We wrote a few days back about prestigious college summer programs and about how popular these university summer enrichment programs were becoming nationwide. If you’re reading this blog to find out which programs are best, to learn about whether the Harvard summer program is better than a similar program at Cornell, then you’re reading the wrong blog. Because we at Ivy Coach think that “prestigious” college summer programs aren’t prestigious at all. They’re a cash-cow for universities. They’re designed to encourage students and parents to think it will improve a student’s odds of getting admitted to that college (or another prestigious college). And it’s just plain wrong.
College summer programs are not so different from sleep-a-way camp or teen tours. Do you think that sleep-a-way camp or teen tours looks good on college applications to highly selective colleges? If you do, you might want to rethink that big time. These “prestigious” college summer programs, like sleep-a-way camp and teen tours, says to college admissions counselors at highly selective colleges that mommy and daddy can afford to send you away for the summer — that you don’t have to work, etc.
Parents and students, we encourage you to stop paying thousands of dollars for these college summer programs. Again, they will not improve a student’s odds of getting in. It’s not impressive that you went to a summer program at a highly selective college. It just plain isn’t. Get over it. Get this out of your head. Be more creative with how you spend your summer, and do something that sets you apart from all of the other college applicants. In the end, it’s those creative students who are accepted at the highly selective colleges and universities.