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Best Summer Programs That You Can Recommend as an Educational Consultant

If you are an educational consultant looking for ways to help your students succeed, these summer programs should definitely be on your radar. In this article, we will cover the best summer programs available for high school students, delving into why these programs are not just beneficial but critical to your students’ success.

These programs offer a blend of rigorous intellectual challenges, exposure to new ideas, and opportunities for personal growth. The prestige associated with these programs comes from their affiliation with top-tier universities and organizations, a factor that resonates strongly with college admissions officers. 

Participation in these programs signals several key qualities to admissions committees: a student's commitment to academic excellence, their drive to explore and deepen their understanding in specific fields, and their readiness to engage in a challenging college environment. 

In this blog, we cover 10 of the best summer programs that you can recommend as an education consultant to high school students.

Location: MIT

Stipend: Unpaid

Program dates: July - August

Application Deadline: December 13

Eligibility: Rising High School Seniors. It is recommended that PSAT Math Scores be at least 740 or higher and the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score be 700 or higher. ACT math scores should be at least 33 and verbal scores at least 34. 

Research Science Institute (RSI) is a highly prestigious program and unparalleled opportunity for those that want to pursue technology in the future and have a passion for cutting-edge research. This program, hosted by the Center for Excellence in Education, immerses students in an intellectually stimulating environment where they will collaborate with like-minded peers from around the globe. They will dive into high-level scientific inquiry, exploring technological frontiers through hands-on projects, and engaging in discussions with leading researchers and experts in the field. 

The RSI experience extends beyond traditional classroom learning, providing students with access to state-of-the-art laboratories, cutting-edge equipment, and mentorship opportunities with distinguished scientists. They will work on groundbreaking projects in areas like artificial intelligence, robotics, or nanotechnology, gaining practical experience that goes beyond the theoretical. The collaborative nature of the RSI community fosters a rich tapestry of knowledge exchange and networking, opening doors to future collaborations and potential career pathways in technology. By the end of the program, students will not only have honed their technical skills but also developed a deep appreciation for the transformative impact of research and innovation in the technological sphere. For a deep dive into RSI and tips to get in, check out this article!

Location: Cornell University, University of Maryland, and University of Michigan

Cost: Free

Application Deadline: January 3

Program Dates: June 23-August 3

Eligibility: High school sophomores and juniors. Participants must be at least age 15 and no older than age 18 at the start of the program (June 23, 2024). Black and indigenous students, other students of color, and/or students who have experienced economic hardship are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Telluride Association Summer Seminar (TASS) is a remarkable opportunity for sophomores and juniors who are passionate about the humanities. This prestigious program, completely free of charge, offers a six-week summer educational experience that goes far beyond the typical classroom setting. The program’s philosophy centers around fostering critical thinking and building a strong, democratic community among its attendees. Telluride Association covers all associated costs, including tuition, books, room and board, field trips, and facilities fees, ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder talented students from benefiting from this enriching experience. TASS not only provides students with an academic challenge but also surrounds them with a supportive community of like-minded individuals.

Each weekday, students will participate in a three-hour, college-level class that encompasses a range of dynamic educational activities. These include stimulating discussions, small-group work, and lectures delivered by faculty experts. The curriculum involves students engaging with a variety of materials such as books, articles, films, and art. They will also have the opportunity to enhance their writing skills by composing essays throughout the summer, with the benefit of receiving constructive feedback from the instructor team. Outside of class, they will collaborate to make democratic decisions about various aspects of your communal life. This includes planning group activities, organizing community service projects, managing a program budget, and fostering an inclusive community atmosphere. For a deep dive into TASS and tips for applying, check out this article!

Location: Washington DC

Stipend: Hourly stipend 

Program dates: 8 weeks (June - August)

Application Deadline: January

Eligibility: Current high school juniors and seniors 

The Bank of America Student Leaders Program is a great opportunity for community-oriented high school students nationwide. Each year, this program accepts hundreds of high schoolers who demonstrate a strong commitment to their communities. These selected students embark on a rewarding journey through a paid eight-week internship with esteemed nonprofit organizations such as Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Habitat for Humanity. Students learn the ins and outs of how nonprofit organizations operate and contribute significantly to various community service initiatives. 

