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Academics, Resources

2018 Summer Programs with Financial Aid

No Comments 16 January 2018

There is no better way for college-bound students to get a feel for the future than participating in summer pre-college programs. Students gain valuable work experience, build relationships, and boost their admissions chances through these opportunities.

Not every program in the U.S. offers sufficient financial aid for under-resourced students, but we have compiled a list of programs that fix that problem. Each entry includes a link to the program’s website, as well as information on program dates, application deadlines, and eligibility requirements.

If you know of any programs that we’ve missed, please let us know in the comments below.

Programs are listed alphabetically.


Babson Entrepreneurial Experience

Wellesley, MA

Application Deadline: March 1st, 2018

Program Dates: Late July – Early August

Description: This four-week, on-campus course gives you a unique opportunity to focus on your growth as an entrepreneur. You’ll get immersed in Entrepreneurial Thought & Action (ET&A™)—Babson’s renowned methodology that encourages combining reflection, experimentation, and analysis with action—all while building leadership, communication, presentation and critical thinking skills in a hands-on, team-based environment.

Financial Aid: For assistance paying for this Babson Entrepreneurial Development Experience, apply here.


Barnard College Summer in the City

New York City, NY

Application Deadline: March 28th, 2018

Program Dates: June 24th-July 20th

Description: Students select two courses, a morning class and an afternoon class to be attended Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. On Wednesdays, students participate in our Beyond The Gates series. Areas of study include acting, literature, political science and journalism, among others. See the website for more details.

Financial Aid: Barnard offers a number of partial scholarship awards, as well as one full scholarship for the program. All scholarships are based on financial need and applications are due March 23rd, 2018. Find out more and apply here.


Bard College Young Writers Workshop

Bard College at Simon’s Rock – Great Barrington, MA

Application Deadline: Rolling admissions beginning in January until the program is full.

Program Dates: July 8th-July 28th, 2018

Description: Students in grades 9-11 have the opportunity to build their writing skills in the Young Writers Workshop at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. This three-week program is designed to build confidence and develop greater fluency in writing in areas ranging from fiction to nonfiction. The program consists of small groups of students meeting in three, 90-minute sessions each day. Portfolio progress checks occur each week. Students live on campus in the dorms along with the staff and are able to experience campus life.

Financial Aid: Financial aid and certain scholarships varying from $12,000-$20,000 are available to assist students in attending the program. Find information on financial aid and scholarship options here.


Boston University PROMYS

Boston, MA

Deadline: Sign up here to be notified when the application is available.

Date: July 1st – August 11th, 2018

Description: PROMYS is a six-week summer program at Boston University designed to encourage strongly motivated high school students to explore in depth the creative world of mathematics in a supportive community of peers, counselors, research mathematicians, and visiting scientists.  Professor Glenn Stevens, the Director of PROMYS, founded the program in 1989 together with other members of the current faculty.

Financial Aid: Check out financial aid options here.


Calvin College Entrada Scholars

Grand Rapids, MI

Application Deadlines: March 2nd

Program Dates: July 6th – August 2nd, 2018

Description: High school juniors and seniors can enroll in a 3-4 credit college course in areas such as English, history, biology or psychology. Social outings, such as a beach trip to Lake Michigan, also is available during this program, which include a talent night, group devotions, and use of Calvin’s state-of-the-art fitness facilities.

Financial Aid and Scholarships: There are various scholarships available, including the $4,000 Mosaic Scholarship.


Camino al Futuro

George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Deadline: March 1, 2018

Date: July 1st-July 20th, 2018

Description: This summer scholarship program is for motivated high school juniors going into their senior year. The program cultivates leadership potential in students who want to shape the political, economic and social issues that affect Hispanic and Latin communities.

Financial Aid: This is a fully funded program; there is no cost to apply, as long as you select the “3-Week College Intensive” option and then choose “Caminos al Futuro.”


Camp College

Four Illinois Locations:

Augustana College
Knox College
Monmouth College
Western Illinois University

Application Deadline: 2018 TBA

Program Dates: 2018 TBA

Description:  Camp College is a free opportunity for rising seniors to learn about aspects of a college search and application process from college and high school counselors. Students live on a college campus while attending sessions on the college-application process. Students will be provided food and lodging.

Financial Aid: Generous support of IACAC and other sponsors mean there is no cost to students. A $20 deposit is required to hold your seat and will be refunded at the end of the program.


Carleton College Summer Program

Northfield, MN

Application Deadlines:

Feb. 13th – First-round deadline for general and scholarship applicants and final deadline for international applicants

March 20th – Second-round deadline for general and scholarship applicants (this is the last day to apply for a scholarship for summer 2017)

May 8th, 2017 – Third-round deadline and all applications close

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


Liberal arts – Introduces black students to the strengths of a liberal arts education through a variety of courses in science, art, social sciences, and technology.

