25 Recognizable College Prep Programs For High School Students | National Society of Secondary Education Scholars (2023)

College prep programs are opportunities for high school students to use their summer vacations to explore their academic interests, learn about college life, and meet like-minded students from around the world. Many college prep programs for high school students take place on a college campus and focus on multiple subjects, such as journalism, entrepreneurship, or computer science, to broaden students' understanding of their interests. Most programs last 1 to 7 weeks and students live on campus or may travel to and from campus during this time.

Get on one of themPre-College Summer ProgramIt can be a great addition to your resume, but be careful when choosing a program as there are many who take advantage of students and test every student who applies. College admissions professors know which programs are legitimate and which are just sources of income. So be selective and do your research when applying. To help you, we've compiled a list of 25 recognizable ones.College prep programs for high school students:

1.Bank of America Student Guide

Bank of America's Student Leaders Program is part of Bank of America's ongoing commitment to youth employment and economic mobility. 225 youth and seniors are selected each year to attend a leadership summit in Washington DC and receive paid internships with local nonprofits like Boys & Girls Club or Habitat for Humanity, where they learn first-hand about the needs of their community .

2.Carnegie Mellon Summer School of Mathematics and Science

This is a six-week summer program for historically underrepresented minority groups interested in STEM-related graduate degrees. Students can choose between two different fields of study: natural and engineering sciences or computer science. Promising youth and seniors are encouraged to apply, although a limited number of youth will be accepted.

3.Center of Excellence in Education - Research Sciences Institute (RSI)

Each summer, 80 students are selected for the free MIT Research Institute, where they participate in an intensive STEM week, followed by a 5-week research internship culminating in written and oral presentations of their research.

4.Yale Young Global Scholars

This two-week academic and leadership program at Yale combines lectures, seminars, and small group discussions designed to challenge and inspire students in careers ranging from applied science and engineering to literature, philosophy, and culture.

5.University of Pennsylvania - Leadership in Business

A month-long summer program for 80 high school seniors who want an introduction to business administration and the opportunity to improve their leadership, teamwork and communication skills. Students have the opportunity to learn about leadership in 21st century organizations through a dynamic and rigorous combination of classes with professors and business leaders, company visits and team building activities.

6.University of Notre Dame Leadership Seminars

Designed for 90 academically gifted students who demonstrate impressive leadership in their communities, this 10-day program on the Notre-Dame campus focuses on issues such as global issues, the environment and the state of race in 21st-century America. century. . Students are eligible to receive college credit upon completion of the program.

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7.Texas Tech University - Clark-Studenten

This 7-week research program for aspiring juniors and seniors guides students through hands-on research experience with experienced faculty and includes fun activities, weekly seminars, and field trips.

8.Telluride Partnership (TASP) Summer Program

TASP is a free six-week educational experience for high school students and focuses on an academic seminar that takes place for three hours each weekday morning. In addition to the seminar, students participate in a public lecture program, attend guest speaker conferences, and engage in other social and intellectual activities as a community.

9.Mathematikcamp der Stanford University (SuMaC)

SUMac takes participants on a journey into advanced mathematics with lectures, guided research, and group problem solving over three weeks. In a mathematics-oriented social environment, participants explore current lines of mathematical research, the historical development of important areas of mathematics, and applications in scientific disciplines.

10Simon's Summer Research Program

The Simons Summer Research Program is a 6-week program for aspiring seniors who will work with distinguished Stony Brook University faculty mentors, learn laboratory techniques and tools, be part of active research teams, and experience life at one of the finest universities.

11Mathematics Program for Young Scientists (PROMYS)

PROMYS is a six-week summer program at Boston University designed to encourage 80 highly motivated high school students from across the country to further explore the creative world of mathematics in a supportive community of peers, advisors, mathematical researchers, and visiting scholars.

12Princeton University Summer Journalism Program

Between 35 and 40 low-income seniors are selected for this ten-day journalism seminar. The goal of the program is to diversify college and specialty newsrooms by encouraging low-income students in particular to pursue careers in journalism. All expenses, including student travel to and from Princeton, are paid for by the program.

13Ohio State University - Ross-Mathematikprogramm

The Ross Math Program is a six-week program for students ages 15-18 with an interest in math and science. Students take a basic number theory course and delve into a world of mathematical discovery.

