Summer is definitely the time to relax, but it is also the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the summer programs offered by most universities across the country. Now, why would you want to spend a few weeks going to classes, working on projects, and doing extra homework? Honestly, it is fun – a lot of fun.
In June, I did a pre-college program at the University of Georgia called the Terry Business Academy. It was a weeklong camp with thirty students including myself, and I loved it. Everyone became close friends very quickly, and we learned so much.
(This is the 191 Building in Atlanta where Deloitte’s offices are! I visited it while at UGA.)
A little bit of background on the week: every day we had an accounting class along with two other courses that focused on another aspect of business. One of our first seminars introduced a group marketing competition which we spent every night working on. On Wednesday we went downtown to Atlanta to visit a recording studio (which was awesome) and have lunch with some of Deloitte’s executives. On Saturday, we had our presentations, and although my group came in second, I thought we did a phenomenal job (our project was actually really fun and interesting; we had to create an app for AT&T and show them that it could be successful).
I know a lot of the hesitation that comes along with pre-college programs is the cost. Originally, I wanted to apply for several other camps at Ivy League schools, but the high price tags made it difficult. Luckily, I found ones that were completely free! The Terry Business Academy was sponsored by Deloitte so it did not cost anything. There are plenty of free programs, but you may just need to search for them. Also, many schools offer scholarships, so do not let cost keep you from applying!
The claim that “pre-college programs will not guarantee you admission into this university” also turns students off, but this is not entirely true! No, going to the Global Scholars program at Yale does not mean you are going to school there, but it does show your interest in the school which can never hurt your chances. It also tells the admissions counselor that you are a motivated student; after all, not many teenagers take a few weeks of their summer to dedicate to academics.
Although there appear to be some downsides to pre-college programs, there are few real reasons why you should not participate. You learn so much, make great friends, network with potential professors/future employers, and understand what it is like to live with a roommate on a campus. It is almost like a test run on college which is worth the hard work!
A little side note – if you are in search of free/sponsored pre-college programs, I would be more than happy to share the ones I have found with you!