What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Loading…
UCLA
Loading…
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

21 Summer Programs in Iowa for High Schoolers

Want to know how your profile compares to students with similar goals?

See how your profile stacks up to other students and what areas you need to improve in order to meet your college and future career goals. Get started in minutes with your 100% free CollegeVine account!

What’s Covered:

 

It’s the time of year to start planning your summer! If you have a few weeks to spare and want to try something new, consider applying to one of these Iowa-based summer programs for high school students.

 

21 Summer Programs in Iowa

 

1. One Course Summer Institute | Creative Writing: Sparking Creativity for College 

 

Spend 18 days freeing your imagination and writing from the heart while earning college credit. Participants get to practice the craft of writing and experiment with various forms of expression, including poetry, essays, and oral presentations.  

 

Affiliation: Cornell College

Grades: 10th and 11th

Cost: $3,200-$4,000

Deadline: N/A

Application Requirements: Transcript and 250-word personal statement

 

2. One Course Summer Institute | 18 Days Later: Zombies, Brains, and Basic Neuroscience

 

Have you ever wanted to dive into the science of a zombie’s brain? If so, you’re in luck! Psychology Professor Steven Neese has created a rigorous exploration that gives you an understanding of the human brain and how pop culture’s representation of zombies has influenced researchers. 

 

Affiliation: Cornell College

Grades: 10th and 11th

Cost: $3,200-$4,000

Deadline: N/A

Application Requirements: Transcript and 250-word personal statement 

 

3. One Course Summer Institute | Thinking With Things 

 

This awesome Iowa summer program shows you how the fields of archaeology, anthropology, and art history connect and intersect to shape our world. As a participant, you’ll visit a historical site and leave the program with hands-on experience handling replica artifacts. 

 

Affiliation: Cornell College

Grades: 10th and 11th

Cost: $3,200-$4,000

Deadline: N/A

Application Requirements: Transcript and 250-word personal statement

 

4. One Course Summer Institute | DIY Genetic Engineering 

 

This lab-based summer program introduces you to the basic molecular techniques used for everything from forensic science to gene editing. Activities include solving a hypothetical crime using DNA evidence, injecting glow-in-the-dark genes into bacteria, and genetically modifying bacteria. 

 

Affiliation: Cornell College

Grades: 10th and 11th

Cost: $3,200-$4,000

Deadline: N/A

Application Requirements: Transcript and 250-word personal statement

 

5. One Course Summer Institute | Chemistry and the Kitchen: Should We Be Wearing Goggles

 

This fun summer program uses science to answer many of the questions encountered in the kitchen. For example:

 

  • Why are things spicy?
  • Why do onions make your eyes water?
  • Why do things change color when they’re cooked?
  • Why are cookies crunchy or chewy? 

 

You can expect to spend time in the lab and conducting edible experiments in the kitchen. 

 

Affiliation: Cornell College

Grades: 10th and 11th

Cost: $3,200-$4,000

Deadline: N/A

Application Requirements: Transcript and 250-word personal statement

 

6. One Course Summer Institute | Experimental Drawing: Making a Mark

 

If you’re an aspiring artist, you’ll want to look into this Iowa summer program that explores the spirit and process of creativity while growing your understanding of drawing. Expect to spend time in the classroom learning about artists and theories, and in the studio practicing drawing, photography, video installation, and performance.  

 

Affiliation: Cornell College

Grades: 10th and 11th

Cost: $3,200-$4,000

Deadline: N/A

Application Requirements: Transcript and 250-word personal statement

 

7. One Course Summer Institute | Solving Big Problems With Data Systems 

 

Big Data can help answer some of society’s most complex questions. In this summer program, you’ll examine analyzing millions and billions of numbers efficiently and effectively. You should have some experience coding with if/then logic and mathematical functions in any code base.

 

Affiliation: Cornell College

Grades: 10th and 11th

Cost: $3,200-$4,000

Deadline: N/A

Application Requirements: Transcript and 250-word personal statement

 

8. Upward Bound Math-Science Summer Program 

 

The Upward Bound Summer Program provides a unique opportunity for students from low-income families where neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree. Participants will spend six weeks on Iowa State’s campus learning what it’s like to attend college while building the skills they need to succeed in higher education.

