We guide future leaders in Entrepreneurship and Computer Sciences. For other careers, we guide students to our vast database of programs.
Competitive Summer Programs
- California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS)
- Bank of America Student Leaders
- Boston University – Research in Science & Engineering (RISE)
- Canada/USA Mathcamp
- Carnegie Mellon – Summer Academy for Math + Science (SAMS)
- Cronkite Institute for High School Journalism: Summer Journalism Institute
- Foundation for Teaching Economics – Economics for Leaders (EFL)
- Garcia Scholars – Stony Brook University
- Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Camp
- Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics (HCSSIM)
- Indiana University – Young Women’s Institute
- Jackson Laboratory – Summer Student Program
- JCamp - For Journalism students
- LaunchX - Entrepreneurship program
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Minority Introduction to Science and Engineering (MITES) (FREE)
- MathILy – Bryn Mawr College
- MDI Biological Laboratory Summer Research Fellowship
- Michigan Math and Science Scholars
- Michigan State University – High School Honors
- Science, Math, and Engineering Program (HSHSP)
- MIT Research Science Institute
- Monell Center Science Apprenticeship Program
- National Institutes of Health – Summer Internship in Biomedical Research (SIP)
- Ohio State University – Ross Mathematics Program
- Princeton University – Summer Journalism Program
- Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists (PROMYS)
- Simons Summer Research Program
- Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR)
- Stanford University Mathematics Camp (SUMaC)
- Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP)
- Texas Tech University – Clark Scholars FREE
- University of Iowa – Secondary Student Training Program (SSTP)
- The University of Notre Dame – Leadership Seminars
- The University of Pennsylvania – Leadership in the Business World
- U.S. Air Force Academy – Summer Seminar
- U.S. Coast Guard Academy – Academy Introduction Mission (AIM)
- U.S. Military Academy – Summer Leaders Experience
- U.S. Naval Academy – Summer Seminar
- Yale Young Global Scholars
How do you write a good COSMOS personal statement essay?
Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to COSMOS? If there’s anything you want us to know about you, but didn’t find a question or place in the application to tell us, now’s your chance. Highlight a skill, talent, challenge, or opportunity that you think will help us know you better? 300 words
Go through the outlined activities below. Part of the response strategy is the mindset of the student as they write the essay. Think like you meet someone new for a coffee, and they ask you each of the questions below; what tone and succinctness would you apply? Write no more than 3-4 lines per question. Just focus on a quality story narrative, your learnings, and how the experience impacted your life.
- A time you overcame adversity, fear of failure.
- The first time you experienced some life event and how it changed you.
- The story of a relationship you had with someone and what you learned.
- A time you deviated from social expectations and what that meant to you.
- A life-changing childhood incident.
- A story from your family life or travels that shaped you
Here's a template to think through the COSMOS cluster-specific essay; applicable to all summer programs when they ask the question why do you want to apply to this specific program?
Program session or Cluster Essays Criteria (200 words)
Be ready with all these points as you answer the question
- What intrigued you in the cluster details
- How you will apply the learnings
- Why are you uniquely qualified
- What other related qualities do you have that will benefit the class
COSMOS Program Overview
COSMOS is an intensive four-week summer residential program for students who have demonstrated an aptitude for academic and professional careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Talented and motivated students completing grades 8-12 have the opportunity to be mentored by renowned faculty, researchers, and scientists in state-of-the-art facilities while exploring advanced STEM topics far beyond the courses usually offered in California high schools. Through challenging curricula that are both hands-on and lab intensive, COSMOS fosters its students’ interests, skills, and awareness of educational and career options in STEM fields. https://cosmos-ucop.ucdavis.edu/app/main/main-page
Students apply to one of the four University of California’s COSMOS campuses — UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Cruz. (Choose one, select a couple of clusters)
While each campus employs the best practices in STEM education, the curriculum of each program builds on the unique teaching and research expertise of its faculty and host campus.
