Top Academic Summer Program

Top Summer Programs for High School Students

These days, more and more parents are taking the plunge and sending their children to academic summer camps.

These camps offer fun, engaging, educational activities that keep your child active, smiling and, most importantly, thinking. 

But there are so many camps to choose from! How will you know which camp best suits your son or daughter’s needs?

Lucky for you, we’ve sorted through every educational summer camp we know of and picked the fifteen camps we feel are the tip-top.

Quick note: These camps were selected based on their facilities, programs, and fees. They are not ranked in any particular order.

Bank of America Student Leaders

Camp Overview: This is a paid 8-week internship where juniors and seniors can work hand in hand with a local Non-Profit Organization. The students spend 35 hours a week learning about how the organization works in providing the needs of the community. This aims to improve their civic awareness and sense of compassion towards others. 

After their internship, they will be sent to the Student Leaders Summit in Washington D.C. where they are expected to gain insights on social and business leadership skills.

Fee/s: Free

Carnegie Mellon – Summer Academy for Math + Science (SAMS)

Camp Overview: SAMS is a program that focuses on enhancing students’ skills on Mathematics, Physics, Biology, and Computer programming. Participants of this camp receive traditional instruction and they are expected to accomplish some performance tasks to assess if they actually learned.

Fee/s: Paid

Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program

Camp Overview: If your daughter is a tech junkie, she would surely appreciate you sending her into this program. Through this camp, girls learn some introduction to computer science for 2 weeks. They are given the opportunity to be immersed in different tech jobs to prepare them in case they are interested in a career in that field.

Fee/s: Free

Princeton University – Summer Journalism Program 

Camp Overview: Students who are passionate about journalistic writing or broadcasting would find joining this camp really helpful. PSJP offers a wide range of activities for these investigative minds. Some of the things they would learn are the following:

  • Basic skills on creating a newspaper
  • Producing a documentary
  • Different views on how college prepares them for the job

PSJP organizers also bring their participants to different news outlets in New York for a more authentic journalistic experience. 

Fee/s: Free

Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP) 

Camp Overview: TASP is a summer camp that accepts high school juniors and engages them in different educational and social activities in and outside the classroom for 6 weeks. They also offer free seminars given by two distinctive faculty members of a university. 

TASP accepts participants from other countries as long as they are motivated and excited to share their talents to others. 

Fee/s: Free

University of Notre Dame – Leadership Seminars

Camp Overview: Notre Dame’s campus offers a 10-day leadership seminar for aspiring community leaders and those students who have shown good academic standing. All the student’s needs during the seminar including lodging and meals are paid by the university. They will also receive one college credit aside from a list of things that they would learn through their speakers and batchmates.

Fee/s: Free

University of Pennsylvania Programs for High School Students

Camp Overview: Penn’s summer program is quite rigorous as it combines traditional classroom learning and laboratory works. But you don’t have to worry because they also offer a range of activities and tours. 

In addition to all these, their program provides a college-level experience to help the students transition to their post-secondary studies.

Fee/s: Paid

Yale Young Global Scholars

Camp Overview: For two weeks, students around the world are invited to this enrichment program at Yale’s historical campus. The different sessions focus on these 5 disciplines:

  • Biological and Biomedical Science
  • Literature, Philosophy, & Culture
  • Politics Law & Economics
  • Solving Global Challenges
  • Applied Science and Engineering

Fee/s: Paid

Harvard’s Pre-College Program & Secondary School Program (SSP)

Camp Overview: Harvard offers a pretty cool summer program. They allow high school students to take real courses and sit alongside college students on campus. They also give access to Harvard labs and libraries and let them meet the faculty. 

A lot of subjects included in this program is not part of the high school curriculum. This is quite challenging but also fun because students get to work with equally bright scholars who are willing to help.

Fee/s: Paid

Concordia Language Villages

Camp Overview: The focus of this program is language and culture. Students are trained to be globally competitive through immersion techniques and they can choose among these 15 language programs:

Arabic, Chinese, Danish, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish

Fee/s: Paid

Sadie Nash Summer Institute

Camp Overview: Sadie Nash Summer Institute is a 6-week summer program for self-identified women who are interested to learn about different forms of leadership. They give free workshops on things that matter and take the participants to trips for better experience.

However, this camp is exclusive to high school students in NYC or Newmark, Nj. 

Fee/s: Free

New York Film Academy’s Summer Film and Acting Camps

Camp Overview: For those who are into movies and films, this summer camp is simply perfect for you. For four weeks, you will be taught the creative and technical side of film making and you may opt to enroll in their full year program if you really enjoyed it.

You will experience how to write scripts, direct scenes, or even star in a short film while working with award winning instructors. Expect no less because this immersion program was voted as one of the Top 20 summer camps in the US.  

Fee/s: Paid

Miami University of Ohio – Summer Scholars Program

Camp Overview: Just like Harvard’s pre-college program, Miami University also offers authentic college experience by letting their participants enjoy all the campus facilities and learn alongside the faculty.

In the span of two weeks, students will find themselves immersed in the collegiate setting plus, they get more advanced knowledge on certain areas of interest.

Fee/s: Free

USC Bovard Scholars

Camp Overview: This is a 3-week residency program which gives opportunity to high-achieving students with financial needs to experience academic life at one of the nation’s top universities. 

During their stay at USC, the students’ lives are transformed because they were given a chance to explore their target careers. They also get prepped for comprehensive tests and they meet new friends who are just as passionate about learning.

Fee/s: Free

Tufts Summer Study for High School Students

Camp Overview: Just like the other universities mentioned above, Tufts makes sure that students get a head start in their college career. The following are the programs that their participants may choose to enroll in:

  • Tufts Summer Writing Program
  • Foundation of Law & Ethics
  • Health Science Honors, 
  • Biomedics Inquiry through Sequencing (BIOSEQ)
  • College Courses for Seniors.

Fee/s: Paid


Here’s a list of all the summer programs that made it to our list:

  • Bank of America Student Leaders
  • Carnegie Mellon – Summer Academy for Math + Science (SAMS)
  • Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program
  • Princeton University – Summer Journalism Program 
  • Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP) 
  • University of Notre Dame – Leadership Seminars
  • University of Pennsylvania Programs for High School Students
  • Yale Young Global Scholars
  • Harvard’s Pre-College Program & Secondary School Program (SSP)
  • Concordia Language Villages
  • Sadie Nash Summer Institute
  • New York Film Academy’s Summer Film and Acting Camps
  • Miami University of Ohio – Summer Scholars Program
  • USC Bovard Scholars
  • Tufts Summer Study for High School Students

Whether your child is interested in STEM, literature, or film, there is a perfect program for them.  At one of these fifteen wonderful camps, you can be sure they won’t turn into a couch monster–they’ll grow and develop more than you could’ve ever dreamed!

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Todd VanDuzer

Co-Founder & CEO at Student-Tutor
Hello! My name is Todd. I help students design the life of their dreams by ensuring college, scholarship, and career success! I am a former tutor for seven years, $85,000 scholarship recipient, Huffington Post contributor, lead SAT & ACT course developer, host of a career exploration podcast for teens, and have worked with thousands of students and parents to ensure a brighter future for the next generation. I invite you to join my next webinar to learn how to save thousands + set your teenager up for college, scholarship, and career success!
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