14Monell Center Science Learning Program

Monell Learning is a paid internship program for high school and college students in Philadelphia that provides students with hands-on research training, enhances student science learning, encourages critical thinking and communication skills, and increases appreciation of the chemical senses.

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15.Michigan State University - High School Science, Mathematics and Engineering Honours Program (HSHSP)

A seven-week research-intensive summer program for aspiring seniors in the United States who wish to gain more experience conducting research while living on campus at a leading research-intensive university.

sixteen.Michigan Math and Science Scholars

Open to all sophomores, sophomores, and seniors, this program is designed to bring high school students up to date with the latest developments and research in science and to encourage the next generation of researchers to develop and sustain a love of science, math, and science .

17Mathematics – Bryn Mawr College

This 5-week program for math-savvy high school students introduces new ideas to improve your problem-solving skills, learn advanced math, and improve general thinking skills.

18Massachusetts Institute of Technology Minority Introduction to Science and Engineering (MITES)

A free, six-week residential academic enrichment program for high school seniors, many from underrepresented or underserved communities, who have strong academic backgrounds and are interested in studying and exploring careers in science and engineering. Students take an calculus course, a life sciences course, a physics course, a liberal arts course, and an elective course.

19 Start X

In this program, students interested in entrepreneurship spend four weeks building and founding a real startup, learning from industry experts and working with a group of co-founders to create real products and solve business challenges. LaunchX has programs in US universities and accepts students from all over the world.


Freshmen, sophomores and juniors with a strong interest in broadcast, newspaper, magazine, photojournalism or online media are encouraged to apply. The six-day boot camp brings together culturally diverse students from across the country to learn from experienced journalists and leading media executives. JCamp attendees receive hands-on training and create cross-platform news packages for the show's news site.

21Jackson Lab - Sommerstudentenprogramm

The Summer Student Program is for 48 select college and high school students from across the United States who wish to immerse themselves in genetics and genomics research. It emphasizes laboratory discovery, knowledge communication, and professional growth. Students participate in an ongoing research program with the support of an experienced researcherMentor. They develop an independent project, implement their plan, analyze the data and report on the results. At the end of the summer, they present their findings to researchers, other students, and parents. The summer student program is available at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine and the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, Connecticut.

22Indiana University - Institute for Young Women

Young Women's Institute is open to women completing their freshman year of high school (moving into their senior year). Students from across the country are selected to spend a week at Indiana University Bloomington, attend workshops with leading faculty at the Kelley School of Business, interact with Kelley alumni and current students, and deliver a real-life, worldwide business case create, develop leadership and communication skills, and connect with like-minded women interested in business.

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23Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics (HCSSIM)

HCSSiM is a six-week, college-level, intensive math course for talented and highly motivated high school students at Hampshire College in Massachusetts. Participants spend most of the day actively doing math (rather than just learning the results of math).

24Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Camp

The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program is a 7-week program for girls in grades 10-11 to learn to code and explore technical careers. Each week of the program includes computer-related projects such as art, storytelling, robotics, video games, websites and apps. You will also hear from guest speakers, attend workshops, connect with female engineers and businesswomen, and take field trips.

25Foundation for Economics Teaching - Economics for Leaders (EFL)

The purpose of Economics for Leaders is to equip promising students with the skills to be more effective leaders and to teach them how to use economic analysis when pondering difficult policy decisions. EFL is a selective undergraduate and junior summer program that teaches executives how to integrate economics into decision-making in a hands-on setting.


Since 2002, NSHSS has supported young scientists on their journey through college and beyond as they prepare to become tomorrow's leaders. The mission behind NSHSS is to recognize academic excellence and honor high-performing students by providing them with the resources and network to excel in college, careers and the community. NSHSS connects members to global events,grants,University fairs, internships, careers, etcleadership programs,Discounts for members and much more. Discover what makes NSHSS worth it student members and how you can get involved.

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What does college prep mean on common app? ›

What does college prep mean? Let's make it easy! A CP class can be a course that prepares you for applying to college, managing financial aid, engaging in college advising (both academic and professional), etc.

Are Ivy League summer programs worth it? ›

Yes, summer programs are definitely worth it! They present a perfect opportunity to explore your field of interest in greater depth, develop relevant skills, meet like-minded students, and – perhaps most importantly – increase your chances of getting into the Ivies.