In addition to the internship, the program participants have the unique opportunity to attend the national Student Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. This week-long event, scheduled for July 22-27, 2024, is an integral part of the program, fully funded to ensure that every student leader can participate without financial burden. During the summit, the students gain a broader perspective on how nonprofits, governments, and businesses collaborate effectively to address local needs. This experience is eye-opening, often inspiring students to leverage their newfound skills and knowledge to initiate further positive changes in their communities. Additionally, the program often includes access to guest lectures and workshops led by experienced professionals. For a deep dive into this program and its benefits, check out this article!

Location: Texas Tech University

Cost: Free

Application deadline: February 15 

Program dates: June 16 to August 1

Eligibility: Applicants must be at least 17 years of age by the program start date, and should graduate in 2023 or 2024. International students are eligible to apply.

The Anson L. Clark Scholars Program at Texas Tech University is renowned for its commitment to intellectual growth and research excellence and offers a distinctive platform for young scholars. Participants in the Clark Scholars Program are provided the unique chance to work closely with Texas Tech's distinguished faculty, both on the general academic campus and at the Health Science Center. This engagement in a research-intensive setting over a seven-week period is a cornerstone of the program, fostering an environment of intellectual exploration and discovery. The program is further enriched with weekly seminars, discussions, and field trips, all curated to develop the participants' critical thinking skills and to deepen their interest in their chosen career paths. Selection for the program is highly competitive and is based on academic achievements, teacher recommendations, and clearly defined career objectives. The caliber of the participants is underscored by their exceptional academic records; for instance, in 2019, the average SAT score of the 12 selected participants was in the 99th percentile, highlighting the program's rigorous selection process.

The Clark Scholars Program has welcomed a diverse group of outstanding high school students, providing them with an unparalleled research experience that is rare in both its scope and depth. What sets the Clark Scholars Program apart is its inclusive approach to academic disciplines, embracing not just candidates from traditional fields like natural sciences and mathematics, but also those passionate about humanities and fine arts. Many former Clark Scholars have leveraged this experience to shape their future academic and professional trajectories, using the insights and skills gained during the program to refine their career aspirations and goals. For a deep dive into this program, check out this article!

Application Deadline: There are 4 cohorts (You can apply here!)

  • Fall 2023: August 27th, 2023

  • Winter 2023: November 26th, 2023

  • Spring 2024: January 14th, 2024

Program Dates: Varies


  • You must be currently enrolled in high school or plan to enroll as a freshman in college in the fall of 2023.

  • Students must demonstrate a high level of academic achievement. (Note. Students have an unweighted GPA of 3.3 out of 4)

  • No previous knowledge of your field of interest is required!

Note. While there is no cut-off for income, past scholars have typically come from households earning less than $50,000 annually (for a typical household of 4) with minimum assets.

The Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation is a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Born out of the Lumiere Research Scholar Program (one of the largest 1-on-1 research initiatives for high school students), the foundation offers the same independent research opportunities at no cost.

The Lumiere Breakthrough Scholar Program is the equivalent of the Individual Research Scholar Program at Lumiere Education. In our flagship program, we pair talented high-school students with world-class Ph.D. mentors to work 1-on-1 on an independent research project. At the end of the 12-week program, they will learn about the cutting edge research done in their fields and develop an independent research paper. They can choose topics from subjects such as psychology, physics, economics, data science, computer science, engineering, chemistry, international relations, and more.

Note: These internships are offered across NASA facilities, along with several virtual options.

Application deadline: January (Fall session) | August (Spring session) | October (Summer session)

Program dates: These internships are offered in 3 sessions – Fall (16-week program, from late August or early September to mid-December) | Spring (16-week program, from mid-January to early May) | Summer (10-week program, from late May or early June to  August).

Eligibility: Internships are available for full-time high school students who meet a minimum 3.0 GPA requirement.

The NASA Office of STEM Engagement (OSTEM) provides an incredible opportunity for high school students to engage in research through its internship program. Students will have the unique chance to contribute to ongoing projects at NASA, working under the guidance of experienced NASA staff. This hands-on experience is invaluable for students, offering a glimpse into the inner workings of one of the world’s leading space agencies.

