As we approach spring, it's a wise idea to start thinking ahead to the summer. After all the uncertainty of the past two years, students and parents are ready for an escape. That's why many students opt for summer programs at universities or outside organizations to spend a few weeks away, take a class and be immersed in campus life. Many choose this option because they think it will give them an advantage on their college applications.
While many of these programs promise academic enrichment and a competitive environment, it is important to consider that the cost of such a program might not correspond to its "admission value." One determining factor is whether the program is run by a college or by an outside organization. Although some outside organizations may have fine programs, it is smart to try and assess that. No matter what, there is nearly universal agreement that these programs are only valuable if the student sees and learns something they will take with them, but rarely will it mean a leg up to get into that college from an admissions perspective.