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15 Summer Programs in Florida for High Schoolers

What’s Covered:

 

There’s no shortage of great summer activities available to Florida high schoolers. Although enjoying one of the state’s great beaches, renowned theme parks, or simply hanging out with friends might sound like fun, they don’t move you closer to fulfilling your college and career dreams. Luckily, there are many notable summer programs for Florida high schoolers that blend academic interests with enjoyable activities where you can build valuable skills, explore new fields (or deep-dive old favorites), make new friends, gain firsthand experience, and ultimately put yourself on the path to success. 

 

15 Summer Programs in Florida for High Schoolers

 

1. UM Summer Scholars  

 

Affiliate organization: University of Miami 
Grades: 10th, 11th, and 12th 
Cost: $6,625-$8,850
Deadline: 5/1/22 
Additional requirements: 

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Transcript
  • Personal statement
  • Essay
  • Teacher recommendation¬†
  • Counselor recommendation¬†

 

The University of Miami‚Äôs three-week Summer Scholars program provides high schoolers with the opportunity to sample the college experience‚ÄĒtaking college-level work, earning college credit, and learning from the university‚Äôs faculty. A wide variety of courses are available in five fields:

 

  • Healthcare and medicine
  • Exploration sciences¬†
  • Communication and media
  • Architecture, engineering, and tech
  • Business, law, and global studies¬†

 

2. UM Academies 

 

Affiliate organization: University of Miami 

Grades: 10th, 11th, and 12th 

Cost: : $3,612- $5,100

Deadline: 5/1/22 

Additional requirements: 

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Transcript
  • Personal statement
  • Essay
  • Teacher recommendation¬†
  • Counselor recommendation¬†

 

UM Academies allow high schoolers to gain hands-on experience in the fields they’re passionate about. These two-week-long immersive academic experiences feature courses (not for credit) both in the morning and afternoon while leaving time to explore college life at one of the nation’s most well-known research universities. Courses in three academic areas are offered:

 

  • Business Academy: An Entrepreneurship Crash Course¬†
  • Hurricane Academy: Extreme Weather and Atmosphere Research¬†
  • Spanish Immersion Academy: Espa√Īol Sin Pasaporte¬†¬†

 

3. Young Scholars Program (YSP)

 

Affiliate organization: Florida State University 

Grades: 11th graders  

Cost: Free  

Deadline: 2/15/22 

Additional requirements: 

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA¬†
  • Scored in the 90th percentile or better in math on a nationally standardized exam (such as the¬† SAT, PSAT, ACT, or PLAN)¬†
  • Enrolled in or have completed Pre-Calculus
  • Essay¬†
  • Recommendation¬†

 

The YSP is a six-week residential program aimed at Florida high schoolers with an interest in pursuing careers in STEM. Participants typically attend three courses in the fields of math, science, and computer programming‚ÄĒthe courses are specifically designed for this program. Coursework is rigorous, but there are also abundant social and athletic activities scheduled, including themed dances, canoe trips, fireworks, and scavenger hunts.¬†

 

4. Medicine Summer Institute

 

Affiliate organization: Florida State University 

Grades: 10th and 11th graders  

Cost: $600-$1,200  

Deadline: N/A 

Additional requirements: 

  • Transcript¬†
  • Essay
  • Science teacher recommendation
  • Guidance counselor recommendation

 

This program is perfect for rising sophomores and juniors with an interest in pursuing a career in medicine. Participants get an up-close look at college life and what it‚Äôs like to be a medical student‚ÄĒsampling med school curriculum, meeting faculty, and interacting with like-minded peers.¬†

 

5. Upward Bound Math-Science Summer Residential Program 

 

Affiliate organization: Florida International University 

Grades: 9th and 10th graders  

Cost: Free 

Deadline: N/A 

Additional requirements: 

  • Minimum 3.3 GPA
  • Interest in pursuing a degree in a STEM field¬†
  • Meet Department of Education income needs

 

The Upward Bound Math-Science program provides a unique opportunity to experience college to Pell Grant-eligible, first-generation students from North Miami, North Miami Beach, Miami Central, Miami Northwestern, Miami Norland, and Miami Carol City. Participants take classes during the day, live in dorms, and participate in a variety of activities that are personal, career, and culturally focused.   

 

6. Virtual Forensic Science/CSI Camp

 

Affiliate organization: Florida International University 

Ages: 13-18  

Cost: $350 

Deadline: N/A  

 

Students who love detective novels and can’t get enough of true crime stories will want to check out this awesome Florida summer program. Participants in the week-long CSI Camp learn about forensic science and what it takes to become a crime scene expert while covering a variety of related topics including how to process crime scenes, bloodstain pattern analysis, and developing fingerprints. 

 

7. St. Petersburg College (SPC) Summer Musical Theater Program 

 

Affiliate organization: St. Petersburg College 

Grades: High school students and undergraduates 

Cost: Free  

Deadline: 5/17/22

 

This is a great chance for high school and college students to gain firsthand acting and technical theater experience over the summer. The program runs for five weeks and culminates in performances in front of real audiences. Past SPC Summer Musical Theater performances of Urinetown and Pippin have earned accolades and been counted among the ‚ÄúTop 10 Productions in Tampa Bay.‚ÄĚ Inclusion in the production is not guaranteed; those interested are required to audition.¬†

 

8. Cecil B. Keene Summer Enrichment Program (SEP)

 

Affiliate organization: St. Petersburg College  

Grades: 8th-11th graders 

Cost: N/A 

Deadline: N/A 

Additional requirements: Minimum 2.5 GPA and working toward a high school diploma

 

This selective summer program is designed to help students from Pinellas County build the skills they need to succeed in high school, college, and careers. Participants earn college credit, explore career paths, and build in-demand skills like critical thinking, time management, and communication. 