Does high school sufficiently prepare students for college? ›

Unsurprisingly, high school is best at preparing students to understand and succeed in college-level classes. Over 57% of people report they feel high school succeeded in that area, making it the only skill with over 50% approval.

Why College Prep in high school is important? ›

Good college preparation helps provide a way for students to become self-aware and analyze what they really want to do in college, and in their later life. It helps students select a college based on their strengths. It helps students pick colleges that are likely to give them scholarships and other benefits.

Can you see if you got into a college on Common App? ›

Application Statuses

Applicants are responsible for monitoring the status of an application. Notifications are not sent for any missing items. To help you keep track of your application and all materials, click Check Status at the top of the application dashboard.

What is a good GPA for college prep? ›

Usually, an average of 3.5-4.0, which means an average of A or A, is expected for admission to top universities. However, you may be able to get acceptance in a less selective school with a grade point average as low as 2.0 or C-.

What GPA is required for Harvard? ›

You should also have a 4.18 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score. For a school as selective as Harvard, you'll also need to impress them with the rest of your application.

Will a 36 ACT get you into Harvard? ›

The middle 50% of Harvard's class of 2025 earned SAT scores of 1480-1580 and ACT scores of 33-36. Any score in the middle 50% is good, however, the higher in the range you score, the better your odds of admission are.

What GPA do Ivy Leagues want? ›

If you're aiming for a top university such as one in the Ivy League, Stanford, MIT, or others of the same caliber, a 4.0 GPA — or close to it — is expected.

Does school prepare students enough for a successful career? ›

Again, these results reflect what research shows: high school is not doing enough to prepare students for the future of work. Today's high school students will graduate into a workforce increasingly characterized by technology and automation.

Does prep school look good for college? ›

Prep school students do not necessarily have an advantage in the admission process. It depends on where they are applying. Many prep schools have harsher grading systems where the student might end up with a lower GPA, which will hurt them in the admission process.

How important is college preparation? ›

If a student is unprepared, he can fail an assignment or class, which leads to stress and hopelessness, which only serves to perpetuate academic troubles. Instead, proactively seizing control of the educational experience before it begins can help a student build positive momentum from the onset.

What is a college prep program for high school? ›

A college prep program is usually an on-campus experience where you can explore academic interests, meet faculty or professionals, experience college life first hand, and familiarize yourself with the concepts of college. However, many programs are also now offered online.

What are the advantages of prep schools? ›

Preparatory schools enable young students to adopt a sense of accountability for their own work. They will be encouraged to develop critical time management skills and learn to balance academics, the arts, athletics, and social life.

What are the benefits of prep schools? ›

Staying in Prep School for a further two years aids your child in preparing for Senior School by allowing for further development of emotional and academic skills, as well as giving them the chance to take on leadership responsibilities that they might not have had at other schools.

How many colleges does Common App let you apply to? ›

Applicants may submit the Common App to no more than 20 colleges in a single application cycle.

How much does the Common App cost? ›

What does the Common App cost? The platform itself is free to use, but every college charges their own application processing fee (usually $30 to $75 for U.S. applicants and more for international applicants). You can apply for a fee waiver if you need one.

How long does it take to complete the Common App? ›

How long does it take to complete the Common App? We recommend you allow yourself two to three months to complete your common application form, as you will be required to write essays for this, which will take time.

Is 3.7 a bad GPA in college? ›

A 3.7 GPA stands for a Grade Point Average of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale. It indicates that you've earned a predominantly A- average in your courses. A 3.7 GPA is considered to be a very good GPA and is often an indicator of strong academic performance.

Is a 3.7 GPA good to get into college? ›

A 3.7 GPA is a very good GPA, especially if your school uses an unweighted scale. This means that you've been earning mostly A-s in all of your classes. If you've been taking high level classes and earning a 3.7 unweighted GPA, you're in great shape and can expect to be accepted to many selective colleges.

Is a 3.7 GPA bad for a freshman? ›

Final Thoughts. Overall, a 3.7 GPA is impressive. As a percentage, a 3.7 GPA means you've achieved an average of 90-92% in your classes. Achieving a 3.7 GPA in high school is good, and with an excellent application, there are many schools where you have a shot at acceptance.

Will a 5.0 GPA get me into Harvard? ›

To get to Harvard your GPA has to be at least a 4.0 and even then if you get in your lucky but they require at least a 4.18 GPA only .

