomores and juniors, who will enter the 11th or 12th grade in the Fall of 2016, from groups that have been historically and traditionally underrepresented or under served in science, engineering, and technological fields, and are interested in pursuing careers in engineering and technological professions.

To qualify, applicants must be entering the 11th or 12th grade in September 2016. The PREFACE Selection Committee reviews each application and makes its recommendation to the project director. Selection is based on high school academic performance, standardized test scores, quality of essay, and recommendations. In addition, since all programs are taught in English, students must have a strong understanding of the English language.

Financial Aid: PREFACE subsidizes each participant’s round-trip transportation to Rensselaer, tuition, fees (including laundry), and room and board for the two-week session


Smith College Summer Science and Engineering Program

Northampton, Massachusetts

Application Deadline: May 11

Program Date: July 10 – August 6

Description: A four-week residential program for exceptional young women with strong interests in science, engineering and medicine. Central to the program is a learning environment that is rich in role models, hands-on, cooperative, investigative and challenging—where girls get all of the faculty’s attention as well as the opportunities and encouragement to achieve their best.

Financial Aid: Available to students with demonstrated need.


UW-Madison Engineering Summer Program

Madison, Wisconsin

Application Deadline: April 4th, 2016

Program Dates: June 18 – July 29th

Description: The UW-Madison Engineering Summer Program helps you explore career options, prepare for the rigors of college, and develop strong skills in math and science. Best of all, you will experience first-hand what it is like to be an engineering student at UW-Madison.

Financial Aid:

The program is 100% sponsored. There are no costs to the students once they arrive on campus. Students and families are required to finance and make travel arrangements to and from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Your Comments

16 Comments so far

  1. Even better perhaps are programs that are low cost or free to begin with. I have created a huge list of those here, organized by area of interest.

  2. Susan Stanton says:

    Both of these were so helpful, thanks so much!

  3. Susan Stanton says:

    These were both very helpful, thanks so much!

  4. David C. says:

    Can you also post information about Brown’s pre college program? I want to know their package.

  5. I took admission in the Smith college. Can somebody more info about this college.

  6. Summer programs are really a great way to gain some knowledge and explore more career opportunities.

  7. Our program—Foresight Prep @ Oberlin College ( seeks to build greater equity and diversity in social and environmental change-making efforts, so fundraises in order to offer robust financial aid support to ensure a diverse student cohort.

    The program offers experiential learning and leadership development through engagement with real world practitioners to high school students passionate about social equity and the environment. Students choose from one of six, topic-focused two-week seminars.

  8. nikki jones says:

    Summer programs are really a great way to gain some knowledge and explore more career opportunities.

  9. A says:

    Purdue University is offering a COMPLETELY FREE summer camp for students interested in Cybersecurity, for grades 9-12.

    The camp is being held June 10 – 12

    Apply here:

  10. Check out the Lead America Program of Mr Chris Salamone, who has formerly served as a faculty member at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and served as a leadership curriculum adviser at The University of Central Oklahoma. Chris Salamone works to improve the lives of young people around the world through his many philanthropic endeavors. LeadAmerica is one of our nation’s most respected youth leadership organizations with an unwavering commitment to quality and excellence in our academic offerings. Mission is to ‘inspire and empower our young people to achieve their full potential and instill in them a sense of purpose, integrity, self confidence, and personal responsibility.’ This is achieved through engaging students (high school for most programs and middle school for a few) in conferences that combine challenging academics with hands-on experiential learning.

  11. Random Sample says:

    Hello everyone,
    My child has been attending a very good summer pre college program for the past two summers.
    If you want an unparalleled program you really need to look at St. Cloud State University the SDP (Scientific Discovery Program – Grades 9&10) or APTS (Advanced Program in Technology and Science) programs.

    The Program runs for 4 weeks, it is residential, EVERYTHING is paid for.
    That is right, you pay only a $10 application fee. The entire program; room, food, books, local transportation, field trips, all activities are covered.
    You can pay a lot more and get a lot less.

  12. Random Sample says:

    Sorry I forgot to put a link the St. Cloud State University Pipeline Summer Programs.
    Here is where you can find info about all the programs:


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