The OSTEM internships are not just about the work experience; they also focus on comprehensive personal and professional development. The program includes training, mentoring, and career development sessions, which are essential for students at the outset of their academic and professional journeys. Students will have the chance to work alongside some of the best minds in various fields, including science, engineering, finance, information technology, and business. The range of subjects and disciplines available for internships is broad, covering areas like space science, engineering, aeronautics, technology, space microbiology, ecology, outreach, and communications. You can check out a complete list of positions here - you may have to use the “Filter” option to see opportunities only open to high school students. 

Location: Various cities

Cost: $2000

Program dates: Six weeks 

Application Deadline: April

Eligibility: High School Students

The ABA's Judicial Intern Opportunity Program is an exceptional opportunity for high school students to intern with federal or state judges across the United States. This program aims to promote diversity and inclusivity in the legal profession by encouraging talented students from all backgrounds to explore careers in law. Participants get hands-on experience in a court environment, observe trials, and engage in legal research. As an intern, students will have the unique privilege of working directly with judges and their chambers, experiencing the judicial system from the inside. They will have the opportunity to engage in legal research, writing, and observe court proceedings, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the legal process and invaluable practical skills.

The JIOP is best for those who are genuinely committed to pursuing a career in law, specifically those interested in working within the judicial branch of government. This program offers a golden opportunity for students to get their foot in the door of the legal profession, build a network of legal professionals, and gain the kind of real-world experience that can be instrumental in shaping your legal career.

Application deadline: Multiple deadlines throughout the year (Fall deadline on August 27, 2023)

Eligibility: All high school students

Program dates: 8-week programs with multiple cohorts throughout the year

Location: Virtual

Fee: $1,990

Financial assistance: Available

Participating in a Ladder Internship as a high school student is a valuable learning experience. These internships provide a structured pathway for high school students to engage in real-world research and innovation. 

What sets the Ladder Internships apart is their emphasis on mentorship, giving students the chance to work alongside experienced biotech professionals, learn the ropes of cutting-edge research, and contribute to meaningful projects. Participants gain hands-on laboratory experience, exposure to diverse technology disciplines, and the chance to explore areas such as AI, machine learning, and programming. The program's emphasis on hands-on experience allows you to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios, fostering a sense of confidence and adaptability. This internship serves as a bridge between academic learning and practical application, offering a glimpse into future careers in technology.

Location: Smithsonian Science Education Center

Stipend: $2000

Program dates: June - August

Eligibility: 1) Be a high school senior graduating in 2022; 2) Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States with a valid Social Security Number at the time of application; 3) Have a minimum weighted cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale

The Young Ambassadors Program (YAP) at the Smithsonian Institution is a great opportunity for high-achieving, community-conscious high school seniors, particularly those of Latino heritage, who aspire to be future leaders in the arts, sciences, and humanities. This national college preparatory and leadership program is designed to harness the rich resources of the Smithsonian Institution to foster the next generation of leaders. As a participant, students will be part of an exclusive group of selected applicants who embark on a weeklong, pre-professional and pre-collegiate seminar in Washington, D.C. This seminar is not just an educational experience; it’s a deep dive into Latino perspectives, offering a unique blend of cultural and academic enrichment. They will engage with peers from across the nation, sharing experiences and insights, thereby broadening their understanding of diverse viewpoints and cultural backgrounds.

During their time at the Smithsonian, students will have unparalleled access to its vast collections, exhibitions, and experts, providing a stimulating environment for learning and growth. The program focuses on developing leadership skills, enhancing college readiness, and building a strong sense of community and cultural identity. This exposure to the Smithsonian’s resources, coupled with mentorship and networking opportunities, equips you with invaluable tools for your future academic and professional endeavors. The knowledge and experiences gained from the YAP will enhance their college applications and give them valuable material to write and talk about in essays and interviews!

Location: MIT

Cost: Free

Program dates: 6 weeks - Late June to Early August

Application Deadline: February 1

Eligibility: High school juniors; underrepresented, underserved, and first-generation students are especially encouraged to apply.

The MITES (Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science) Summer Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a great opportunity for students passionate about mechanical engineering and STEM fields. This program is particularly beneficial for underrepresented minority students who aspire to pursue careers in engineering. 

