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5 Summer Programs in North Dakota for High Schoolers

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As the school year rolls into the second semester, you are probably thinking about finals, AP exams, and spring sports or other activities. One thing you might not be thinking about yet is the upcoming summer. Many summer programs have early application deadlines so it’s always good to plan ahead. 


Summer programs are a great option to explore college life, gain real world skills, and learn more about yourself and your goals for the future. Although it might not seem like North Dakota is a hotspot for summer programs, there are in fact some great options available to high schoolers in the state. To learn more about summer programs in North Dakota, don’t miss this post. 


5 Summer Programs in North Dakota


*These program costs are estimates. Actual costs may vary based on commuter status, residency, or whether there are scholarships available.


1. Sanford Ambulance Explorers 


This program is designed for high school students interested in a shadow career program in which you can learn hands-on experience through observation and participation with professional and successful paramedics and EMTs that strive for excellence in patient care, community service, and compassion. This is a great opportunity and a great start for anyone interested in continuing their education in the medical field. 


  • Affiliate Organization: North Dakota State College of Science
  • Grades: 9th-12th
  • Dates: various summer sessions
  • Cost: $55
  • Deadline: Registration open on the Sanford Success Center until all spaces are filled. 


2. H.O.P.E. – Health Occupations and Professions Exploration


At HOPE Camp, students spend three days immersed in hands-on activities and classes related to a variety of health professions. Priority is given to rural students interested in a career in healthcare. 


  • Affiliate Organization: North Dakota State University
  • Grades: 10th-12th
  • Dates: July 10-12
  • Cost: Contact Dana Davis at (701) 231-7837 or email [email protected] for more information. 
  • Deadline: June 3rd


3. North Dakota Leadership Seminar (NDLS)


Each spring, more than 100 of the state’s top students gather together for three days to build leadership and community service skills through the North Dakota Leadership Seminar. Led by volunteers from the fields of business, education, and government, students attend workshops and seminars addressing numerous aspects of our changing world and the challenges future leaders will confront. A closing banquet and program is held on Sunday, and participants’ families are encouraged to attend. 


  • Affiliate Organization: University of Jamestown
  • Grades: 10th grade only
  • Dates: June 3-5
  • Cost: Free to students who are accepted
  • See the NDLS registration page for more details. 


4. Summer Institute Program


Open to American Indian students, this six-week residential program provides academic enrichment for students interested in exploring careers or fields of study in healthcare. Students take daily classes in biology, chemistry, communications/study skills, health with basic first aid, math, and physics, all the while living on the college campus and participating in educational field trips. 


  • Affiliate Organization: University of North Dakota
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, and 11th
  • Dates: June 6- July 15
  • Cost: Free to accepted students 
  • Deadline: March 15, 2022


5. North Dakota ALA Girls State


In this week-long residential program, girls learn about the government and how it functions through a simulation that includes actually running for offices, holding elections, writing ordinances/laws, and various other activities. 


  • Grades: 11th only
  • Dates: June 12-17
  • Cost: $300, covered by an American Legion Sponsor. Visit the Find a Sponsor page for more information. 
  • Deadline: May 15


How do Summer Programs Impact Your College Chances?


The value of attending a summer program varies and everything from the selectivity of the program to the weight that a particular college places on extracurriculars, such as summer programs, will determine how much value a school gives it.  


The four tiers of extracurricular activities provide a good guideline for understanding how activities outside of the classroom affect your odds of admission. Tier-one and tier-two activities are the rarest, most prestigious, and most influential to colleges; consequently, they have the greatest impact on your chances of admission. 


Colleges place less value on tier-three and -four activities, which are less selective and more common than their higher-tiered counterparts. That said, attending a lower-tiered activity still has value—it shows you’re passionate about a subject and motivated to pursue the things that interest you. 


Curious about the effect extracurricular activities have on your chances 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.

Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger

Short Bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.