Quantitative reasoning institute – College-level experience in how social scientists think about the world. Students measure important variables of study, prepare research and present their findings.

Science institute – Learn how different areas of science 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 for details. The liberal arts program is free for all accepted applicants.


Carnegie Mellon Pre-College Summer Program 

Pittsburgh, PA

Application Deadline: April 15th

Program Dates: June 30-Aug. 11

Description: These 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, and have the opportunity to explore the city of Pittsburgh.

Financial Aid: Some financial and merit-based scholarships are available to select students who have been accepted into the music program.


Carnegie Mellon Summer Academy for Math and Science

Pittsburgh, PA

Application Deadline: The deadline for all programs is March 1st, and the deadline for all supporting documents is March 15th.

Program Dates: Registration and opening day are June 30th. The program closes on August 10th.

Description: This program is for rising high school seniors. Participants will engage in hands-on learning and research via science and engineering projects, which will help them build the academic and personal skills required for admission to competitive colleges and universities.

Financial Aid:  There will be no tuition, housing or dining fees for students selected to attend the Summer Academy for Math and Science.


Colorado State University Native Education Forum

Fort Collins, Colo.

Application Deadline: TBA 2018

Program Dates: TBA 2018

Description: The Native Education Forum is a 5-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.

Financial Aid: You may be eligible for the “Partnership Award.” Please contact Leslee Lovato at Leslee.Lovato@colostate.edu.


Colorado State University Black Issues Forum

Fort Collins, Colo.

Application Deadline: TBA 2018

Program Dates: TBA 2018

Description: The purpose of the Black Issues Forum is to provide students — completing their junior year of high school — 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.

Financial Aid: You may be eligible for the “Partnership Award.” Submit any questions you have to Counselor Bobby Browning.


Cornell Engineering Experience

Ithaca, NY

Application Deadline: May 4th, 2018

Program Dates: June 23rd – August 7th, 2018

Description:  Are you excited by math and science? Do you want to improve the world? Would you like to envision and implement solutions to the important challenges of our time? If so, we invite you to Cornell this summer to explore diverse and exciting career opportunities in the practice of engineering.


Cornell University Summer College

Ithaca, NY

Application Deadline: Applications open Mid-January. Sign up here to be notified when they’re open.

Program Dates:

Three-week, session 1 June 23rd-July 14th
Three-week, session 2 July 15th-Aug. 4th
Six-week programs June 23rd-Aug. 7th

Description: These pre-college programs are 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 availability of funds.


 Cronkite Institute for High School Journalism: Summer Journalism Institute at Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Application Deadline: March 17th, 2018

Program Dates: June 3rd-15th, 2018

Description: For two weeks every summer, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication brings top-performing high school students to ASU for two weeks of intensive, hands-on experiences in broadcast and digital journalism.

Financial Aid: For questions, email  CronkiteSJI@asu.edu.


Davidson July Experience

Davidson, NC

Application Deadline: February 14th is the KIPP deadline; the general deadline is March 28th, 2018

Program Dates: July 1st-21st

Description: July experience 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.

Financial Aid: Scholarships might 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 March 31.


Elmhurst College Summer Academy in Mathematics & Science

Elmhurst, IL

Application Deadline: TBA 2018

Program Dates: TBA 2018

Description: The academy is a two-week program for students between their junior and senior years in high school who are considering careers in areas such as mathematics and natural and physical science. 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. For further information about scholarships or the academy in general, please email Christine Genier at cgrenier@elmhurst.edu.


Emory Pre-College Program

Atlanta, GA

Application Deadline: Financial Aid is due by May 1st, 2018, while each session has different application due dates roughly 15 days prior to the first day of the session.

Program Dates

Session A (noncredit): June 17th-June 30th
Session B (noncredit): July 1st-July 14th
Session C (noncredit): July 15th-July 28th
Infectious Diseases Institute (noncredit): July 1st-July 21st
Session 1 (credit): May 21st-June 29th
Session 2 (credit): July 2nd-August 10th

Description: The program gives college-bound rising juniors and rising seniors a glimpse of academic and residential life. High-school students can 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. Financial aid deadline is April 15.


Google in Education Computer Science Summer Institute 

Atlanta, GA / Austin, TX / Cambridge,  MA / Chicago, IL / Kirkland, WA / Los Angeles, CA / Mountain View / CA, New York,  NY / Pittsburgh, PA / Seattle, WA

Application Deadline: March 2 at 11:59 PM PT

Program Dates: 

  • Atlanta, GA: July 9th-July 27th
  • Austin, TX: July 16th-August 3rd
  • Cambridge, MA: July 9th-July 27th
  • Chicago, IL: July 9th-Aug. July 27th
  • Kirkland, WA: July 16th-August 3rd
  • Los Angeles, CA: July 16th-August 3rd
  • Mountain View, CA: July 16th-August 3rd
  • New York City, NY: July 9th-July 27th
  • Pittsburgh, PA: July 9th-August 27th
  • Seattle, WA: July 9th-July 27th

Description: Kick off your college studies in computer science with a 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. Students participate in an intensive, interactive and hands-on 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.