Each campus can only accommodate about 160-200 participants, so the selection is competitive. The acceptance rates at the popular UCs like San Diego and Davis is in the low 205 whereas Irvine and Santa Cruz is higher.
- Grades, especially in math and science courses. A typical COSMOS student has a GPA of 3.5 or above. Students must have achieved academic excellence.
- Math/science teacher recommendations
- One must be a STEM teacher and both should be someone who can speak to your academic and leadership qualities.
- Keep the recommendations blind. (you waive the right to access the contents of the recommendations)
- Statement of Interest (300 words) Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to COSMOS? If there’s anything you want us to know about you, but didn’t find a question or place in the application to tell us, now’s your chance. What have you not shared with us that will highlight a skill, talent, challenge, or opportunity that you think will help us know you better?
- Cluster choice essay: Why did you select this cluster (maximum two clusters)? (200-word limit)
- (Optional) Explain how have you met the cluster prerequisites (200 words per cluster)
Free Summer Programs
#1. Annenberg Youth Academy for Media and Civic Engagement
Four-week intensive summer academy for 26 talented high school students from the communities surrounding the campus of USC University and the health science campuses. Students are exposed to the equivalent of freshman university courses and develop a rich conceptual understanding and practice of the necessary role played by media and journalism in the formation of civic and innovative thought leaders. The program is not residential.
#2. Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS) at Penn State
BOSS is a two-week residential program for high school students interested in obtaining a business education in college. It is an opportunity for these students to take college preparatory courses and business fundamentals taught by Penn State faculty. Participants will also be able to see what college life is like by living in a college dorm during their two-week stay at the University Park campus in Penn State.
#3. Carnegie Mellon University Summer Opportunities for Access and Inclusion
Their summer programs offer young people and seniors the opportunity to focus on creativity and problem solving, in a challenging and supportive environment, which provides basic elements for future studies in a rigorous university environment. The course selection includes STEM, Fine Arts, Artificial Intelligence Field and more. There will be no tuition, room or board fees for students selected to attend these programs.
#4. American Collegiate Adventures
American Collegiate Adventures offers programs both in the United States and abroad. The programs range from one to five weeks, all of which are details on the website. Your 4-week program, for example, takes place during the summer in Wisconsin and details the process of admission to the university.
#5. Cornell University Curie Academy
Curie Academy is a one-week residential program for high school girls who excel in math and science. Older people on the rise (class of 2022) who are African-American, Latino, Native American / Alaska Native, or Pacific Islander and/or the first generation who meet the requirements will automatically be considered for an exemption of the full enrollment for the CURIE 2022 Academy.
#6. Telluride Association Summer Programs (TASP)
TASP is a six-week educational experience for high school students. Students participate in seminars led by members of colleges and universities and participate in educational and social activities outside the classroom. The Telluride Association seeks students of all types of educational backgrounds who share a passion for learning; the students who attend want a personal and intellectual challenge. The programs do not offer grades or college credits.
#7. Inspiring Girls Expeditions
Inspiring Girls Expeditions offers wildlife expeditions without registration in Alaska, Switzerland, Canada and other places for young women. Each year they select expedition teams of 8-9 teenage girls and 3 instructors to spend 12 days exploring and learning about a remote and wild environment. Through scientific field studies with her team of professional scientists, artists and wildlife guides, the girls will develop critical thinking skills, gain self-confidence and make lasting friendships.
#8. Bentley University Summer Athletic Camps
Bentley University offers a free high school summer programs. The Summer Athletic Camps of Bentley University have earned a reputation as one of the best teaching fields for athletics in New England. The university offers summer sports camps for high school students in basketball, volleyball, field hockey and more. Bentley camps provide students with the opportunity to learn strategies and game skills from quality players and first-class coaches, providing a fun and interactive environment, along with state-of-the-art facilities.