What is the lowest SAT score for Harvard? ›

There's no absolute SAT requirement at Harvard, but they really want to see at least a 1460 to have a chance at being considered.

Can a 3.5 GPA get me into Harvard? ›

A 3.5 GPA will be highly competitive, and admission can be reasonably expected at many colleges. Still, it's not the most competitive at places like Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth, which, on average, accept students with GPAs exceeding 4.0.

Will a 4.0 GPA get you into Harvard? ›

Harvard GPA Requirements

However, unweighted GPAs are not very useful, because high schools weight GPAs differently. In truth, you need close to a 4.0 unweighted GPA to get into Harvard. That means nearly straight As in every class.

Can you get into Harvard with a 3.8 GPA? ›

3. Can You Get Into Harvard With a 3.8 GPA? Whether a 3.8 GPA can get you into Harvard or not depends on the rest of your application. Although Harvard is an incredibly competitive school, high test scores and a well-rounded profile can help increase your chances of acceptance.

What is the lowest GPA accepted by Harvard? ›

In general, students with a 3.0 GPA still have a chance to get into Harvard, provided that the application can demonstrate that they are what the university is looking for exactly. In some instances, hooks, such as being an athlete, allow applicants to get admitted into Harvard, even with a low GPA.

What is the lowest GPA an Ivy League will accept? ›

None of the Ivy League schools have a minimum GPA requirement for applications, which means anyone can apply regardless of their GPA.

What is the cheapest Ivy League school? ›

Cornell University Tuition

Located in Ithaca, New York, Cornell boasts the lowest cost of attendance before financial aid at its state-funded schools. Costs for its privately-funded colleges are on par with the rest of the Ivy League.

Can you get into Harvard with a 3.9 GPA? ›

With a 3.75 to 3.99 GPA, you have a decent chance of success. A GPA between 3.50 to 3.74 makes Harvard a reach school. GPAs between 2.50 to 3.49 gives you an extremely low chance of success. Anything below 2.50 means you will most likely not be accepted.

What percentage of success is preparation? ›

Preparation is 50% of the success of any meeting, conversation, training, etc. Confidence in yourself is key but it won't stand in for preparation. Preparation is much more than knowing what you want to say and ask.

Does high school prepare you for real life? ›

However, high school is actually meant to prepare students for becoming an adult and entering the “real world.” In recent years, students haven't learned helpful life skills to prepare them for life after high school. Schools should better prepare students for the situations they might encounter as they grow older.

Do you need a high school education to succeed in life? ›

The bottom line is that you don't need your high school diploma to make it in life, but your path could be a lot more challenging if you don't have it. With a clear vision of what you want, almost anything is possible.

What is the most prestigious Prep School? ›

Phillips Academy Andover

#1 Best Private High Schools in America.

Is college prep better than AP? ›

The answer that most colleges will give you is that it's better to get an A in the Honors/AP class. And most highly-selective schools will expect that you do. But many colleges would rather see a B in an Honors or AP course than a higher grade in a regular college prep course.

Why are high school students not prepared for college? ›

Some students don't feel academically prepared for college because there are less academic expectations in terms of following directions, completing assignments on time, and much more. In college, most students find it integral to follow directions and hand in assignments on time in order to get a good grade.

Do I really need college? ›

Although college isn't necessary for success, you still need to further your education and build skills. Luckily, there are many alternatives out there. Here are a few ways you can gain the skills you need for a career without a traditional college experience.

What are educational preparation programs examples? ›

Well, according to the UCs, educational preparation programs are “programs or activities that have enriched your academic experiences or helped you prepare for college” and may include “counseling, tutoring, research opportunities or special study opportunities, such as study abroad.”

Who typically goes to a prep school? ›

A prep, or preparatory school is actually a school designed to prepare high school-level students for an approaching future in college. Typically, such schools are private and cater to the 14 to 18 year-old age group.

Who usually goes to prep school? ›

Since then, the surviving "prep schools" in the US are primarily private, elite institutions that have very selective admission criteria and high tuition fees, catering to students in the 13–18 age range.

What are the cons of PrEP? ›

PrEP is safe, but some people experience side effects like diarrhea, nausea, headache, fatigue, and stomach pain. These side effects usually go away over time. Tell your health care provider about any side effects that are severe or do not go away.

Is college PrEP harder than regular? ›

A CP school, or college prep school, can be a high school in which the entire array of coursework prepares you for a college-level curriculum. At a college prep school, the classes are more difficult and involve more coursework, projects, and assignments.