At CSSI, students study programming fundamentals with Google engineers, get an inside look at some of Google’s most exciting, emerging technologies, and design and develop their own application with fellow participants.

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.


Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics

Amherst, MA

Application Deadline: No official deadline, however, last year they ran out of spaces in April. Apply early!

Program Dates: July 1st – August 11th, 2018

Description: HCSSiM is an intensive six-week encounter with college-level mathematics for talented and highly motivated high school students. It is demanding and expanding. Participants spend a major portion of each day actively engaged in doing mathematics (not simply learning the results of mathematics). HCSSiM students live in the dorms at Hampshire College in Massachusetts for six summer weeks, and study and play in its fields, woods, and academic buildings (not typically in that order).

Financial Aid: There is some financial aid available through the program, which you can read about here, but they also recommend third-party grants.


Harvard University Summer Programs

Cambridge, Mass.

Application Deadline: February 1st at 5 PM for early consideration. May 7th for all other applications.

Program Dates:

  • SESSION I: June 24-July 6
  • SESSION II: July 8-20
  • SESSION III: July 22-Aug. 3

Description: 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. 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. Financial aid application deadline is Feb. 1.


Missouri University of Science & Technology Summer Camps

Rolla, MO

Application Deadline: Opens February 19th, 2018

Program Dates: There are multiple sessions for students off all ages throughout June and July.

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

Financial Aid: Contact the office of Professional and Continuing Education at pcu@mst.edu or 573-341-6222.


MIT Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES)

Cambridge, Mass.

Application Deadline: Feb. 1st at 7:59 PM EST

Program Dates: TBA 2018

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


Northwestern University College Bridge Program

Evanston, IL

Application Deadline: March 23rd

Program Dates: Dates vary according to classes selected, however, all students must attend the College Bridge Orientation and Advising session on May 20th, 2018.

Description: 25 high school juniors are selected from Chicago Public Schools every summer to enroll in summer classes and earn college credit. Courses vary from three to eight weeks in length.

Financial Aid: Tuition and textbooks are free.


Northwestern University College Preparation Program

Evanston, IL

Application Deadline: Students must submit their applications by April 15

Program Dates: TBA

Description: This program allows high school sophomores and juniors to enroll in undergraduate courses on campus for college credit or enroll in a specialized two-week seminar.

Financial Aid: A limited number of scholarships are available for high school juniors who demonstrate financial need and hold strong academic and extracurricular achievement. Applications are due March 1.


NYU Steinhardt Programs

New York, NY

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. Applications open on January 15th!

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 1

Program Dates: July 15th-21st

Description: The Penn State Honors Music Institute is an intensive, weeklong immersion in the art of music making for talented high school students. As one of the most exciting summer music camps of 2018, specific areas of study include chamber choir, jazz ensemble, piano and wind ensemble. Students entering ninth grade in the fall of 2018 through students who will graduate in the spring of 2018 are eligible to audition.

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


Princeton University Summer Journalism Program

Princeton, NJ

Application Deadline: The deadline for application to the program this summer has closed, but applications are expected to open November 2018 for the following summer.

Program Dates: TBA

Description: About 40 high school juniors from low-income backgrounds will have the opportunity to participate in a 10-day seminar on journalism at Princeton’s campus. Reporters teach students and are from major publications such as the Washington Post and The New York Times. Students must have a minimum unweighted 3.5 GPA, and all expenses, including travel, are included.

Financial Aid: Questions can be directed to sjp@princeton.edu.


Purdue University Minority Engineering Program

West Lafayette, IN

Application Deadline: April 30th

Program Dates: June 17th – July 19th, 2018

Description: The Multiethnic Introduction to Engineering (MITE) program was initiated at Purdue University in the summer of 1975. Originally a two-week program, MITE is now a five-week college simulation program modeled after the Freshman Engineering Academic Boot Camp. MITE attendees are immersed in first year engineering projects. The agenda includes SAT review, engineering design, time management, and social acclimatization to college life. Student participants build a strong sense of community and are able to return to their high schools with a better evaluation of their potential. We have seen an average improvement in SAT math scores of 90 points. The highest increase was 180 points as measured through pre- and post-testing. All participants apply to Purdue at the close of the program.

Financial Aid: a scholarship application is part of the overall SEW application for the program.


