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12 Summer Programs in Kentucky for High Schoolers

What’s Covered:

 

Wondering how you can make the most of your summer? Participating in a summer program is one great way for high school students to take advantage of their free time.

 

Summer camps aren’t just for younger kids; many programs are designed specifically for high school students to give them insight into college admissions and future career opportunities. By combining summer programs with other traditional summer activities, you can maximize your summer experience while further developing your skills and interests. We’ve rounded up 12 summer programs in Kentucky to help you figure out which program might suit your unique interests and goals.

 

Why Summer Programs Benefit High Schoolers

 

As we said, summer programs for high school students are about more than just having fun (although there’s plenty of that too!). Here are some of the main benefits of summer programs:

 

Inspire academic excellence. After experiencing a slump in academic interest over the summer, readjusting to the start of the school year can be a tough transition. Summer programs provide many academic benefits, such as hands-on activities and project-based learning, without the same stress of completing homework or preparing for quizzes. Students can choose to pursue the subjects that interest them or to explore a new field in a fun environment before returning to school excited to apply what they’ve learned over the summer.

 

Specialize in an area of interest. Many programs narrow their focus to cater to students with specific interests. Most of the time, these students may know what subjects they like in school or have an idea of a career they’d like to pursue. Summer programs allow students to deepdive into their interests, expanding their awareness of opportunities in a field by meeting current professionals or visiting local sites. Plus, they often learn the skills and technologies currently being used by that industry, so they can feel confident in their choice of major or career.

 

Enhance your student’s application. Because summer programs allow students to specialize, they can demonstrate their interest in a field more directly than traditional part-time jobs or volunteer opportunities can. Many college admissions counselors consider extracurricular activities not only for regular admissions, but also for eligibility for honors programs and scholarships. By participating in a summer program, students can strengthen the theme of their application and set themselves apart from other applicants.

 

Meet current students and faculty. Perhaps the greatest advantage of attending a summer program at a college is the chance for you to connect with current students and faculty. One of our top recommendations for helping students get into their dream school is to connect with students who were successfully admitted to that school, and summer programs can facilitate that process for high school students. By attending any of these college-based programs, high school students can get to know current students and can get the inside scoop about campus life and the college community. 

 

If you’re worried that you won’t have time to fulfill obligations such as volunteering, interning, or part time work, then rest assured: you don’t have to choose between these activities and a summer program. Many summer programs are short, sometimes even as short as a week, so you can balance other obligations while participating in a summer program. By diversifying your activities, you’ll be able to draw upon a wealth of extracurricular experiences when it comes time to apply for college.

 

Summer Programs in Kentucky

 

Note: 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 a Kentucky resident or not, or if there are scholarships available.

 

1. Kentucky Wesleyan Scholars Academy

 

Affiliate College: Kentucky Wesleyan

This residential week-long immersion allows students to experience college firsthand. They’ll learn from faculty and Kentucky Wesleyan alumni as they specialize in one of two tracks: Leadership Development or STEM. Students who choose to attend Kentucky Wesleyan for college also receive a $1000 scholarship!

 

  • Grades: 11th Only
  • Cost: $50
  • Deadline: May 27, 2022

 

2. Baking and Pastry Arts Camp

 

Affiliate College: Sullivan University

If you love watching the Food Network and dream of opening up your own cupcake shop, then this camp is perfect for you. Students will learn the applied science of baking as they master techniques for breads, pastries, and other kinds of dessert.

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th &12th
  • Cost: $895
  • Deadline: May 15, 2022

 

3. Culinary Camp

 

Affiliate College: Sullivan University

You don’t have to be the next Gordon Ramsey to enjoy this camp. You will learn about different aspects of the culinary arts, from knife skills and cooking techniques to food science and nutrition. And of course, you’ll get to eat your creations!

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th &12th
  • Cost: $895
  • Deadline: May 15, 2022

 

4. Advanced Culinary Camp

 

This camp is for students who have already completed the Culinary Camp, or who have significant experience in the kitchen. They will learn advanced cooking techniques as well as explore more specialized areas such as molecular gastronomy and sous-vide cooking.

