If you’re a high schooler with a strong interest in entrepreneurship and are looking to develop some business skills while also earning college credit, this post has you covered. Babson College, which was named the best college for business majors by Money offers a unique summer program tailored for high school juniors and seniors. This program is designed to foster an entrepreneurial mindset and prepare you for better problem-solving and tackling real-world problems.
In this blog, you can read all about Babson’s Summer Study, its structure, costs, eligibility, important dates and deadlines, and above all, our review of the program.
What is Babson’s Summer Study?
Babson's Summer Study is an intensive three-week experiential online program that is designed to immerse you in the world of entrepreneurship. You will spend the program strengthening your understanding of the United Nations’ Global Goals and developing the competencies and skills necessary to address real-world problems and make an impact. You will be working both individually and with global peers in cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset.
While being part of the Summer Study program doesn't guarantee entry into Babson College, it certainly provides an edge (covered in more detail below). One of the highlights of the program is the opportunity to work on real-world venture ideas, conduct market research, feasibility analysis, and more. Alumni of the program have gone on to create innovative solutions to various economic, social, and environmental challenges.
Is It Prestigious?
The Summer Study program is distinctive as it offers college credits at Babson itself. Babson College has scored multiple top 3 rank awards over the years across such publications as Forbes, Bloomberg, Money, and Financial Times. Its faculty have contributed to extensive research in their respective fields. If you are looking to use this program as a gateway to Babson itself, then having it on your profile will demonstrate an interest in Babson as well as the field of entrepreneurship and innovation, and equip you with skills.
In terms of its selectivity, the requirement of teacher recommendations and three essays in the application indicates that it is slightly selective. However, given that it is a purely virtual program with a larger focus on academic learning over practical application, you may find it a lot less impactful as opposed to participating in competing programs like Leangap or LaunchX - that is, if your goal is to start your own business, and not learning about foundational concepts in business and entrepreneurship.
Eligibility and Admission Details
Keen on applying? Check the admission criteria and process below:
Who is eligible: All applicants must be rising high school juniors or seniors aged 16 or above at the time of enrollment. International students are also free to apply.
English Proficiency: Applicants whose native language is not English including international students must prove sufficient English proficiency by providing the results of one of the following exams-
Cambridge Assessment English Qualifications
Duolingo English Test
You must score the equivalent of a 90 TOEFL score to qualify.
How to apply: You will need to apply via an account on the Babson website according to the instructions provided. The application includes three 250-word essays.
Recommendation letter(s): A recommendation letter from your guidance counselor or academic teacher is required.
Transcripts: A copy of your high school or secondary school transcript must be included with your application, and submitted directly by a school official via a link provided by Babson.
What are the costs?: $5,995 + a non-refundable $95 application fee
Is there financial aid?: Babson provides limited need-based full and partial scholarships
What are the key dates: While the admissions and course are over for 2023, next year’s dates should look similar to these-
Application Deadline: March 15, 2023
Acceptance Decisions by April 3, 2023
Admitted Student Night: April 26, 2023
Forms Due: April 24, 2023
Full Tuition Due: June 1, 2023
Course Dates: July 7 - July 28, 2023
What are the timings: You will have to choose one of two live meeting batches that best align with your timezone-
Cohort One Live meetings: 7:00 AM EDT to 10:00 AM EDT OR
Cohort Two Live meetings: 9:00 AM EDT to 12:00 PM EDT
Program Structure and Pedagogy
The program is delivered online, ensuring a diverse cohort from around the globe. It offers a blend of live class sessions, asynchronous learning, group meetings, and individual assignments. The pedagogy they follow is Babson’s trademarked Entrepreneurial Thought & Action method, which will teach you a careful balance of predictive business analysis and iterative experimentation that incorporates failure as a step in the growth process.
Babson’s trademarked Entrepreneurial Thought & Action method
The Summer Study program falls under Babson’s Institute for Social Innovation. Its faculty, led by Dr. Beth Goldstein, comprises experienced educators and entrepreneurs from institutions like Harvard and IESE. You will also be working with Academic Mentors, former undergraduates, and graduates of Babson who have shown both leadership and knowledge, to further enhance your learning. Finally, the program also boasts guest lectures from corporate giants like Campbell Soup Company, Verizon Wireless, and Best Buy, to ensure that you are not limited to corporate theory and understand its practical applications.
To be able to fit in all of the above in the relatively short duration of three weeks, you will be attending live sessions for 3 hours a day, and dedicating at least another 5 hours a day on out-of-class assignments, both individually and with your team. You will be able to take advantage of the combination of synchronous live classes and asynchronous learning as you work with global peers.
Pros and Cons
You will gain exposure to Babson’s ET&A™ pedagogy: You’ll be tackling a comprehensive entrepreneurial curriculum with a trademarked methodology to ensure a seamless transition from theory to practice, teaching you everything from risk-reward analysis to decision-making techniques.
You will gain exposure to Babson’s faculty, mentors, and alumni: You will be interacting daily with a combination of world-class business faculty, including but not limited to personalities like Dr. Donna Kelley, a globally recognized contributor in the field of entrepreneurship, and Dr. Vincent Onyemah, a serial entrepreneur who’s studied at both INSEAD and IESE. Beyond these doyens, you will be working with academic mentors and industry experts.
You can earn credits: You will earn 4 credits for doing this summer program, which can potentially help you if you continue to apply for and get into Babson College.
You will work with global peers: The online-only nature of the program with the two live meeting times available to cater to students from different time zones will ensure that you will be working with peers in different parts of the world, from different economic and cultural backgrounds. This diversity will only deepen your learning.
Financial aid and scholarship options are available: Babson has financial aid options available if you require them, which will be assessed and disbursed on a case-by-case basis
The lack of in-person interaction: You will not be able to interact directly with the professors, mentors, industry lecturers, or even your peers, somewhat limiting the networking potential and even the learning of the program.
The program is more focused on theory: The Summer Study program is largely academic, as it is online only. This can be a hindrance if you’re gunning to start your own business. If you are looking for an entrepreneurship program that forces you to step out of your comfort zone and work on real-life problems, then you would be better served by checking programs like LaunchX or Leangap.
The program is heavily priced: Despite being online, Babson’s Summer Study is arguably one of the most expensive summer entrepreneurship programs available. The fees might be prohibitive if you are unable to secure financial aid.
Babson's Summer Study Program stands out as a solid academic entrepreneurship program with a tried-and-tested pedagogy, strong faculty, and a large, diverse cohort. If you are able to deal with the higher fee and are more interested in the foundational concepts of entrepreneurship, or if you are actually gunning to Babson’s teaching style, and faculty, then this program is a strong contender for your summer.
Lumiere Research Scholar Program
If you’re looking for the opportunity to do in-depth research on aspects of business, strategy and entrepreneurship, you could also consider applying to one of the Lumiere Research Scholar Programs, selective online high school programs for students I founded with 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.
Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.
Image Source: Babson College logo