Rensselaer PREFACE Summer Program 

Troy, NY

Application Deadline: TBA

Program Dates: TBA

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 2018. It is open to students 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.

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. 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


Reynolds Young Writers Workshop at Denison University

Granville, OH

Application Deadline: March 4th

Program Date: June 17th-24th, 2018

Description: The Reynolds Young Writers Workshop is open to qualified students who have completed their sophomore or junior year in high school by June of the program year.  We do not admit current ninth graders/rising sophomores. The program fee for the workshop, including tuition, housing, and meals for the 8-day program, is $1,300. (On-campus residency is required.)

Financial Aid: Significant financial aid is available based on need thanks to the Reynolds Endowment.


Smith College Summer Science and Engineering Program

Northampton, MA

Application Deadline: Priority deadline is March 1st; final application day is June 1st, but the application fee doubles on April 24th.

Program Date:

SESSION 1: July 9th-20th, 2018

SESSION 2: July 23rd-August 3rd, 2018

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. Financial Aid deadline is March 1.


St. John’s Summer Academy

Annapolis, MD / Santa Fe, NM

Application Deadline: Accepted on a rolling basis through June 16th, 2018

Program Dates: There are  multiple programs between June 24th through July 28th.

Description: Our summer program for high school students (ages 15 to 18) is modeled after St. John’s discussion-based, interdisciplinary method of teaching the great books. A hands-on introduction to college life, our program helps students hone their reading, critical thinking, and discussion skills. With engaging workshops and awesome off-campus excursions, the Summer Academy is a blast.

Financial Aid: There is limited financial aid available for these programs. Contact the Summer Academy directors for more information.


University of Chicago Neubauer Family Adelante Summer Scholars

Chicago, IL

Application Deadline: March 2nd, 2018

Program Dates: Orientation June 16-17; classes meet June 18- July 5.

Description: Students selected for this program can participate in one of two summer sessions: Awakening Into Consciousness and Contagion: Infectious Agents and Emerging Diseases. Applicants who share the program’s commitment to the Hispanic and Latino communities are invited to apply.

Financial Aid: Program participants receive a full scholarship, which includes course tuition, housing and dining, Student Life Fee, and the cost of travel to and from campus.


University of Chicago Summer Bridge Program for Chicago Public School Students

Chicago, IL

Application Deadline: TBA

Program Dates: TBA

Description: Rising juniors and seniors from Chicago public high schools with a minimum 3.6 GPA are eligible for this program. Students are given the opportunity to take courses at the university for college credit.


UW-Madison Engineering Summer Program

Madison, WI

Application Deadline: TBA. Application will open in January.

Program Dates: June 16th-July 27th

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

Financial Aid: The program is completely 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.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute Summer Scholars Programs 

Worcester, MA

Application Deadline: Registration opens February 3rd, 2018 at 9 am.

Program Date: Dates range depending on program selected.

Description: High school students can pick from a number of programs that will allow them to explore, discover, and challenge themselves. These programs highlight fields such as robotics, physics, video game design, music, computer science, the humanities and arts, and women’s leadership.

Financial Aid: Partial or full tuition assistance scholarships are offered to eligible students.


Yale Young Global Scholars

New Haven, CT

Application Deadline: February 6th, 2018

Program Date: There are multiple programs between June 17th and August 9th.

Description: Yale Young Global Scholars empowers the next generation of leaders by building a global community and designing interdisciplinary programs that foster intellectual curiosity, deepen understanding and inspire creative action across all borders. The program is highly selective and gives students an unforgettable summer experience. To give students room to flourish in a new learning environment and to explore new academic interests, YYGS does not offer course credit, nor do students receive any quantitative evaluation during or after the program.

Financial Aid: There are a few options for need-based financial aid. Read more about it here.

FAFSA, Money

College Application Checklist

No Comments 10 January 2018

Applying to college sounds like a long and tedious process – we know! We write about it all the time. There are ways to make it easy on yourself, though, starting with using a smart and thorough checklist that keeps you on track. Below, we’ve placed several aspects of applications to colleges that are super common, but we recommend making a checklist for each one that you apply to because what you need varies for each application. 

Do you have the right deadline? Sure, this may sound like a given, but you’re likely applying to multiple colleges (or at least you should be) and that means there are a lot of dates rattling around up in your noggin. Do yourself and your exhausted brain a favor: take ten minutes and write down each college, along with the due date for the application. Bonus points for listing out everything you need for that application!

Is your essay ready to go? A college application essay can give colleges a taste of who you are outside of your grades. It’s an important part of helping you stand out from the hundreds, and commonly thousands, of other applicants, so write a (typically formal) essay that’s got your own brand of personality embedded it.

