15 Summer Programs in Arkansas for High Schoolers

If you’re looking to maximize your high schooler’s summer, consider a pre-college summer program! These programs are a great way for students to gain a deeper understanding of their favorite subjects in a more rigorous context. Spending a summer academically engaged on a college campus is a great way for your teen to get a glimpse of college life and prepare for the demands of learning beyond high school.

 

From short day-camps to full-summer residential programs, these experiences provide high school students with the invaluable opportunity to learn from and alongside talented faculty and peers alike—ultimately helping your student realize their full academic potential.

 

It is important to note that some summer programs are more competitive than others, requiring letters of recommendation and standardized test scores, while other programs are open to all students within a particular grade level. With all of these options, there is a lot for you as a parents to consider.

 

Continue reading to learn how summer programs can help your student build a better application and get a jumpstart on your search with an overview of 15 exciting pre-college programs for your teen in the state of Arkansas.

 

Why Summer Programs are Beneficial for High Schoolers

 

Getting a feel for university life via pre-college programs can help students determine the kind of school and college experience they may want in the future.  Many summer programs simulate college life through on campus living and challenging coursework. This is a great opportunity for students who have never lived away from home to get accustomed to the idea early on.

 

Additionally, involvement in summer programs can eventually demonstrate your student’s drive and passion for a particular area of study to undergraduate admissions officers. Overall, participating in a summer program is one of the many ways that your teen can show prospective schools that they are a self-motivated and ready to thrive in a college setting.

 

For more information about why your student should partake in summer programs visit, Why You Need to Gear Up Now for Summer Programs.

 

15 Summer Programs in Arkansas for High Schoolers

 

Note: costs are estimates and can vary according to factors such as residential or commuter status.

 

1. Arkansas Governor’s School (AGS)

 

This 4-week residential program at Arkansas Tech University provides gifted students the opportunity to explore their creativity through intellectually driven artistic pursuit.

 

  • Eligibility: Rising 12th graders in the state of Arkansas that have been nominated by their high school.
  • Cost: $0
  • Affiliate Institution: Arkansas Tech University
  • Deadline: January 31, 2019

 

Visit the Application Information page for more info on area specific application requirements.

 

 

2. Senior High Band Camp

 

During this 6-day program at Arkansas Tech University, students will receive specialized musical instruction for varying levels of skill, ensuring that every high schooler gets the chance to grow stronger in their musicianship.

 

  • Eligibility: Student must be in 9th-12th grade during the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • Cost: $50 (minimum cost to hold spot)
  • Affiliate Institution: Arkansas Tech University

 

 

3. SAU Engineering Summer Camp

 

This 3-day program at Southern Arkansas University allows students to explore their passion for STEM. Ultimately, this summer camp aims to foster a love for engineering and physics through engaging projects related to programming, design and digital modeling.

 

  • Eligibility: Grades 8-12th
  • Cost: $275
  • Affiliate Institution: Southern Arkansas University
  • Deadline: TBA
  • Register Here

 

 

4. Design Camp

 

This 5-day camp at the University of Arkansas exposes high schoolers to the exciting world of architecture. Via engaging projects, tours, presentations and discussions led by faculty of the Fay Jones School, high schoolers will learn key design principles of architecture.  

 

  • Eligibility: Rising 9th-12th graders.
  • Cost: $675
  • Affiliate Institution: University of Arkansas
  • Deadline: May 24, 2019

 

 

5. Engineering Summer Academy

 

During this 1-week program at the University of Arkansas—Fayetteville, students will participate in engaging activities in the university’s cutting edge labs alongside engineering faculty and current students.

 

  • Eligibility: Rising 10th-12th graders.
  • Cost: $675
  • Affiliate Institution: University of Arkansas at Fayetteville

 

Required Essay:

 

 

6. High School Research Program

 

This 3-week residential program at the University of Arkansas—Little Rock aims to expose high achieving high schoolers to focused research and proactive mentorship in order to help them build a foundation for future success in STEM. Although this research program is rigorous, students also have the opportunity to enjoy the greater Little Rock area in their free time.

