Fully-Funded Pre-College Summer Programs - Atlas Academy

Fully-Funded Pre-College Summer Programs

University Applications
Programs that carry a considerable weight in university admissions


By Gabija Žukauskaitė

Published 2023 02 28

Are you looking for valuable opportunities to gain experience and enhance your resume during the summer? Are you willing to try something new, work, travel, and dive deeper into your interests? Summer programs offered by some of the best universities in the US are a great opportunity that both American and international students can take advantage of! These are but a few short-duration programs (typically 2-3 weeks) worth applying for:

1. Yale Young Global Scholars (YYGS) – a two-week summer program that gathers students from over 150 countries at Yale’s historic campus. The curriculum is interdisciplinary and is divided into four main blocks: Innovations in Science & Technology, Literature, Philosophy, & Culture, Politics, Law & Economics, and Solving Global Challenges. This program requires applicants to be at least 16 years old by the first day of the first session (July 16, 2023), a current high school junior or sophomore with good academic standing and fluency in English, which would allow the student to fully participate in the rigorous academic curriculum offered. The YYGS application requires students to write one 400-word essay and one 200-word response, answer two “fast take” responses (280 characters each), describe their main extracurricular activities, submit an official school transcript, and provide a reference from one teacher. English fluency test scores are optional. The application deadlines are November 2, 2022 (early action) and January 10, 2023 (regular decision). Full need-based financial aid is available.

2. University of Chicago – Research in the Biological Sciences (RIBS) – a four-week summer program of intensive training, which encompasses microbiological, molecular, and cell biological techniques used in research laboratories these days. Built on a project-based approach to learning, the curriculum covers everything from basic laboratory techniques and experiment design to the practical application of the acquired skills in developmental biology and microbiology. At the end of the program, participants present their findings in a joint research forum. RIBS welcomes current high school sophomores and juniors with fluency in English, completion of at least one year of high school biology, high academic standard (especially in biology, chemistry, and math), and a demonstrated passion for science. The regular deadline for this program is March 1, 2023.

3. Stanford University Mathematics Camp (SUMaC) – a three-week online summer program gathering a selected group of mathematically talented students for intensive study in advanced mathematics. Similarly to the experience in most college courses, SUMaC participants will attend lectures for two hours each day and will be faced with a heavy workload of tasks to complete on their own. The program has two academic tracks: (1) Abstract Algebra & Number Theory and (2) Algebraic Topology. The program welcomes current high school juniors and seniors of 11-12th grade who have exceptional interest and ability in mathematics. The SUMaC selection process is very competitive and admission decisions are made based on students’ academic performance in mathematics, teachers’ recommendation, motivational letters, performance in mathematics competitions, and the SUMaC admission exam results. Applicants may also submit an optional video essay, which gives students a chance to present themselves or add anything important that wasn’t mentioned in the rest of their application (this especially applies to international students whose primary language is not English). The application deadline is Wednesday, February 1, 2023. Full need-based financial aid is available.

6/22/2010 Stanford University, front entrance, Quad, Memorial Church. Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Free Summer Pre-College Programs List

We’ve made a list of some of the top pre-college programs in the United States, filtering for academic rigor, availability of financial aid, and other important factors. Hope it helps you get started on your research!

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    4. Wharton’s Leadership in the Business World (LBW) – a three-week intensive summer program organized by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. LBW offers a rigorous and dynamic combination of classes taught by Wharton professors and guest speakers.Students get to speak with leaders across various industries, partake in Wharton Interactive digital simulations and case competitions as well as do research on business enterprises. LBW welcomes a selected group of high school seniors (grade 12) who wish to get a glimpse of a top-notch undergraduate education in business. In the application, students are required to submit their transcripts, one recommendation from a teacher or a high school guidance counselor, answer essay/short essay prompts, include a 90-second introduction video or a written statement of 400 words, and a score from the TOEFL or IELTS test. The application deadlines are: January 25, 2023 (priority deadline) and April 5, 2023 (final deadline). Full need-based financial aid is available.

    5. MIT LaunchX Entrepreneurship Summer Program – a two-to-five-week summer program, which gathers ambitious high school students, passionate about entrepreneurship and aiming to launch an actual startup. Offering a cutting-edge curriculum, considerable resources and an exceptional community, the program allows students to get hands-on experience, knowledge and problem-solving skills needed for creating a successful business. The LaunchX 2023 summer program offers three distinct options: (1) the Online Entrepreneurship Summer Program, (2) the Campus Entrepreneurship Summer Program, and (3) the Innovation Summer Program. In the application, students are required to record a short video, answer a few questions on their motivation and reasons for applying, previous experience as well as the ways in which they can contribute to the MIT LaunchX community. The application deadlines are: December 21st, 2022 (early round) and February 15th, 2023 (regular round). Admissions to the program are need-blind, which means that a student’s need for financial support will not have any impact on the chances of acceptance. MIT LaunchX also offers generous need-based financial support.


    Published by

    Gabija Žukauskaitė

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