Do you have recommendation letters? Recommendation letters are a huge boost to your application. These typically come from teachers who understand your academic capabilities and dedication as a student, but it’s key that they know you as an individual, as well. Consider your extracurricular or athletic teachers when deciding who to ask for recommendations from, since they’ve likely seen you in and out of class.

Have you applied for financial aid yet? You need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly known as “FAFSA,” in order to be considered. If you are unsure how to go about this, we offer several articles that may answer your questions! Check out these two, here and here. If you prefer the face-to-face, one-on-one approach to figuring out your financial aid, reach out to your guidance counselor. In our experience, they know pretty much everything.

Like we said earlier, each college you apply to will have different requirements, but this is a good standard list. Always reach out to your guidance counselor, a friend, or a mentor if you need help through this process. And, of course, we at College Greenlight will always be here to help! If you have questions, submit them to us and we’ll do our best to answer them thoroughly!



What is a Test-Optional College?

No Comments 09 January 2018

While there’s often a lot of pressure to do well on standardized tests, it’s not really everyone’s preferred beverage (notice that we did not specify tea). There’s so much pressure that comes with these large exams nowadays, whether it’s the PSAT, ACT, or SAT, that it’s easy to start seeing those fill-in-the-bubble-completely scantrons in your nightmares. It’s like that old adage about how you shouldn’t judge a fish by its ability (or, in this case, inability) to climb a tree. The point is: if you don’t test well, it adds a layer of difficulty to applying for college. Test-optional colleges are institutions that don’t require you to list your ACT or SAT scores on your application, and they’re great for students with less-than-ideal results.

If you’re immediately skeptical, good for you. It’s good to be wary, but test-optional colleges are as legitimate as schools that require your standardized test scores. Like the many teachers that are actually in high school classrooms, colleges are slowly realizing that these test scores aren’t an end-all be-all for determining what kind of student a teenager is. You’ll find big names on the test-optional colleges list, including Bryn Mawr, Wesleyan University, and Mount Holyoke College.

The benefits for you are straight forward: you’ll be judged on your academics throughout high school, letters of recommendation, and your essay, rather than getting caught up in some inaccurate test-score filter. But, believe it or not, there are advantages for colleges turning to a test-optional policy. Colleges value a well-rounded freshmen class, and that means accepting students that excel at standardized testing and those that don’t, as well as those from high-income and low-income families, and much more. It’s basically an all-around win!

Before applying to a test-optional college, talk to that institution about any circumstances that may surround that policy — basically, each school has its own rules. Your best bet to making sure that you follow them is to call the admissions office and speak directly to an admissions officer. They’ll tell you what’s what and help you totally rock your application! Like Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Let your strengths shine through — without standardized test scores shadowing them — by applying to a test-optional college!


Money, Scholarships

Scholarships Expiring in December 2017

No Comments 12 December 2017

Often times, the tuition and fees for college can feel overwhelming — no one wants to graduate in the shadow of mounting debt. One of the easiest ways to diminish that burden is by applying for as many scholarships as you possibly can. Keep a running list with corresponding due dates and tackle one each week. No matter what the amount, $500 or $1,000, $100 or $10,000, it chips away at that dark cloud of loan debt to let a little bit more that end-of-the-tunnel light shine through.

While there are plenty of scholarships with due dates farther out than this month, we want to give you a heads-up on what’s being closed December 2017. Some may have specific requirements, such as being part of a group or certain high school, some require a thoughtfully-crafted essay, and others still just need your name. Let’s power through your options in expiration-date order!


Are you heading into the medical field? We all know that most degrees leading towards putting an individual’s life in your hands cost as much, if not more, than the average 4-bedroom house. The AvaCare Medical Scholarship awards $1,000 dollars to high school seniors or currently enrolled college students! It does have a few requirements, though, and, since it’s due on December 15th, you’ll have to hustle! For AvaCare Medical, it’s all about kindness, so they want a blog post, image, and video on what act of kindness inspired you to strive towards that medical degree!


If you’re breaking that stereotype barrier, say becoming an automotive tech while also being a woman, The Clunker Junker wants to hear from you — they offer the Cash for Cars and College Scholarship. Be enrolled in an accredited institution pursuing a degree in automotive technology and you can earn $1,000 towards your tuition!


While you may mostly think about Burger King in regards to your fast-food order (a number 3 with a large Coke ICEE, please!), they also offer a pretty hefty $5,000 scholarship through the Burger King McLamore Foundation. Graduating high school seniors are eligible applicants, while the scholarship itself is awarded based on academic record and participation in school and community activities. Last call for consideration is the 15th of December!


Whether you were born with that natural athletic talent or spent years cultivating your abilities, the Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Scholarship is here to reward high school students set to enter college in the Fall of 2018 with $20,000 dollars. Distributed in four installments of $5,000, there’s even the possibility of earning the Ken C. Hicks Scholarship to go along with it! Submit your application by December 15th to be considered for this monetary award.