Over the course of the program, they will engage in a rigorous curriculum that covers a wide range of STEM disciplines, with a specific focus on mechanical engineering. They will acquire essential knowledge, develop problem-solving skills, and participate in hands-on engineering projects. The final output of the program often includes a capstone project that pushes them to apply what they’ve learned to real-world challenges. 

MITES is a great fit for students who are highly motivated, academically strong, and curious about exploring the possibilities of mechanical engineering at a renowned institution like MIT. However, MITES is highly competitive, and its rigorous nature may be challenging for some students. Additionally, the program is geared towards underrepresented minority students, so it may not be the best fit for everyone. It's crucial for applicants to be aware of the program's goals and eligibility requirements before applying.


Location: Carnegie Mellon University

Cost: Free

Program dates: Six weeks from June to August

Application Deadline: March 1

Eligibility: High school juniors who are at least 16; Underrepresented and underserved students are especially encouraged to apply.

The Carnegie Mellon University Summer Academy for Math and Science (SAMS) offers a comprehensive, immersive experience that combines mathematics, science, and engineering, making it a good choice for students considering a future in mechanical engineering. 

During the program, students will engage with a rigorous curriculum, covering a broad range of STEM subjects, with a focus on mechanics, materials, and design principles. Students are exposed to hands-on projects, problem-solving exercises, and team challenges, gaining both theoretical knowledge and practical skills that are crucial for mechanical engineering. The final output often includes a group project where they apply their learnings to design and build a working prototype, offering a tangible representation of your engineering skills. 

SAMS is highly competitive, and the admissions process can be challenging. The program's intensity and fast-paced curriculum might also be demanding for some students.

Location: Seattle, Washington

Stipend: Some internships provide stipends. 

Program dates: 8-10 weeks (June - August)

Application Deadline: March

Eligibility: High school students 

Participating in the Spark Summer Internships is a great opportunity for students looking to dive into the world of technology. This program, meticulously crafted to provide a comprehensive immersion, offers a unique blend of theoretical learning and practical application. The Spark Summer Internships cater to a spectrum of technological interests, from software development and data analytics to cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Engaging in this program means gaining not only a deeper understanding of cutting-edge technologies but also honing the practical skills essential for success in the rapidly evolving tech landscape.

What sets the Spark Summer Internships apart is their commitment to mentorship and professional development. The program’s structured approach ensures that students not only contribute meaningfully to projects but also have opportunities for skill-building workshops, networking events, and career advice sessions. Whether students aspire to become a software engineer, data scientist, or cybersecurity specialist, the Spark Summer Internships provide a platform for them to explore their interests, gain hands-on experience, and build a foundation for a successful career in technology.

Note: This program is free for those that meet the financial aid requirements.

Application Deadline: May 12

Program Dates: 12-15 weeks starting June 3

Eligibility: All high school students are eligible

The Veritas AI Fellowship is a great opportunity for students who are enthusiastic about exploring the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This program, designed and run by Harvard graduate students and alumni, provides a stimulating and supportive environment for students to deepen their understanding of AI through collaborative learning, project development, and personalized 1-on-1 mentorship. Over a period of 12-15 weeks, students enrolled in the AI Fellowship engage in an independent AI research project, combining AI with a field of their choice. This flexibility has led to diverse and innovative projects in areas like AI & medicine, AI & finance, AI & environmental science, and AI & education, among others. The program is structured in phases to optimize learning and project development.

In the first four weeks, the Exploration & Learning Phase, students immerse themselves in key concepts of their chosen fields. This includes identifying the research question and understanding the necessary machine learning models. The next phase, spanning weeks 5 to 8, focuses on Ideation & Data Exploration. Here, students analyze data and work closely with their mentors to assess the feasibility of their project, exploring the resources available for their research. The final phase, weeks 9 to 15, is the Execution Phase. During this time, students work intensively on their projects, utilizing one-on-one mentorship to address challenges in coding and further develop their ideas. This mentorship is crucial, as it provides expert guidance and support, helping students navigate the complexities of AI research.

A basic understanding of Python is expected of students before joining the program. Those who are not yet proficient are recommended to complete the AI Scholars program to build a foundational knowledge of the language. The culmination of the AI Fellowship is a presentation of the project to peers, allowing students to showcase their research and the skills they have acquired. The Veritas AI Fellowship is particularly suited for high school students with a passion for AI and a desire to conduct independent research. It's an excellent fit for those who are self-motivated, curious, and looking to combine AI with other fields of interest. 