Who may benefit from PrEP? ›

PrEP is used by people without HIV who are at risk of being exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use. Two HIV medicines are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as PrEP: Truvada and Descovy. PrEP is most effective when taken consistently each day.

Why is a college preparatory high school is the best environment for me? ›

College prep high schools tend to have smaller class sizes which contribute to a more hands-on, one-on-one academic experience. Teachers and staff are able to connect with each student on a personal level which plays a significant role in helping every student find success.

What do you hope your child will gain from attending preparatory school? ›

It will provide the foundation your child needs to succeed at school by developing: • a positive approach to learning • independence and confidence • thinking and problem-solving skills • language skills • early literacy and numeracy • physical abilities, including gross and fine motor skills.

What age does prep school finish? ›

Preparatory School (Ages 8-11/13): Traditionally prep schools are for 8-13 year olds, though many now educate children between the ages of 3-11 in areas where independent day schools and state grammars are popular options for children.

Does prep school help college admissions? ›

Prep school students do not necessarily have an advantage in the admission process. It depends on where they are applying. Many prep schools have harsher grading systems where the student might end up with a lower GPA, which will hurt them in the admission process.

What is prep class in university? ›

UNSW Prep is a one year (18 months for Engineering) pathway to a UNSW degree place. You study subjects that allow you to develop your academic skills, including maths skills if needed, so that you can achieve your best results.

What is prep class? ›

Prep education relates to the start of an early learning stage (pre-primary stage). Pre-Primary education is provided in India for children between 3-6 years by kindergarten and playschools. Majority of the parents have gained awareness about the importance of prep education for kids.

What is the most prestigious prep school? ›

Phillips Academy Andover

#1 Best Private High Schools in America.

What is the hardest AP class ranked? ›

The Three Hardest AP Classes
  1. AP Physics 1. Despite a reputation as one of the most difficult AP classes, Physics 1 is also one of the most popular—144,526 students took it in 2022. ...
  2. AP U.S. History. AP U.S. History is one of the hardest AP classes in the humanities and in general. ...
  3. AP United States Government and Politics.
Feb 9, 2023

How many AP classes should I take to get into a top college? ›

Aim for four to eight AP exams in your junior and senior years. For competitive Ivy League schools, admission officers also want to see AP courses for core subject areas and additional courses. If possible, aim to pass about seven to 12 AP exams if applying to these highly selective schools.

What is the most prestigious private school in NYC? ›

Without further ado, let's look at the ten profiled high schools that are among the best private schools in NYC.
  • 1) Collegiate School.
  • 2) Dalton School.
  • 3) Horace Mann School.
  • 4) Riverdale Country School.
  • 5) Regis High School.
  • 6) Rye Country Day School.
  • 7) The Brearley School.
  • 8) The Chapin School.
Jan 17, 2023

Is private school tuition really worth it? ›

Whether or not a private school education is worth it is going to depend on your unique situation and the type of student your child is. For some people, private education will be a way to flourish academically and get into a top-notch college. For others, it can be a waste of time.

Are college prep classes the same as AP? ›

In this case, a CP class is different from an AP class, which stands for Advanced Location. AP classes are courses you can take for college credit, and therefore they are taught at the university level and can be quite difficult. Not all schools offer AP courses.

Is prep the same as homework? ›

Prep is a British boarding school term meaning homework. It comes from the term preparatory work as in work done in preparation for the next lesson. Homework (or prep) is a very important part of learning, and all pupils are expected to complete a certain amount of prep each day.

How are college prep classes weighted? ›

Regular College Preparatory classes are unweighted and are valued at A=4pts, B=3pts, C=2pts, D=1pt, F=0pt. Cumulative (Unweighted)-This GPA includes grades from all of the courses listed on the transcript grade 9-12. Unweighted means that all courses are considered equal in weight regardless of AP, IB, or Honors level.

Who typically goes to prep school? ›

Since then, the surviving "prep schools" in the US are primarily private, elite institutions that have very selective admission criteria and high tuition fees, catering to students in the 13–18 age range.

What is the point of a prep school? ›

Prep schools provide an independent learning environment that can be instrumental in the transition period from high school to college. Not only do they offer unique learning opportunities, but they also ensure to college administrators that your child has a strong educational foundation.


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