 

  • Eligibility: Current 8-11th graders.
  • Cost:
  • Affiliate Institution: University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • Deadline: April 19, 2019

 

Required Essays:

  • One-page write-up about your professional area of interest
  • Letter of intent to participate

 

 

7. Engineering Scholars Program

 

This 1-week residential program at the University of Arkansas – Little Rock aims to increase the number of students entering engineering programs in Arkansas through exposure to exciting  engineering projects and leading industry engineers. Additionally, this one-week program includes career advising to help students prepare for college and beyond.

 

  • Eligibility: Current 8th-11th graders interested in engineering
  • Affiliate Institution: University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • Deadline: April 19, 2019

 

Required Essay:

  • A 250 word statement about your professional interests.

Build a Profile That Will Impress Admissions Officers

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8. National Summer Transportation Institute

 

This 2-week residential program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is an interactive program that gives students the opportunity to explore various transportation fields and careers in sectors such as land, water, air, and safety. Additionally, English, science, math, and technology courses provide students with a strong foundation for concepts directly related to projects and  labs.

 

  • Eligibility: Current 8th-11th graders who are Arkansas residents and have GPA of at least a 2.5.
  • Affiliate Institution: University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • Deadline: April 20, 2019

 

Required Essay:

  • A 250 word statement about your professional interests.

 

 

9. Geology Camp

 

Delve into the field of  geology through field mapping during this 1-week residential camp at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Ultimately, this program provides students with an introduction to geology through the use of geographic information systems (GIS). Additionally, high schoolers will be exposed to various geological careers as well as advising to help students prepare for college and beyond.

 

  • Eligibility: Current 8th-11th graders
  • Affiliate Institution: University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • Deadline: April 19, 2019

 

Required Essay:

  • A 250 word statement about your professional interest

 

 

10. M*A*S*H (Medical Applications of Science for Health)

 

This 2-week summer health careers camp gives high schoolers the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of health professions while gaining practical first aid skills along the way.During this program, students will be exposed to learning basic CPR and first aid, casting and suturing, medical terminology and more.

 

  • Eligibility: Students from rural areas 10th, & 11th
    • M*A*S*H is open to current high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have a minimum 3.0 GPA and one science/one math class with a “B” average to apply. Teacher and counselor recommendations are required (mailed with student applications).
  • Cost: $0
  • Affiliate Institution: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

 

 

11. Academy of Pre-Health Scholars (APHS)

 

This 6-week program at the University of Arkansas for the Medical Sciences is a great opportunity for students who have a strong interest in a variety of healthcare professions. Ultimately, APHS aims to help high achieving, historically underrepresented populations in STEM reach new heights of success.

 

  • Eligibility: This program is restricted to disadvantaged and/or underrepresented rising 9th-11th graders.
    • Successful completion of Algebra I or a plan to complete Algebra I by the end of Spring 2019 is required.
    • Minimum GPA of 2.90.
    • Visit APHS 2019 Applicant’s Guide page for more detailed information regarding  eligibility.
  • Incentives: Stipend up to $250 (based on overall program performance and attendance) plus a $40 value stipend/voucher for the upcoming real ACT.
    • Students must attend all sessions Monday to Friday for all 6 weeks.
  • App fee: $30
  • Affiliate Institution: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Deadlines:
    • Priority Deadline: March 15,2019
    • Final Deadline: March 25, 2019

 

 

12. HEALERS Program

 

This program aims to provide aspiring medical professions with practical knowledge such as how to administer first aid and CPR while exposing students to a variety of medically related fields. Additionally, students will have the invaluable opportunity to gain clinical experience through active volunteering.