Location: Online and in-person

Cost: Free

Application Deadline: February 15

Program Dates: A multi-week, hybrid summer intensive beginning with online workshops in July and culminating in a 10-day residential experience on Princeton's campus in early August

Eligibility: Be a junior in high school at the time of application, Live in the United States and intend to attend college here, Have a minimum unweighted grade point average equivalent to a 3.5 out of 4.0, Have an interest in journalism, Meet at least one of the socioeconomic conditions listed here

The Princeton Summer Journalism Program is a great way for students to dive into the world of journalism, blending online workshops, lectures, and a residential institute to provide a multifaceted learning opportunity. Throughout the month of July, they will engage in online sessions with distinguished journalists from across the country, immersing themselves in the intricacies of the field. These workshops not only cover essential journalistic skills but also include discussions on current events, ensuring that they stay informed about the ever-evolving landscape of news and media.

An integral aspect of the program is the residential institute, where they move from their hometowns to Princeton University. This immersive experience involves staying in University undergraduate dorms and attending workshops and lectures conducted by renowned educators and journalists. The curriculum takes a liberal arts approach, encompassing discussions on humanities, arts, culture, social events, and history, enriching students' contextual understanding of journalism. Moreover, they collaborate with college counselors to advance components of their college applications, highlighting the program's commitment to both journalistic excellence and academic preparation. 

The hands-on nature of the program is exemplified by a myriad of activities. They will witness journalism in action through visits to major news organizations like The New York Times, Huffington Post, and Bloomberg. They cover professional sports events, report on news in the Princeton area, produce digital content, attend cultural productions, and even undertake investigative reporting. The culmination of their efforts is the creation of The Princeton Summer Journal, a student-authored newspaper that reflects their collective dedication to reporting, writing, editing, and design. For a deep dive into this program, check out this article!

Location: Virtual

Stipend: Non-Paid

Program dates: End of June to Mid August

Application Deadline: January

Eligibility: Must be currently a high school junior or senior in the 2022-2023 school year (i.e. 11th or 12th grade at the time of application) OR a full-time CC student (within first three years of CC)

Stanford's STEM: Summer Internship is an exceptional opportunity, hosted by one of the world's renowned institutions, that offers a unique gateway into the heart of technological innovation. Throughout the internship, students will find themselves engaged in cutting-edge projects and collaborative endeavors, providing hands-on experiences that transcend traditional classroom learning. They will spend most of the time conducting research from where you are residing (if you are working on hardware projects, we will send you materials) and be in regular communication with your mentor(s) and group members. They may expect 30-40 hours of work a week. Stanford's distinguished faculty and industry experts act as guides, imparting invaluable insights that deepen your understanding of technology's ever-evolving landscape.

Participating in Stanford's STEM program not only equips students with technical skills but also cultivates a mindset crucial for success in the dynamic field of technology. The program's emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration mirrors the real-world scenarios in tech industries, fostering adaptability and resilience. The networking opportunities within Stanford's esteemed community and the chance to contribute to groundbreaking projects make this internship a transformative experience.

Young Founders Lab

If you’re looking for an incubator program that helps you establish a developed startup in high school, consider the Young Founders Lab! 

The Young Founder’s Lab is a real-world start-up bootcamp founded and run by Harvard entrepreneurs. In this program, you will work towards building a revenue-generating start-up that addresses a real-world problem. You will also have the opportunity to be mentored by established entrepreneurs and professionals from Google, Microsoft, and X. 

You can access the application link here!

If you’d like to recommend a rigorous research program open to high schoolers, you may want to consider the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded by researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here. You can also reach out to us at to know more, or to have a chat about possible collaborations!

Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!

Jessica attends Harvard University where she studies Neuroscience and Computer Science as a Coca-Cola, Elks, and Albert Shankar Scholar. She is passionate about educational equity and hopes to one day combine this with her academic interests via social entrepreneurship. Outside of academics, she enjoys taking walks, listening to music, and running her jewelry business! 

Image Source: RSI logo



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