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10 Summer Programs in Nevada for High Schoolers

What’s Covered:


For many ‚ÄúSilver State‚ÄĚ high schoolers, summer is a time to relax, hang out, and work a summer job. However, high-achieving high schoolers with aspirations of attending a gold-standard institution of higher education will want to take advantage of the summer season to bolster their college profile. One way high schoolers can improve their profile and boost their college odds is to participate in a summer program.¬†


10 Summer Programs in Nevada


1. THINK Summer Institute


High-achieving high schoolers will want to check out his fantastic residential Nevada summer program. Over the course of this three-week program, participants will meet like-minded students, use university resources, and tackle challenging coursework with the option of earning college credit all while having a fun and memorable time. 


Affiliation: Davidson Institute 

Ages: 13-16

Cost: $4,050

Deadline: 3/1/22

Application requirements:

  • Transcript¬†
  • SAT/ACT scores
  • Recommendation¬†
  • Three essays


2. Nevada Youth Range Camp Program


Since 1961, this summer program has been teaching participants about the relationship between people and rangeland. During this week-long course, students learn about plants, wildlife, water, and soil, while also participating in fun activities like swimming, hiking, and campfires. 


Affiliation: Society for Range Managements | Nevada Section 

Ages: 14-18

Cost: $250

Deadline: 4/30/22

Application requirements: Letter of recommendation 


3. Engineering Exploration Camp


This summer program introduces participants to the diverse fields of engineering while providing them with the chance to gain hands-on experience with the engineering process‚ÄĒdesigning, building, and testing. In addition to building engineering skills, students in this course gain a better understanding of what it takes to succeed in a college engineering program in a fun and engaging environment.¬†


Affiliation: University of Nevada ‚Äď Reno¬†

Ages: 15-17

Cost: $350 

Deadline: N/A 


4. Smallwood Multimedia Boot Camp


This awesome opportunity to receive instruction in video production, audio techniques, and editing is available to high schoolers from Washoe County, Douglas County, and Carson City. Over the program’s nine days, participants learn valuable skills while also building their digital portfolios, which are needed for everything from college applications to applying for internships and jobs. 


Affiliation: University of Nevada ‚Äď Reno

Grades: 11th and 12th

Cost: Free

Deadline: 5/31/22

Application requirements:

  • Academic reference¬†
  • Personal statement
  • Work samples¬†


5. Lake Tahoe Music Program 


Musically inclined students will love this residential camp situated on its own private beach on the shore of Lake Tahoe. Participants are treated to workshops, clinics, mentoring, and performances from University faculty, guest conductors, and professional chamber and jazz musicians. The camp culminates in a final concert for family and friends. 

Affiliation: University of Nevada ‚Äď Reno

Grades: 9th-12th 

Cost: $470 

Deadline: N/A

Application requirements: Audition video for placement that consists of a chromatic scale and excerpts from camp music


6. Nevada Boys State 


This unique week-long summer program is a 24-hour-a-day game that challenges rising male juniors to build leadership skills and friendships that will last a lifetime. Throughout the program, participants work in teams to compete in athletic competitions and team-building exercises without the distraction of girls. 


Affiliation: Nevada Youth Leadership and the American Legion

Grades: 11th 

Cost: $60 

Deadline: 4/30/22

Application requirements: Personal statement 


7. Nevada Girls State 


Rising high school juniors who identify as female with an interest in better understanding the governmental process will want to explore this interesting summer program. Participants are divided into two parties where they participate in campaigning, party meetings, legislative sessions, debating, and voting. In the end, participants have gained first-hand knowledge of the democratic process.  


Affiliation: American Legion Auxiliary 

Grades: 11th 

Cost: $290

Deadline: 6/3/22

Application requirements: Statement detailing three issues affecting your community 




Rotary Youth Leadership Awakening, or more simply RYLA, is sponsored by the Rotary Districts of Northern California (5180) and Northern Nevada (5190) with the intent of instilling a sense of ‚Äúservice above self‚ÄĚ in participants. This week-long program helps participants develop traits like passion, gratitude, compassion, resilience, determination, and mental toughness.¬†¬†


Affiliation: Rotary 

Grades: 11th and 12th 

Cost: Free

Deadline: 3/1/22

Application requirements: Personal statement 


9. Exploring Careers in Health | Summer Institute


This healthcare-focused summer program is the result of a collaboration between Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Dignity Health, Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, and Sierra College. Just 25 students are chosen to participate in the Summer Institute, where they are given the opportunity to explore various healthcare careers, build essential skills, and gain first-hand experience in a wide range of settings. 

Affiliation: Sierra College 

Grades: 9th-12th 

Cost: Free

Deadline: 4/20/22

Application requirements: Questionnaire and recommendation 


10. Nepantla | Summer Bridge 


First-generation college students will want to check out this six-week summer program designed to help them prepare for college‚ÄĒproviding insight into the rigor of coursework and tips for everything from navigating campus to meeting faculty. Participants of this program will find their college careers get a jumpstart‚ÄĒit‚Äôs possible to earn between eight and ten college credits through the program!


Affiliation: Nevada State College 

Grades: 12th 

Cost: N/A

Deadline: N/A

Application requirements: Clark County high school senior or graduate who will be a first-time, full-time freshman at Nevada State College and who identifies as a first-generation college student


How do Summer Programs Impact Your College Chances?


The influence your participation in a summer program has on your odds of college admission varies depending on a number of factors, such as the reputation of the program and the weight a school puts on participation in summer programs. 


The four tiers of extracurricular activities are a good way to evaluate the value colleges place on activities outside the classroom, such as summer programs. Tier 1 and Tier 2 encompass the most prestigious, rare, and impressive activities. Consequently, participation in top-tier activities has the greatest impact on your chances of college admission.  


Tier 3 and Tier 4 activities are more commonly seen by admissions officials and don‚Äôt hold the same sway as higher-tiered activities in the college application process. That said, there is value to attending a summer program, even if it‚Äôs in a lower tier. Summer programs demonstrate intellectual curiosity and determination to pursue subjects that interest you, both of which are traits highly desirable to colleges. More so, many summer programs build the skills needed to get into‚ÄĒand succeed in‚ÄĒcollege.¬†


Wondering what colleges think of your participation in a summer program? CollegeVine can help! Our free chancing calculator uses a variety of factors including grades, standardized test scores, and extracurriculars like summer programs 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.