 

  • Eligibility: Open to high school students in Pulaski County entering their junior or senior year in the fall of 2019.
  • Cost: $0
  • Affiliate Institution: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Deadline: March 15, 2019

 

Required Short Responses:

  • Why are you interested in volunteering your time at UAMS this summer?
  • Have you had personal experiences related to healthcare and/or medicine that have prompted your decision to apply to this program? Tell us what interests you the most about healthcare and medicine.
  • Brag on yourself! What significant school-related (or non-school related) achievements have you accomplished? In addition, please share jobs/duties you have held in your community and in school that have demonstrated your dependability, commitment and level of responsibility.
  • We receive hundreds of applications for this program; please tell us about your summer plans, such as vacations, camps or other commitments, as well as anything that might interfere with your participation in the HEALERS Program during the program dates.

 

 

13. Nerd C.A.M.P. (Computational Analysis, Math and Programming)

 

This technology oriented summer program at the Arkansas School for Math, Science, and the Arts emphasizes conceptual understanding and mathematical modeling throughout their

computer programming and mathematics courses in order to help students sharpen their analytical skills. Program offerings include exploring the world of fractals through programming, creating Android Apps with MIT App Inventor and gaining a foundational understanding of calculus and number theory.

 

  • Eligibility: rising sophomore; projected graduating class of 2022
  • Cost: $0
  • Affiliate Institution: Arkansas School for Math, Science, and the Arts
  • Deadline: April 30,2019
  • Apply Here

 

Required Essays:

Please answer the two essay questions below.  Essays should between 200 and 300 words in length.

  • Answer in at least two short paragraphs: Which class do you look forward to the most each day? Why are you passionate about this subject?
  • Answer in at least two short paragraphs: If you were given $500,000 to invest in your local community, how would you spend it?

 

 

14. Asma Summer Arts Bridge | Studio Art

 

Students can explore oil painting, observational drawing, collage, abstract design, art criticism, and more during this program at the Arkansas School for Math, Science, and the Arts! Essentially, students will gain a comprehensive overview of art mediums and style—making them more informed and thoughtful artists.

 

  • Eligibility: Rising sophomore with a  projected graduation year of 2022
  • Cost: $0
  • Affiliate Institution:Arkansas School for Math, Science, and the Arts
  • Deadline: April 30,2019
  • Apply Here

 

Required Essays:

Please answer the two essay questions below.  Essays should between 200 and 300 words in length.

  • Answer in at least two short paragraphs: Which class do you look forward to the most each day? Why are you passionate about this subject?
  • Answer in at least two short paragraphs: If you were given $500,000 to invest in your local community, how would you spend it?

 

 

15. Biomedical Sciences Summer Institute

 

This summer institute at the Arkansas School for Math, Science, and the Arts provides students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in molecular biology laboratory technique. Beyond the laboratory, this program also emphasizes the importance of  in scientific literacy and communication skills. It is a great option for students who are interested in careers in medicine, microbiology, forensic science and other related fields. By the end of the program, students can look forward to applying their learned knowledge to projects like DNA isolation and the evaluation of bacterial assays!

 

  • Eligibility: rising sophomore; projected graduating class of 2022
  • Deadline: Apply here for June program, and here for July program

 

Required Essay:

  • In at least two short paragraphs, explain why you would like to participate in the ASMSA Biomedical Summer Camp? Specifically what interests you?
  • In at least two short paragraphs, tell us which class do you look forward to the most each day? Why are you passionate about this subject?

 

How Can You Help Your Teen Find Summer Programs?

 

If your high schooler needs help finding and applying to summer programs that align with their interests and long term goals, don’t hesitate to reach out to teachers and guidance counselors for insight on programs that may fit your student’s needs! Additionally, our CollegeVine Mentorship Program is a great resource to help students strengthen their application profiles.

 

For more information on regional summer programs and opportunities, take a look at these CollegeVine posts:

 

Top 10 Most Underrated Colleges in the Southwest

7 Summer Programs in Idaho for High Schoolers

11 Summer Programs in Arizona for High Schoolers

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Short bio
Kristen is an alumna of Vanderbilt University, where she earned degrees in English and Medicine Health & Society. In her free time she enjoys writing poetry. She lives in Arlington, Texas and is currently applying to graduate school.