 

9. Marine Science at Eckerd College

 

Affiliate organization: Eckerd College 

Grades: 10th, 11th, and 12th graders

Cost: $1,845 

Deadline: N/A 

Additional requirements: Pass a swim test

 

This summer program is perfect for students who want to explore college life while on the ocean. The program is modeled after Eckerd College’s undergraduate marine science program and includes lots of hands-on experience on the water and in the lab learning about marine biology, marine geology, marine chemistry, and more. Participants should prepare themselves to work hard, get wet, and have an incredible experience! 

 

10. Theatre for Social Change 

 

Affiliate organization: Eckerd College 

Grades: 10th, 11th, and 12th graders

Cost: $695 

Deadline: N/A

 

This partnership between Eckerd College and the Asolo Repertory Theatre offers young artists the opportunity to work with professional theater artists to create and adapt stories that affect social change. During this program, participants will build the skills needed to create works of art and plant the seeds of change. 

 

 

11. College Prep at Eckerd 

 

Affiliate organization: Eckerd College 

Grades: 11th and 12th graders

Cost: Free

Deadline: 4/30/22 

Additional requirements: Live in St. Petersburg and come from a family with a maximum annual household income of $78,800 

 

This residential college prep program is designed to give students a firsthand experience with college‚ÄĒlearning what it does and what it offers them. During the program, the students will practice numerous skills essential to college survival, including navigating a college setting as an adult, experiencing the rigor of college coursework, and developing the habits needed for college success.¬†

 

12. Summer Institute Computer Science 

 

Affiliate organization: University of Central Florida  

Grades: 7th-11th graders 

Cost: $1,250 

Deadline: 4/29/22 

Additional requirements: Transcript, counselor recommendation, and teacher recommendation 

 

This three-week program is focused on students interested in learning about computer science and computer technology. Participants build programming skills, participate in a variety of interactive activities, and listen to lectures. Participants also meet like-minded peers‚ÄĒbuilding friendships and networks.¬†¬†

 

13. Competitive Programming Overview 

 

Affiliate organization: University of Central Florida  

Grades: 9th-12th graders 

Cost: $2,500 

Deadline: 5/20/22 

Additional requirements: Transcript, counselor recommendation, and teacher recommendation 

 

High-achieving high schoolers with a background in computer science and an interest in algorithms and programming competitions will want to check out this interesting summer program. The camp is designed specifically to help students improve their performance in contests such as USACO, CodeForces, and ultimately the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC). Over its two weeks, participants learn about the algorithms and data seen in competitions, participate in practice competitions, and receive personalized coaching. 

 

14. Biology Summer Institute 

 

Affiliate organization: University of Central Florida  

Grades: 11th and 12th graders 

Cost: $425 

Deadline: 5/20/22 

Additional requirements: Transcript, counselor recommendation, and teacher recommendation 

 

Rising juniors and seniors with an interest in biology will want to check out this week-long program exploring the ecosystems of Central Florida. Participants will participate in hands-on experiences under the supervision of professional biologists, learning the techniques and approaches used to assess water quality, monitor vegetation, and study gopher tortoises and marine turtles. Participants will also spend a day in the lab to build their knowledge of data analysis and the importance of clearly communicating scientific findings. 

 

15. Aerospace Camp

 

Affiliate organization: Embry‚ÄďRiddle Aeronautical University¬†

Ages: 15-18  

Cost: $4,400 

Deadline: N/A 

 

During this extremely cool four-week camp, students learn what it‚Äôs like to be a college student at Embry‚ÄďRiddle Aeronautical University while exploring career paths in flight, mechanical engineering, global security, and even becoming a NASA astronaut. Students will cover topics like the history of space flight, propulsion theory, orbital mechanics fundamentals, Space Shuttle operations, and U.S. space policy‚ÄĒearning three college credits upon the completion of camp.¬†

 

How do Summer Programs Impact Your College Chances?

 

The effect your participation in a summer program will have on your college admissions odds varies depending on several factors, including everything from the selectivity of the program to the value a particular college places on extracurricular activities, like summer programs. 

 

In general, the four tiers of extracurricular activities provide an easy-to-understand method to gauge how colleges view your participation in summer programs. Top-tier activities (tiers one and two) are the most selective, impressive, and prestigious. Consequently, colleges value them the most. The Young Scholars Program at Florida State University is a good example of a top-tier activity thanks to its stringent eligibility standards and the rigorous demands placed on its participants. 

 

Lower-tier activities (such as those in tiers three and four) don‚Äôt have the same influence on college admissions‚ÄĒthey‚Äôre more common and less attention-grabbing. That said, lower-tier activities can prove very valuable to college admissions as they demonstrate a motivation to pursue subjects you‚Äôre passionate about and help build valuable college skills, whether it‚Äôs writing, thinking, or auditioning.

 

CollegeVine can help you determine the influence extracurricular activities like summer programs have on your odds of college admission. Our free chancing calculator uses a variety of factors including grades, test scores, and extracurriculars to estimate your chances of getting into hundreds of colleges and universities while also providing insight into how to improve your profile.


Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.