 

Affiliate organization: Iowa State University 

Ages: 13-19   

Cost: Free 

Deadline: N/A 

Additional requirements: 

  • First-generation college student
  • Meet federal low-income guidelines  
  • Enrolled at Fort Dodge Senior High, Marshalltown High School, or Perry High School

 

9. George Washington Carver Internship Program

 

If you think a career in research may be right for you, check out the George Washington Carver Internship Program. Students have the rare opportunity to work closely with a faculty member as they brainstorm and prepare their own eight-week research project while earning a stipend.

 

Affiliation: Iowa State University

Grades: 12th

Cost: $0

Deadline: 3/3/22

Application Requirements:

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Transcript
  • Two letters of recommendation 
  • Personal statement 
  • Diversity statement 

 

10. Summer Writing Residency

 

Spend three weeks strengthening your writing at the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa, home to the famed Iowa Writers Workshop. This residency program builds creative writing skills through workshops, tours, lectures, seminars, discussions, and events with the University of Iowa’s world-class faculty. Priority will be given to students who have participated in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

 

Affiliation: University of Iowa

Grades: 9th, 10th, and 11th

Cost: $2,200-$4,050

Deadline: N/A

Application requirements:

  • Teacher recommendation 
  • Two essays 
  • Two samples of your work 

 

11. Perry Research Scholars Institute

 

Gifted and talented 9th and 10th graders are encouraged to apply for this two-week residential program, in which students will encounter all sorts of research professionals engaged in fields ranging from anthropology to engineering to sustainability.

 

Affiliation: University of Iowa

Grades: 9th and 10th

Cost: $1,200

Deadline: 3/24/22

Application requirements:

  • Transcript
  • Two letters of recommendation 
  • Essay 

 

12. Summer Art Residency

 

Immerse yourself in art-making by joining the Belin-Blank Center for three weeks of their Summer Art Residency. Students collaborate in workshops, classes, and events outside the classroom to create art that is original and supported by strong technique. Priority will be given to students who have participated in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

 

Affiliation: University of Iowa

Grades: 9th, 10th, and 11th

Cost: $4,050

Deadline: N/A

Application requirements: 

  • Letter of recommendation 
  • Two essays
  • Two samples of your work

 

13. Secondary Student Training Program

 

If you’re in either 10th or 11th grade and looking for a selective summer research program, look no further. The Secondary Student Training Program (SSTP) offers an excellent opportunity to study at a research-intensive university while under the mentorship of world-class faculty and ultimately putting you on the path to meeting both your academic and professional goals. 

 

Affiliation: University of Iowa

Grades: 10th and 11th

Cost: $4,500-$7,500

Deadline: N/A

Application requirements: 

  • Two letters of recommendation 
  • Two essays

 

14. Iowa Summer Music Camps | Percussion Immersion

 

Spend six days honing your music skills as part of the more than six-decade-old Iowa Summer Music Camps. You will receive training and gain experience beyond anything offered at your high school. Percussion students study under internationally recognized performers, such as Dan Moore, Mat Britain, and Ginny Armstrong.

 

Affiliation: University of Iowa

Grades: 7th-12th

Cost: $4,500-$7,500

Deadline: 2/21/22

Application requirements:

  • Transcript
  • Two letters of recommendation 
  • Two essays 

 

15. Iowa Summer Music Camps | Jazz

 

Spend six days honing your music skills as part of the long-popular Iowa Summer Music Camps. You will receive training and gain experience beyond anything offered at your high school. The Jazz program places a special focus on theory, improvisation, and the art of listening.

 

Affiliation: University of Iowa

Grades: 7th-12th

Cost: $310-$675

Deadline: 5/30/22

 

16. Iowa Summer Music Camps | Clarinet

 

If you’re an aspiring clarinetist you can spend six days honing your music skills at the Iowa Summer Music Camps. You will receive training and gain experience beyond anything offered at your high school. Clarinet students will have intensive but fun practice sessions with Professor Jorge Montilla Moreno, advancing their technique regardless of skill upon entry.