ValuePenguin’s Scholarship is the next one we’re going to chat about — you can earn a cool $2,000 dollars towards your tuition by submitting 500-750 word replies to their prompts by the 15th of this month. They’re also a good resource for financial education, from getting your first credit card to insuring your first automobile. So, basically, even if you don’t win the scholarship, you could still walk away with some sweet knowledge from ValuePenguin!


Even if you’re already in college, there’s no reason not to continue accruing some sweet money to reduce your school loans. The Publicity.ai SEO and Content Marketing Scholarship offered through AMV is open to high school and college students, and requires an essay explaining a mind-blowing, totally genius marketing plan. This kind of scholarship is great for students looking to pave their way into a business, marketing, computer science, communications, or IT field, though there’s no major or minor requirement. If you have an analytical eye for content marketing, this is one essay you should definitely send in by December 15th.


AMV doesn’t restrict its giving nature to just marketing, though. The Lead Roster B2B Sales and Marketing Scholarship is for the entrepreneur with a fire for selling their ideas. Make a passionate YouTube video and send that golden ticket in by the same date as the marketing scholarship. December 15th, if you didn’t want to roll your eyeballs up a few inches.


The Association on American Indian Affairs, Inc. offer a $1,500 Adolph Van Pelt Special Fund for Indians Scholarship to assist American Indians with their tuition costs. The student must have at least a quarter degree Native American/Native Alaska blood and be enrolled in a federally-recognized tribe. This is the kind of scholarship that you need to also be enrolled in college for, so keep that in mind for the December 15th submission date.


Is your tribe not federally recognized? The Association on American Indian Affairs, Inc, also awards the Allogan Slagle Memorial Scholarship specifically for those Native Americans! Whether you’re already pursuing your degree or a graduating high school senior, apply to be granted a $1,500 scholarship to your full-time, accredited college.


Writing a step-by-step guide to using a product isn’t easy, and the Pretty Lightroom Presets Scholarship wants to recognize those special individuals with the patience to write down directions that are easy to use for anyone who happens upon them. Write an essay-style Adobe Lightroom Tutorial (including helpful screenshots) between 800 to 1,000 words! Submit it by the 15th for $500 dollars towards your future education!


Even before you get your driver’s permit, you know the dangers of distracted driving. For those between the ages of 13 and 18, it’s especially important to really ingrain this into their understanding of operating a coupled-thousand-pound vehicle(!!!). In light of that, By Kids for Kids, Co.  hosts the CTIA Wireless Foundation Drive Smart Contest which asks students to create digital shorts persuading fellow peers to stay focused on the task at hand while driving —  driving. The winner gets a whopping $10,000 dollars for their future education, so put some thought into this one before submitting on the 19th!


Like we said before, it’s nice to be awarded for just being you, and the Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr. Scholarship for Young Hispanic Leaders is another one that does just that. If one of your parents is of Hispanic ancestry and you’re enrolled, full-time, at a 2- or 4-year institution, you could save $1,000 on your tuition! Throw your hat into the ring by the 29th of December to be considered.


The Peter J. Hengel Thai Scholarship is specifically for male students of Thai descent. You must be 23 and planning to enroll full-time at an accredited 2- or 4-year institution for the entire 2018-19 school year. Preference is given to gay students, as well as those attending a Minnesota college, so check your circumstances and apply by December 30th if you fit these parameters for a $15,500 reduction in tuition!


We always like to see the words “short essay” attached to our scholarships. High school and college students have their plates full enough as it is, and we’d like to see you get some beauty rest at some point. The MiniMilitiaModCheats Internet Marketing Scholarship is simple enough: write a short essay on Internet Marketing. International students can throw their hat into this ring, too, so be ready to hit submit by December 30th and not a second later!


The “Impact a Life” College Scholarship through Raffle Ticket, a division of A-Z Discount Printing, was started purely to help reduce some of the cost associated with a 4-year education. You must be 18 years or older and currently enrolled in a college, and the essay should be between 500-1,000 words. Competition is high and they have three prompts on their website to work off of. Follow the directions to a T and claim that $1,000, $600, and $400! Submissions are accepted until December 31st!


Are you fascinated by the development of logos? Do you see a shop sign or company symbol and immediately begin dissecting it into its multiple components? Have you also completed at least 1 semester of a graphic design, product design, branding, or marketing course? Then submit three of your original logo designs that pertain to the automatic, construction, beauty, and massage industries for a chance at winning the Most Promising Logo Design Scholarship, which is worth $1,500! Submissions are due by the 31st.


