11 Summer Programs in Arizona for High Schoolers

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Students and parents often think that “summer camps” are just for younger kids and that high schoolers are better off spending their summers working. However, there are summer programs designed specifically for high school students that give students the opportunity to learn and grow in ways that a traditional part-time job can’t do.

 

Summer programs are a way for high school students to develop their interests and learn more about college and careers. Plus, participating in a summer program can make a student’s application stronger by senior year. We’ve rounded up 11 summer programs in Arizona to help parents figure out which program might suit their student’s interests.

 

Why Summer Programs Benefit High Schoolers

 

Summer programs for high school students are about more than having fun (although there’s plenty of that too!). One of the main benefits of summer programs is that they allow high school students to specialize in an area of interest. They often give students an inside look into an industry or academic discipline that they wouldn’t be able to get in a traditional class setting and expand students’ awareness of opportunities in that field.

 

Many summer programs are at colleges and universities, which provide an additional bonus of helping students get a feel for what it’s like to be on a college campus. These programs often share hard-to-find resources with high school students in preparation for college admissions, such as specialized learning communities or even scholarships. Not only that, but students have the chance to connect with college faculty and students directly, which can make them more excited about college in general.

 

Colleges admissions officers care about students’ extracurricular activities. They want to see that students pursued their interests and took advantage of what was available to them. Summer programs are often more interesting to admissions counselors than just other types of activity because fewer students participate in them, and the experiences can be valuable material for an admission essay.

 

There’s also no need to have to choose between working over the summer and doing a summer program. Many summer programs are short, sometimes even as short as a day, which allow students to balance work and family obligations while pursuing their interests.

 

Summer Programs in Arizona

 

These program costs are all approximate. There may be differences in cost based on whether a student stays on-campus or decides to commute, is an Arizona resident or not, or if there are scholarships available.

 

 

1. Business Careers Awareness Program

 

Students explore the accounting field with the University of Arizona School of Accountancy and Center for Entrepreneurship. You can choose to participate in Experience Day or the week-long residential program. Learn more about the Business Careers Awareness Program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: University of Arizona
  • Grades: 11th grade only
  • Cost: $0
  • Deadline: 3/29/19
  • Essay Prompts: What do you hope to learn/accomplish as a participant in the BCAP Program? How does attending this program fit into your future college and career aspirations?

 

 

2. Young Writers Institute

 

Students develop writing fluency and confidence during this 3-week program at the University of Arizona. Learn more about the Young Writers Institute.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: University of Arizona
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $15 application fee
  • Essay Prompts: Why are you applying to attend the Young Writers Institute? Be honest! Do you love writing and want to grow as a writer? Do you hate writing and someone is insisting that you apply? What do you think about your writing skills and how can participating in the program help you? (200 words)
  • Additional Requirements: A letter of support from a teacher, school administrator, or job supervisor.

 

 

3. Summer Experience at West

 

Students can choose to learn about psychology, biology, mathematics, nutrition  or physical wellness during this 3-day program at Arizona State University. They can even choose to stay on-campus. Learn more about the Summer Experience at West.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Arizona State University
  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Cost: $50-100
  • Deadlines: Priority deadline is 4/1/19; the final deadline is rolling until the program is full.

 

 

4. Keep Engaging Youth in Science (KEYS) Research Internship

 

