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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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10 Summer Programs in Washington for High Schoolers

What’s Covered:


Summer vacations are more than just opportunities to relax. College admissions season is right around the corner, and this is a time to be exploring your passions, learning new skills, and demonstrating your commitment to learning.


Fortunately, Washington state offers plenty of summer programs — opportunities for you to do just that.


10 Summer Programs in Washington


1. Edmonds College Youth Summer Camps


Dates: Varies

Location: Edmonds College

Application deadline: N/A

Cost: $289


Edmonds College in Lynwood offers several technology-themed summer programs for middle and high-school students. Day camps typically run for one week and featuring topics like Python programming, Roblox, Minecraft Redstone engineering, and much more.


2. UW Writers Workshop


Dates: June 26–July 8 (remote)/July 11–22 (in-person)

Location: University of Washington Seattle

Application deadline: N/A

Cost: $630 (remote)/$700 (in-person)


Young writers will develop their own voices across genres including poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, spoken word, visual or multimodal media, and/or hybrid mediums. Whether they are remote or in-person, they will share and critique one another’s work in a supportive community and work on a final portfolio. At the end of the program, there will be a class reading that is open to family and friends.


3. Urban Sustainability


Dates: July 31–August 5

Location: Seattle University

Application deadline: April 15

Cost: $1,195


At Seattle University, students will learn all about urban systems, their environmental impact, and potential concerns. The program is project-based and includes faculty-led activities spanning SU’s biology, chemistry, environmental studies, environmental science, and environmental engineering programs. It also emphasizes sustainability, social equity, and inclusion.


4. Make It! Innovation Design Lab: Making & Microcontrollers


Dates: June 27–July 8 (no class July 4)

Location: Remote

Application deadline: N/A

Cost: $855


Designed for teens new to making and rapid prototyping, this course offers an introduction to the engineering design process, encouraging students to turn ideas in their heads into physical projects. Students will learn about Arduino programming, prototyping methods, and basic 3D modeling. They will also deliver final presentations online. 


5. Chamber Music Intensive Camps


Dates: July 18–21

Location: Peterson Conservatory of Music and Arts

Application deadline: 

Cost: $300 (day campers)/$375 (overnight campers)


Chamber Music Intensives include four days of training in ensemble performance, for strings, brass, and woodwinds at Peterson Conservatory. Students will study performance skills: musical interpretation, intonation, non-verbal communication, tone production, and specialized stylistic techniques. Day and overnight options are available; housing will be in the Historic Lady Florence Home, a vintage Victorian Bed and Breakfast. 


6. Summer Business Institute


Dates: July 3–9 (self-paced)/July 10–15 (real-time)

Location: Seattle University

Application deadline: April 15 (priority deadline)

Cost: $50 deposit (tiered scholarship model)


Focused on diversity in entrepreneurship, this summer business camp provides youth from underrepresented backgrounds with the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship, data visualization, economics, and more, through college-level business, marketing, and economics classes. Upon completion, students will earn three college credits. 


7. AI4All


Dates: July 18–29

Location: Seattle University

Application deadline: April 15 (priority)

Cost: $1,195


AI4ALL is an experience for high school students interested in criminal law and artificial intelligence (AI). Students will explore the intersection of modern technology and criminal justice issues, such as bias and equity. They will complete projects, as well as interact with law enforcement and Seattle area tech companies. Priority is given to students underrepresented in higher education.


8. Pratt Teen Summer Art Week Programs


Dates: Varies

Location: Pratt Fine Arts Center

Application deadline: N/A

Cost: Varies


Teens ages 13-17 will explore art-making in a professional studio environment. They will learn about complex concepts, problem-solving, and risk-taking skills and discover positive ways to articulate the way they think and feel. Students can choose among a variety of classes, such as Welding & Blacksmithing, Public Mural, Portrait Drawing, Comics, Leather Bag Making, and more.


9. Esports, Gaming & Broadcasting


Dates: July 11–22 (in-person)/August 8–19

Location: UW Seattle (remote section available)

Application deadline: N/A

Cost: $950


Interested in pursuing a career in gaming? This is the program for you. You’ll learn about topics in the gaming and interactive media industry, including competitive esports, broadcasting and media, game development, diversity and inclusion, and more. Along with your peers, you’ll broadcast an esports match, gaining an understanding of the intricacies of the production, directing, and marketing process. You’ll also meet and learn from industry experts.


10. Summer String Academy 


Dates: July 24–29

Location: Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center

Application deadline: April 1 (early bird)

Cost: $660


Middle and early-high-school students may learn under experienced music educators and professional musicians while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the foothills of the Eastern Cascades. Students will participate in ensembles, small-group sessions, and more, while exploring topics like music theory and rehearsal etiquette.


How do Summer Programs Impact Your College Chances?


Extracurricular activities are typically assessed according to 4 tiers, with Tier 1 representing the most specialized and exemplary activities and Tier 4 representing the most common activities.


While most summer programs are Tier 3-4 activities, particularly selective and low-cost (or free) programs may be higher-tier. To find out how individual activities, including summer programs, affect your chances of admission, try our free Chancing Engine. You’ll also receive tips for improving your profile!

Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.