Who’d’ve thought that pen pack you bought from the store for a few bucks could earn you $15,000? The Pilot Pen G2 Overachievers Student Grant, in conjunction with Shonda Rimes, wants to celebrate an exceptional young scholar who makes a difference outside of the classroom. Use that Pilot Pen G2 to outline a 1,000-1,500 word essay, type that beauty up, and you could be granted $12,500 off your college tuition, as well as earn $2,500 dollars for your school to foster another overachiever like yourself!


We live in a country founded on free speech. If that simple fact got you all fired up to rattle off some dates and American rights, the FIRE’s Free Speech Essay Contest Scholarship is right up your alley. You’ll be awarded up to $10,000 dollars for a fiery 800-1,000 word essay on the article 19 right to articulate your opinions without fear of censorship! Just have those passionate words ready by the 31st, and you’re all set.


Prepare your palette, fire up your digital software, or prep your artistic weapon of choice because the Goodshop Scholarship wants to award $1,000 to reduce college tuition! An original masterpiece is due to them by December 31st to be considered for the scholarship.


They’re JUST POETRY!!! Scholarship Awards and they happen quarterly — which is great news for HS students that love to express themselves in couplets or villenelles or some free-form prose on a regular basis. You can submit for this scholarship, which awards up to $500 dollars, once a quarter! This round ends on December 31st, so start rifling through those journals for your favorites to submit to the Live Poets Society of New Jersey!


We do like the idea of living by “never say never,” but it might be a little late to get started on your application for the Apprentice Ecologist Initiative Youth Scholarship Program. The Nicodemus Wilderness Project encourages young people to be environmentally conscious — conduct your own environment clean-up or conservation project and document it for consideration of the $580 scholarship. Due no later than December 31st, now’s the time to show off your conservation methods!


Do you have a 3.0 GPA or higher? Are you interested in studying business in college? Are you a college-bound senior? If you answered “yes” to those questions, then you’re a USDA prime candidate for the SHM Cleaning Scholarship! Submit by the 31st for consideration — it could save you $250 on your college loans!


The Percy Martinez Law Scholarship and the Percy Martinez Autism Scholarship both offer $5,000 to further education. High school students to grad-level students with an interest in law are encouraged to apply. Students at schools that cater to individuals with autism are also excellent candidates — check the website for the rules and regulations and get your application in by the 31st to be considered!


Being first is often really cool. It means you won the race or were revolutionary! What’s not cool about being first sometimes is the uncertainty. Being the first in your family to go to college means that you have to shoulder the burden for figuring out how the whole crazy process works. StudySoup’s First in Family Scholarship is here to soothe some of that aggravation. Be 18, accepted into a college, submit by the 31st, and you can earn $1,000 dollars towards your student loans!


The people at Picture Keeper want to encourage those chasing their dreams. Their Picture Keeper Scholarship is a photo and essay contest that documents just that! Grab some photos that pluck some heart strings, write a heartfelt essay, and submit by the 31st for a chance to make your college tuition $1,500 lighter.


Do you keep a dream diary? If so, you’re in the ideal position to be awarded the MattressFun Scholarship! They want an essay about a dream you’ve had that you’re determined to make reality — like maybe that dream you have about heading off to college and leaving with as little debt as possible, for instance! Have it prepared by the 31st for a chance at a $1,000 dollar college tuition break!


Admissions, Apply to College, Money, Resources

How Do Colleges that Allow Self-Reported Test Scores Help Me?

No Comments 08 December 2017

Applying for colleges gets expensive. It’s not even really large fees that do it, it’s the nickel-and-diming that goes on. There’s the $25 for this application, the $30 for this application here, the gas cost to visit schools… It adds up. There’s one less cost you’ll have to worry about, though, because the number of colleges allowing you to self-report your test scores is increasing!

So, let’s break down what that means. When you take your ACT or SAT, you have a limited number of colleges that they’ll send your results out to, and you have to indicate them within so many days for each test. After that time period has passed, it can cost up to $13 dollars each time you want to send your scores to a college, depending on whether you go through The College Board or ACT. Most colleges currently require that you send official transcripts when submitting your application, and that’s just for consideration. That means that if you apply to six or eight schools, you can end up dishing out almost a full $100 just to be considered. That may not be an option for you, and you shouldn’t be hindered in the application process just because you can’t afford to send test scores to every school you want to apply to.

All of these fees can really add up, and self-reporting helps reduce that!

This is where self-reporting comes in. Institutions, like Colby College, have been allowing students to self-report scores since last year, and it works like this: when you fill out your application, you mark your ACT or SAT score yourself. They’ll consider you based on the information you’ve provided, and, once you’re accepted, and have chosen that college in return, only then will you be required to send over the official transcripts. The first year of self-reported test scores for colleges reportedly went exceedingly well — the concerns about honesty regarding test scores were proven to be totally unfounded. Every student had reported their scores accurately. This opens up more doors for students who come from low-income families, and the trend is catching! 

