Summer Enrichment Programs

Summer enrichment programs at highly selective colleges are a great way to stand out in the highly selective college admissions process, right? Wrong. Dead wrong. You may think that attending, say, a summer enrichment program at Stanford will help you stand out in the Early Action round at this very school. But you could not be more wrong. Heck, even Stanford stipulates this on their website. But highly selective college admissions officers would be remiss to mention that attending such a program could in fact not only not help but in fact hurt your chances for admission. And why should they? When you attend such a program, the college gets around $10,000. That money helps a college out. To tell you that such a program will hurt your chances for admission will hurt the college’s bottom line.

And as you may know from reading our college admissions blog, at highly selective colleges, it’s quite often about the bottom line. Summer enrichment programs at highly selective colleges are no different than sleepaway camps. Attending such a program says to admissions officers that mommy and daddy have a lot of money to fork over to keep you busy and not bored this summer. It says to admissions officers that you don’t have the initiative, smarts, and hustle to figure out something more interesting to do this summer that doesn’t cost mommy and daddy a small fortune.

We advise all of our students at Ivy Coach to never attend such summer enrichment programs. If these students come to us as clients after they’ve already these programs, we strongly urge them to leave any mention of these programs off their applications for admission. Get the idea?

Still not convinced? Watch our Founder, Bev Taylor, discuss summer enrichment programs on “Huffington Post Live.”


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  • Ryan says:

    What if one receives either a full scholarship or partial financial aid to one of these programs? And wouldn’t some programs be considered beneficial as some are a reflection of merit(like music and art based programs that require intense auditions)? Wouldn’t the scholarship bring the implication that the student is more adept?

  • David says:

    If college credit is earned, say due to study aboard immersion, would that then be worthy of a mention on the application?

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