Importance of Summer Plans in Ivy Admission

Summer Plans in Ivy Admission, Summer Plans and Ivy League, Summers and Ivy League Admissions

Sure, give $10,000 to Leland Stanford’s university (maybe it’ll help them commission a new portrait of the fellow). But if you think it’ll help your child’s case for admission to top colleges (including even Stanford), you are misinformed.

Summer plans matter big time in Ivy League admissions! To paraphrase Dr. Seuss (who, it should be noted, attended Dartmouth College), “the time has come, the time is now.” No, this reference in the context of this blog has nothing to do with Marvin K. Mooney and everything to do with what high school students should be doing right now. Not tomorrow. Not next Tuesday. Now. And that’s planning out how they’re going to be spending their summer months. Because how high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors spend their summer months proves to be very important in the highly selective college admissions process.

If your daughter is a rising high school senior, were you planning on sending her to a summer enrichment program at a prestigious university like Stanford? If so, you are not a regular reader of our college admissions blog because a regular reader of our blog would know better. And they’d have saved the $10,000 that these fancy summer enrichment programs — programs that not only don’t help students gain admission to top colleges but indeed can hurt their candidacies — cost. There are way better ways to spend the summer months and depending on a students’ interests, academic passions, and extracurriculars, we regularly help students shape their summers so that they can have a leg up in the admissions process to Ivy League colleges and other highly selective schools. It’s not a one size fits all. Like the Taylor family that heads Ivy Coach, it is all tailored to the individual student. You like what we did there? Ok, that was lame. We’ll own it.

But don’t waste another week. The time has come, the time is now. Some of the ideas that we’ll have for how your child should spend his or her summer will take a little bit of work and planning but it’s all still doable even as we approach June. So if you’re interested in planning out how your son or daughter will spend the summer months, set up a free consultation today by filling out this form (which you can also find by clicking on our orange button). We’ll go over our services with you offer more specifics on our one-hour evaluation in which you can hear our advice that is specific to your child. We look forward to hearing from you.

Curious to hear what Ivy Coach Founder Bev Taylor has to say about summer plans for high school students? Watch the segment below on “Huffington Post Live” and you’ll see where our tell-it-like-it-is approach all comes from. Note how the direction of the entire conversation changes once Bev offers her opinion. Everyone was all about these summer enrichment programs. It’s exactly the kind of direction change we’ll help implement for your child with his or her summer plans.


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  • Kirk says:

    It’s clear that the Ivy Coach believes that the summer programs at e.g. Harvard, Stanford, and Cornell (in which you live on campus, take a class or two, and receive academic credit) are a waste of time/money and reek of privilege.

    In other blogs, the Ivy Coach has mentioned that conducting research with a professor at a local university is an excellent summer activity. Granted, this is relatively inexpensive and shows initiative but, in our experience, professors are generally unwilling to take on high school students without a prior connection (friend, relative, neighbor, etc). It must also be acknowledged that many kids in the US don’t live close enough to universities to commute.

    Fortunately, there are a few formal programs in which students conduct research on a university campus during the summer, culminating in a high-quality technical paper/poster suitable for Intel, Siemens, etc. Although some of these programs are quite selective (e.g. RISE, YSP, Garcia) they also tend to be expensive, apparently because of the cost of residency… Only RSI at MIT is completely free, however, its acceptance rate is actually lower than that for undergraduate admissions to MIT. Yikes.

    So, my question is: do you also revile these (relatively expensive) residential summer research programs?

    • Ivy Coach says:

      Hi Kirk,

      Thank you for writing in! You are correct with respect to our position on fancy summer enrichment programs. Are there some programs that are better than others, ones that don’t reek of as much privilege? Yes.

      But we disagree that it’s difficult to work with professors individually. If you reach out the right way to enough professors in your area — and our students do just this — you get bites. Our students almost always get bites. They’re able to successfully sway professors to take lowly high school students into their labs. And there are universities in just about every region of the country. These schools don’t have to be the most prestigious.

      Hope that helps. If you’d like more specific advice, we’re happy to schedule a consultation with you.

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