• January 16, 2019
  • BLOG

How Ivy Link’s Top Students Make the Most of Summer

To ensure students have an engaging summer, and consequently a competitive college application, consider enrolling in academically-focused summer programs.They not only contribute to students’ overall learning, but also help applicants stand out beyond GPA, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities. During your summer programs search, it’s important to keep in mind a few key ideas:

It’s never too early to apply to a summer program! Know that there are summer programs available to support the academic endeavors of younger students, particularly those transitioning from middle school to high school. Through the Boston Architectural College high school Design Exploration Summer Academy, 9th and 10th graders participate and gain valuable technical skills in software such as Photoshop, InDesign, and SketchUp while 11th and 12th graders learn how to solve more complex architectural problems. Another program within the STEM realm is Botball®: an “Educational Robotics Program” enabling middle school students to engage in a collaborative robotics competition. While neither of these programs are local to the Tri-State Area, they reveal two of the thousands of programs available for pre-10th grade students in the United States. Consider learning more about how college applications start in the 9th grade this February in New York City.

Understand that big-name universities will turn heads, but they aren’t everything. What’s more important are the goals and opportunities afforded within individual programs. Consider the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn): ranked and tied at #8 for National Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, this institution is a highly-respected institution with several high school summer research academies, such as the Biomedical Research Academy.

While reputable by nature, a closer look at the Academy’s description and 2018 program syllabus shows that students mainly take a college-level course and complete associated homework assignments, lab work, and journal club discussions. Now focus on the University of South Carolina’s Carolina Journalism Institute (CJI). Although the University ranks at #106, its program provides participants with the chance to create elaborate, in-depth digital media projects composed of written, visual, and social media elements. CJI is an example of a program that provides unique opportunities in a short amount of time.

Keep in mind your “why” behind wanting to pursue a summer program. Do you want to learn new or further enhance certain skills? Are you hoping to enter postsecondary education with college credits under your belt? Questioning your motive in a constructive manner will help clarify your overall goals for creating a productive summer

There are alternatives to summer programs, especially if you’re unable to travel outside the Tri-State Area or afford certain programs for lengthy periods of time. There are single or few-day workshops, competitions, and companies that allow students to volunteer and gain valuable experience. It’s just a matter of where and when they occur!

For further guidance, Schedule a consultation with Ivy Link today! Our goal is to help students succeed through every stage of the college admissions process.