 

Affiliate College: Sullivan University

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th &12th
  • Cost: $895
  • Deadline: May 15, 2022

 

5. Med Camp

 

Affiliate College: Sullivan University

This camp will give you the foundation you need to have a successful career in medicine. Students will have the opportunity to learn about exciting careers firsthand from professionals, and learn lab skills with Sullivan faculty.

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th &12th
  • Cost: $495
  • Deadline: May 15, 2022

 

6. Nasa HUNCH

 

Affiliate College: Sullivan University

This exciting camp partners with NASA and their HUNCH Culinary program to discuss how food is produced for space! After the program, you’ll have the opportunity to enter the National HUNCH Culinary Challenge competition, in which the winning school’s food will be sent to the International Space Station!

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th &12th
  • Cost: $895
  • Deadline: May 15, 2022

 

7. Kentucky Forest Leadership Program

 

Affiliate College: University of Kentucky

Does your student love the outdoors or have an interest in biology? This week-long program introduces students to careers in forestry, entomology, and wildlife through teaching and hands-on activities led by UK faculty and natural resource professionals from the Division of Forestry, Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, and the Kentucky Division of Conservation.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Cost: $500
  • Deadline: May 20, 2022

 

8. Young Leaders Academy

 

Affiliate College: University of Louisville

Each year, the University of Louisville holds a four-day conference-style program for high-achieving students to hone their leadership skills and deepen their appreciation for American history. This year’s theme is “Revisiting American Constitutionalism” and students will explore this topic through seminars, discussions, and team-building activities.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Cost: $0
  • Deadline: April 15, 2022

 

9. iDTech Camps | Game Design and Development 101

 

Affiliate College: University of Louisville

If your student is interested in a career in game design, look no further. This week-long program introduces students to two industry-standard programs. First, they’ll use Maya to create the visual and aesthetic elements of their game, and then they’ll use Unreal Engine 4 to create rules, events, and other game mechanics.

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $899

 

10. iDTech Camps | Intro to Coding for Machine Learning

Affiliate College: University of Louisville

This week-long program will give your student the foundation to develop their own codes and prepare for advanced machine-learning programming. They’ll master Python to generate their own codes, learn about and create a neural network, and bolster their logical reasoning skills with logic games.

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $949

 

11. iDTech Camps | Digital Video Production: Start a YouTube Channel

Affiliate College: University of Louisville

Perfect for the student who is interested in video production, this week-long program introduces students to the basic elements of shooting and editing a video. They’ll work with professional equipment including DSLR cameras, use screen-capture software, and get a designated laptop to edit audio and video files.

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $999

 

12. Western Kentucky University – VAMPY

 

Affiliate College: Western Kentucky University

A three-week residential experience for gifted and high-ability students, students will study a topic of their choice in a rigorous but exciting setting. They’ll learn from their equally motivated peers and get to connect with current college students who serve as camp counselors and lead team-building activities.

 

  • Grades: 9th & 10th Only
  • Cost: $3,600
  • Deadline: May 1, 2022

 

How do Summer Programs Impact Your College Chances?

 

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. Consequently, some summer programs are given more weight in college admissions than others.  

 

The four tiers of extracurricular activities are a good way to understand how colleges value activities outside of the classroom, like summer programs. The most impressive, prestigious, rare, and influential activities are placed in the top two tiers. A good example of a top-tier Arkansas summer program is the super-selective Arkansas Governor’s School.

 

Lower-tier extracurricular activities don’t hold the same sway with admissions offices, however, they are often still valuable. Less-selective and esteemed programs still show off your interests to potential colleges while highlighting your desire to pursue your passions. Many field-specific activities also help build the skills you need to ace everything from the essays to interviews you’ll encounter in the college application process. 

 

Curious how the summer program you participated in affects your odds of college admission? CollegeVine can help! Our free chancing calculator uses a variety of factors including grades, test scores, and extracurriculars to estimate your odds of getting into hundreds of colleges and universities while also providing insight into how to improve your profile.


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.