#9. University of Pennsylvania Programs for High School Students
Penn’s summer programs combine rigorous work in the classroom and in the laboratory with a wide range of social activities, trips, and excursions. Opportunities are available for those who wish to live on campus or travel daily. Penn’s free summer programs for high school students provide a college-level experience that facilitates the transition from high school to college.
#10. University of New Hampshire Upward Bound Summer Program
The University of New Hampshire Upward Bound Summer Program was created to help eligible students achieve their higher education goals through a free, federally funded college preparatory program. During their six-week summer residential program, students live on the campus of the University of New Hampshire and take academic courses, participate in enrichment activities, receive tutoring and attend career workshops, college visits and help navigate through the application process of the university.
#11. Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES)
This six-week program gives students the opportunity to live on the MIT campus while taking five courses (physics, calculus, life sciences, humanities, and a STEM elective class), each with homework and exams. During the program, students will also participate in social events and build a community with their peers. All educational, food and boarding costs are generously covered by our sponsors. Students only pay for transportation to and from MIT.
#12. Girls Coding Summer Immersion Programs
Girls Who Code is “a national non-profit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology.” Their summer immersion programs combine project-based learning with aspects such as networking and connecting with women in high-tech companies.
The free seven-week program is open to current high school sophomores and high school girls. During summer programs, girls will learn to code and get exposure to jobs in the technology industry. The programs are in several cities of the nation.
#13. Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS)
PAYS offers 90 local high school students the opportunity to participate in a combination of courses, cultural events, workshops, projects and field trips during the intensive 4-week residential program, as well as throughout the academic year. Pomona College covers all costs, including lodging, food, activities, and transportation to excursions. Students will only be required to bring basic school supplies, such as pencils and paper.
Mathcamp s an intensive five-week summer program in which students can explore several principles of mathematics. Students can learn about undergraduate and graduate subjects by linking with a diverse group of people who share a common love of mathematics. The program offers courses, problem-solving sessions, and lectures by outstanding mathematicians. The program is open to students from 13 to 18 years old. A qualification questionnaire is required for all applicants.
#15. National Youth Science Camp (NYSC)
The National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) is an intense one-month camp for young scientists the summer after graduating from high school. Students must demonstrate academic competence in math or science, as well as other documented leadership skills. Located in a rustic setting, students from across the country are challenged in conferences, field studies and can participate in an outdoor adventure program.
#16. Summer Study Programs
The Summer Study Programs at a variety of schools such as Georgetown, UCLA, and Cambridge, combine academically challenging courses with the fun and excitement of campus and life abroad. High school students can choose from a variety of programs, ranging from 2 to 6 weeks
#17. Princeton Summer Journalism Program
The PSJP offers students from historically underrepresented backgrounds with an interest in journalism a 10-day summer program where they expose students to the variety of opportunities available in the field of journalism;
- Present them with the basic skills they need to inform your own newspaper and
- Produce a short documentary,
- Take them to visit the main news media in New York and present different perspectives on the types of post-secondary preparation that are required for the job.
All travel costs, lodging, food, and supplies during the summer program are paid, although students are encouraged to bring money to buy souvenirs or treat off-campus.
#18. California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS)
California State Math and Science Summer School (COSMOS) is a four-week summer residential program that provides high school students who have demonstrated skills within STEM subjects (science, technology, math, and engineering) opportunities to explore beyond your usual secondary school curriculum. Students can work on advanced topics with faculty members, renowned scientists, and researchers, as well as experience cutting-edge laboratory environments and facilities. Participants will also have the opportunity to take university-level courses and learn about educational and professional options in the fields of STEM.
#19. Sadie Nash Summer Institute
The Summer Institute is an award-winning 6-week summer program for self-identified young women currently attending high school in the New York / Newark, NJ area. All participants receive a weekly stipend and unlimited MetroCard. The program includes social justice classes, field trips, workshops and meetings with women leaders.
