How should you be spending your summer before your senior year? You should be going to a highly selective university like Duke, Johns Hopkins, or Stanford to partake in their prestigious summer programs, right? It would seem logical. After all, if you want to go to Stanford, wouldn’t enrolling in the Stanford Pre-Colegiate Summer Institute make sense? Wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s a trap. A big trap. As we’ve said many times before on this blog, in publications across America, and on “Huffington Post Live,” these summer programs at highly selective colleges are sleepaway camps.
College admissions officers at highly selective colleges aren’t impressed that mommy and daddy spent over $10,000 for you to go to the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute. They don’t care how selective the admissions process was for you to be able to attend. And btw, it’s not all that selective. What they see is that mommy and daddy can afford to send you to camp, that you couldn’t come up with any genuinely creative way to spend your summer, and you think attending such a program will impress in the college admissions process. Quite simply, it won’t.
But, wait, here’s how Stanford describes their program on their website: “The Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes are three-week and four-week residential programs for academically talented and motivated high school students. The Summer Institutes provide an opportunity for these students to enrich and accelerate their academic pursuits and to meet other students who share their interests and abilities. Summer Institutes participants live in supervised Stanford housing and are taught by Stanford instructors. Students engage in intensive study in a single course and are introduced to topics not typically presented at the high school level. The Summer Institutes provide a taste of college life in the beautiful surroundings of the Stanford campus.”
It goes on to say, “Summer Institutes subject areas include arts and humanities, business, computer science, engineering, legal studies, mathematics, social science, physical and biological science, and writing. The instructors are assisted by undergraduate and graduate student mentors who have expertise in the course subject areas. These mentors serve a dual role of Residential Counselor and Teaching Assistant so that the academic and social aspects of the program are tightly integrated.”
That’s nice. Think about it. They’re selling you. They want your $10,000. It’ll help build a new library. That doesn’t mean attending such a program will help you get into Stanford much less any other highly selective college across America. In fact, it could hurt your chances.