The University of Washington is the latest addition to the list of over 25 colleges now accepting self-reported test scores, and we at College Greenlight are over the moon about this gap-bridging process! Check out the current list of colleges accepting self-reported test scores in the nifty table below. An ever-growing list of schools participating in this movement is available in this Google Doc maintained by Gabrielle McColgan, the Director of College Counseling at Castilleja School in Palo Alto. We hope more and more institutions are added, effectively opening up more options for you!

Keep in mind that some colleges also allow counselors to report scores to colleges as part of an unofficial process to help low-income students, and a complete list of those institutions is available here. It’s constantly updated by the Princeton Review, so check back periodically. Importantly, never hesitate to call the school you’re interested in applying to and ask how they can make applying affordable! Listed below is just a taste of the colleges you’ll find on the full document, so check out all of your options!


Amherst Collegehttps://www.amherst.edu/admission/apply/firstyear/testing
Augustana Collegehttps://augustana.net/x65310.xml
Babson Collegehttp://www.babson.edu/admission/undergraduate/applying-to-babson/Pages/standardized-testing.aspx
Baylor Universityhttps://www.baylor.edu/admissions/index.php?id=872011
Birmingham-Southern Collegehttps://www.bsc.edu/admission/apply.html
Bowdoin Collegehttp://www.bowdoin.edu/admissions/apply/testing-policy.shtml
Carroll Collegehttps://www.carroll.edu/admission-aid/apply
Catawba Collegehttp://catawba.edu/news-events/news/college-news/catawba-college-announces-enhanced-initiatives-assist-applicants/
Champlain Collegehttps://www.champlain.edu/admissions/undergraduate-admissions/how-to-apply-undergraduate/first-year-applicants
Colby Collegehttps://www.colby.edu/admission/apply/first-year/
Colgate Universityhttp://www.colgate.edu/admission-financial-aid/apply/first-year-applicant-checklist
Colorado Collegehttps://www.coloradocollege.edu/admission/application/instructions/
Columbia Universityhttps://undergrad.admissions.columbia.edu/apply/first-year/testing
Dickinson Collegehttp://www.dickinson.edu/homepage/279/apply
Florida State Universityhttp://admissions.fsu.edu/counselors/
Georgia Techhttp://admission.gatech.edu/freshman/standardized-tests
Hampden-Sydney College (VA)http://www.hsc.edu/admissions-and-financial-aid/apply
Harvey Mudd Collegehttps://www.hmc.edu/admission/2017/11/07/harvey-mudd-now-accepting-self-reported-test-scores/
Illinois State Universityhttp://admissions.illinoisstate.edu/counselors/hs/requirements.php
Iowa State Universityhttps://www.admissions.iastate.edu/apply/faq.php
Johns Hopkins Universityhttps://apply.jhu.edu/standardized-test-information/
Kansas State Universityhttp://www.k-state.edu/undergradadmit/qualified_admissions_and_regulations/self_reporting.html
Kenyon Collegehttp://www.kenyon.edu/admissions-aid/how-to-apply/required-submission-of-standardized-testing-score-choice/
Lawrence Universityhttp://www.lawrence.edu/admissions/apply/what_we_consider
New York Institute of Technologyhttps://nyit.edu/admissions/first_year
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineeringhttp://www.olin.edu/admission/apply/process-requirements/
Pomona Collegehttps://www.pomona.edu/admissions/alerts
Saint Anselm Collegehttps://www.anselm.edu/how-apply/first-year-applicants
Southwestern Universityhttp://www.southwestern.edu/live/news/9766-application-faqs
Stanford Universityhttps://admission.stanford.edu/apply/freshman/testing.html
Stevenson Universityhttp://www.stevenson.edu/admissions-aid/admission-requirements/admissions-testing-guidelines.html
Swarthmore Collegehttps://www.swarthmore.edu/admissions-aid/standardized-testing-policy
Texas Christian Universityhttps://admissions.tcu.edu/apply/testing-policy/
University of Hawaii at Manoahttp://manoa.hawaii.edu/admissions/freshman.html
University of Chicagohttps://collegeadmissions.uchicago.edu/apply/application/standardizedtesting
University of Iowahttps://now.uiowa.edu/2012/07/ui-applicants-will-now-self-report
University of Kansashttps://admissions.ku.edu/freshman-requirements-deadlines/applying-to-ku
University of Northern Iowahttps://admissions.uni.edu/undergraduate-admissions-checklist
Washington University at St. Louishttps://admissions.wustl.edu/apply_site/Pages/Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx
Williams Collegehttps://admission.williams.edu/apply/
Worcester Polytechnic Institutehttps://www.wpi.edu/admissions/undergraduate/apply/how-to/self-reported-test-scores


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