#20. Carnegie Mellon University – Summer Academy for Mathematics + Science (SAMS)
SAMS programs are for high school students who enter their high school or high school year and are interested in mathematics-based disciplines, such as engineering or science. The six-week practical program takes place at Carnegie Mellon University and focuses on the technical areas of study, and is based on the academic and personal skills required for admission to the best universities.
#21. USC Bovard Scholars
USC Bovard Scholars offers a three-week summer residency on the USC campus where students will experience college life first-hand. Once the summer program ends, students will work with a dedicated admissions coach throughout the application process to the university. The program is free for students or families. USC will pay transportation to and from the campus for students coming from outside of Southern California.
10 Online Internships for High Schoolers
1. EnergyMag Internship
Looking to help make the world a better place? Through EnergyMag’s internships, open to high school and college students, you’ll gain experience working in the renewable energy sector. You’ll gain research and analytical skills and work experience via half-time (2-8 weeks, 20 hours per week) or quarter-time (1-9 months, 8 hours per week) internships.
2. PHC Group, LLC Mary Miller Summer Program
Rising high school seniors and new graduates can gain leadership skills and explore independent interests through this paid internship. Working under the guidance of the public health director, you’ll work on social media and community projects, as well as conduct research on social trends.
3. Upkey Leadership & Career Readiness Internship
Upkey offers 1,000 new virtual internships to equip students with leadership and career readiness skills each quarter. Through project-based learning and micro-internships across different business functions, high school seniors and college students can gain skills and explore concepts such as financial literacy, multichannel marketing, understanding social equity, and more.
4. Geosciences Bridge Program
The Geosciences Bridge Program is a 6-week paid internship at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore for students interested in ocean sciences, atmospheric sciences, and geographic information systems. The program is not only filled with lectures, fun field trips, and hands-on activities, but interns also earn college credits! Even better, the program covers housing, meals, and travel to and from the University of Maryland East Shore.
5. Smithsonian Internships
The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest and most prominent museum system. The Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships & Internships offers a wide range of intriguing internship opportunities throughout the various Smithsonian museums. Students can find positions in art history, business and administration, museum conservation, and much more.
6. Spikeview Social Media and Product Strategy Internship
Spikeview is a mobile platform that allows teenagers to showcase their unique experiences and achievements. It’s kind of like LinkedIn, but for teens. Spikeview is offering unpaid internships and ambassadorship programs to high school students throughout the US to provide experience in marketing and business/product strategy. This Social Media and Product Strategy Internship will let you work with outreach teams and even the CEO.
7. United Planet Virtual Internship
United Planet is a global non-profit with the mission of fostering a global community through volunteership. Students over the age of 16 can intern in the fields of global health, environmental sustainability, and children and education. This opportunity will allow students to broaden their understanding of various cultures throughout the world, while also expanding their network by working with teams of like-minded students.
8. NASA High School Internship Program
NASA offers high school internship programs to students year-round. Typically, these internships are in-person at one of NASA’s many centers countrywide, but due to COVID-19 NASA is offering these amazing internship opportunities virtually. This high school internship program allows students to work on a variety of different projects, and there is no prior experience required to apply! Most interns are offered a stipend depending on their academic level and internship length.
9. U.S. Department of State’s Pathways Internship Program
The U.S. Department of State’s Pathways Internship Program provides students with paid opportunities to explore various Federal career paths. One current position is the Pathways Internship Student Trainee with the Department of Health and Human Services. There are three options within this role, including an Administrative Trainee, Public Health Analyst Trainee, and Information Technology Trainee.
10. DOROT Summer Teen Internship Program
DOROT is a non-profit organization that aims to support the aging population through volunteership and meaningful support. DOROT’s internship program allows students to learn about the various needs of the aging population while also being actively involved in discussion groups strategizing to improve direct impact. As a result of COVID-19, this is the first time this awesome internship is being offered remotely.