Students work side-by-side with top faculty during this 7-week STEM research program at the University of Arizona.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: University of Arizona
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $0
  • Deadline: December 2, 2019 (for Summer 2020)
  • Essay Prompts: Write a letter responding to the following prompts (800 words):
    • Identify​ ​your​ ​life​ ​and​ ​academic​ ​goals​ ​and​ ​explain​ ​how​ ​participating​ ​in​ ​the​ ​KEYS Research​ ​Internship​ ​will​ ​help​ ​you​ ​achieve​ ​both.
    • Identify​ ​your​ ​specific​ ​interests​ ​in​ ​bioscience​ ​research,​ ​if​ ​you​ ​have​ ​them,​ ​and explain​ ​what​ ​sparked​ ​your​ ​interests.​ ​Or,​ ​if​ ​your​ ​interests​ ​are​ ​still​ ​evolving,​ ​explain how​ ​the​ ​KEYS​ ​Research​ ​Internship​ ​will​ ​help​ ​you​ ​narrow​ ​your​ ​focus.
    • Identify​ ​one​ ​of​ ​your​ ​strengths​ ​or​ ​attributes​ ​and​ ​explain​ ​how​ ​it​ ​makes​ ​you​ ​more competitive​ ​for​ ​the​ ​KEYS​ ​Research​ ​Internship.
  • Additional Requirements:
    • High school GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 grading scale
    • 16 years of age or older on the first day of the program
    • Arizona resident
    • U.S. citizenship or legal residency
    • Chemistry and Biology recommended

 

 

5. University of Arizona Med-Start

 

Students explore healthcare career opportunities during this in-depth 6-week program at the University of Arizona. Learn more about the University of Arizona Med-Start Program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: University of Arizona
  • Grades: 11th Only
  • Cost: $4,100
  • Deadline: 2/1/19
  • Additional Requirements: Residents of Arizona

 

 

6. Summer Engineering Experience: SEE@ASU

 

Students receive an exciting introduction to the engineering profession, including research opportunities and hands-on projects, during this 5-day program at Arizona State University. They can even choose to stay on-campus. Learn more about SEE@ASU.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Arizona State University
  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Cost: $350-650
  • Additional Requirements: Must have maintained a 2.75 GPA in all your academic classes in high school.

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7. Camp Architecture

 

Students get a unique glimpse into the world of architecture design during this 1-week program with the University of Arizona’s College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture. Learn more about Camp Architecture.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: University of Arizona
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th

 

 

8. The Art of Invention: Escape Room Maker Camp

 

Students can hone their STEAM skills as they design puzzles for an escape-room challenge during this 1-week program at Arizona State University. Learn more about The Art of Invention: Escape Room Maker Camp.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Arizona State University
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $250
  • Deadline: 7/8/19

 

 

9. High School Game Camp

 

Students learn intensive video game creation skills during this two-week program at Arizona State University. Learn more about the High School Game Camp.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Arizona State University
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $650
  • Deadlines: 6/1/19

 

 

10. App Camp

 

Students use the fundamentals of programming and computational thinking to develop an iPhone app during this 11-day camp at Arizona State University. Learn more about the App Camp.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Arizona State University
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $625
  • Deadlines: 6/24/19

 

 

11. Mayo Clinic High School Student Summer Volunteer Program

 

Students can volunteer in both clinic and hospital settings during this intensive 9-week program at the Mayo Clinic, where students will learn valuable skills about healthcare and medicine firsthand. Learn more about the Mayo Clinic Summer Volunteer Program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Mayo Clinic
  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Cost: $0
  • Deadlines: 2/1/19

 

Wrapping it Up

 

As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for students to learn more about different industries and experience college firsthand.

 

If your student missed a deadline, you can always plan for next summer. There are plenty of other activities that students can participate in over the summer to stay engaged, including getting involved in community organization, volunteer service, and working. You can find some ideas for activities in our post Summer Activities to Strengthen your College Applications.

 

It can be hard to find summer programs that will work for you and your student’s schedule and that your student is interested in. That’s why CollegeVine’s Mentorship Program helps students identify activities to refine their interests and strengthen their portfolios. Find out if our Mentorship Program is right for you!

 

Check out some of our other posts about extracurriculars:

 

11 Academic Competitions to Boost your High School Profile

15 Medical Internships for High School Students

6 Pre-College Programs You can Join in High School

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Gianna Cifredo
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Gianna Cifredo is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she majored in Philosophy. She has six years of higher education and test prep experience, and now works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida and is a proud cat mom.