 

Affiliation: University of Iowa

Grades: 7th-12th

Cost: $310-$675

Deadline: 5/30/22

 

17. Iowa Summer Music Camps | Piano

 

As a participant at Iowa Summer Music Camps, you can spend six days sharpening your music skills. You will receive training and gain experience beyond anything offered at your high school in an intense, yet fun, environment. Piano students are required to practice at least two hours per day and to bring two to three pieces, at least one of which they should have memorized already.

 

Affiliation: University of Iowa

Grades: 7th-12th

Cost: $310-$675

Deadline: 5/30/22

 

18. Iowa Summer Music Camps | National Youth Summer Saxophone 

 

If you’re an intermediate or advanced high school saxophonist, you’ll want to check out this selective summer camp. A maximum of 12 saxophonists are chosen to participate, ensuring individual attention while building the skills needed to pursue a degree in saxophone performance or music education in college. You should bring at least two prepared pieces (with scores) and are required to practice at least two hours daily. 

 

Affiliation: University of Iowa

Grades: 9th-12th

Cost: $310-$675

Deadline: 5/1/22

Application requirements: Recording (6-15 minutes long) featuring two contrasting excerpts of classical pieces (lyrical and fast)  

 

19. Iowa Young Writers’ Studio

 

Give yourself the freedom to explore your imagination at the Young Writers’ Studio at the University of Iowa. At the summer program, you’ll participate in workshops, hone your craft, and find a peaceful writing environment that gives you the opportunity to find your voice.

 

Affiliation: University of Iowa

Grades: 9th, 10th, and 11th

Cost: $575-$2,500

Deadline: 2/6/22

Application requirements: 

  • Transcript
  • Writing sample
  • Statement of purpose 
  • Letter of recommendation  

 

There is a $10 application fee, which is used to pay the students and graduates of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop who read and evaluate the writing samples.  

 

20. Summer Journalism Workshops

 

Every year, some of the best high school journalists from around the country gather to participate in this summer of fun-filled learning. Students test out industry skills, listen to exciting guest speakers, and collaborate to write inspiring articles of professional quality.

 

Affiliation: University of Iowa

Grades: 9th, 10th, and 11th

Cost: $175

Deadline: N/A


21. Iowa First Nations Summer Program

 

If you’re a Native American high school student in Iowa interested in pursuing post-secondary education, you’re going to want to look into this summer program. The Iowa First Nations Program provides an opportunity for Native American high schoolers to experience college life—from living on campus to exploring majors—while learning about Native American cultures. 

 

Affiliation: University of Iowa

Grades: 9th-12th

Cost: Free

Deadline: 4/29/22

Application requirements: Affiliated with one of the 67 tribes associated with the Iowa, Kickapoo, Menominee, Miami, Missouri (Otoe), Ojibwa (Chippewa), Omaha, Otoe (Missouri), Ottawa (Odawa), Potawatomi, Sac and Fox (Sauk, Meskwaki), Sioux, or Winnebago (Ho Chunk) nations

 

How Do Summer Programs Impact Your College Chances?

 

The influence summer programs have on your odds of college admission varies depending on numerous factors, including the prestige of the program and the value a particular college places on extracurricular activities. 

 

The four tiers of extracurricular activities provide an easy way to generally understand how colleges view out-of-the-classroom activities like summer programs. The top tiers (one and two) are reserved for activities that are extremely rare and very impressive, hence they typically hold a great deal of sway with admissions officers. For example, being one of the 12 young saxophonists chosen to participate in the National Youth Summer Saxophone Camp will carry more weight than simply signing up for a summer program. 

 

Lower-tier activities (three and four) don’t have the same value to college admissions officers, but they can still bolster your odds of acceptance. Lower-tier activities demonstrate an interest in learning and a desire to pursue what you’re passionate about. Many summer programs also build skills that colleges value—from critical thinking to creativity to communication.

 

CollegeVine can also help you determine the impact extracurricular activities have on your chances of college admission. Our free chancing calculator uses factors such as your 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
Veronica is an alumna of Harvard College, where she earned her A.B. in History and Classics. After graduating, she joined CollegeVine serving as the Curriculum Development Manager. She currently lives in Cambridge, MA and is writing her debut novel.