Teen Advisor Teen Advisor
  Home About Us Contact Us

Summer School

YUCK - Summer School!

      Lots of teens have bad thoughts when they here about summer school - those students who were slackers and didn't pass their courses get rounded up and shut in a building during the balmy summer days when others are lying around the pool. Yes, lots of high schools do have mandatory summer school for students who have "under performed." But summer school can also mean attending classes at a college, in programs students actually compete to get into.

A Variety of Programs and Benefits

     These days, there are summer schools for just about every type of student, whether you'd like to work on academic subjects or developing skills such as playing an instrument or sport.

Pursue Your Interests

     Use a summer program to develop a talent or interest in the arts, humanities, or the sciences.

Gain Experience Outside of the Classroom

     Summer school programs often involve a lot more hands-on learning than you'll find in your regular classes. Many residential summer school programs include sports, travel, and social activities in their curricula. Personal development and leadership skills are also major themes.

Improve Your High School Transcript

      Attending a challenging summer school program can increase your chances of getting into a competitive college. In fact, some summer school programs are as competitive as colleges!

Try Your Hand at Real College Work

      If you're craving more in-depth study of a subject you're interested in, and high school classes leave you wanting more, college-level classes may be the answer. Or, if you simply want to explore a particular school, or experience college classes, it's a great preview.

      Most colleges welcome anyone who wants to learn into their normal college-level classes. Of course, they give priority to students who are enrolled full time, but more often than not room is available. Call the colleges on your wish list. Ask if they have a summer semester and get them to send you a catalog.

     If you are motivated and able, it's also possible to enroll in college classes during your normal school year. But make sure the extra workload won't interfere with your high school work.

The Cost

     Private summer schools can be expensive, but the good news is that Governors' Schools and similar programs supported by state and federal education funding tend to be less so -- some are even free of charge, and most offer financial aid based on need.

      Private summer schools, like the program offered at Harvard, also offer a limited amount of financial aid, so don't cross them off your list just because they carry a hefty price tag.

Summer School Tips

     When looking for a summer school program, here are some important factors to consider:

* How much of the summer do you want to commit to school? Programs range from five days to eight weeks.
* What do you want to get out of summer school? Do you want to turbo charge your academics? Act in a play? Teach young children? Learn how a political campaign is conducted? Polish up a second language? Work with engineers in the computer industry?
* Where do you want to stay? Do you want a residential program where you live in dorms with other students or would you prefer to live at home, attending school only during the day?
* Can you get high-school (or college) credit for summer school courses? Receiving credit depends both on the school where you take the course and on your home school.
* How much can you spend on summer school? If the answer is nothing, are free programs available in your state or school district?

Related Links
High School
Selecting Courses
Time Management
Surviving Exams
Note-Taking Strategies
Writing Skills
Extracurricular Activities
Work Experience
Planning For College
Taking Time Off
College Financial Aid
Tips for College Admissions
College Visit and Interview
Interview Suggestions & Questions
College Application
College Essay & Tips
Letters of Recommendation
College Application Checklist