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10 Summer Programs in Wisconsin for High Schoolers

What’s Covered:

 

Wisconsin offers a wealth of educational opportunities for students of all ages. The University of Wisconsin system, particularly the Madison campus, is highly regarded as one of the most prestigious public institutions of higher learning in the US, and the state is home to plenty of top schools. You don’t need to wait until college to learn from the best, either—you can get started over the summer!

 

10 Summer Programs in Wisconsin

 

1. Badger Summer Scholars

 

Dates: June 19–July 1/July 3–15

Location: University of Wisconsin—Madison

Application deadline: May 15

Cost: Domestic Student: $3,610/International Student: $3,990 (Early Bird) / Domestic Student: $3,800/International Student: $4,200 (Regular)

 

Take college-level courses while learning alongside talented peers at one of the country’s “Public Ivies” — UW—Madison. Badger Summer Scholars offers academic tracks across disciplines, and students will have the opportunity to learn in small class sizes with university faculty. They will also participate in residence hall activities, while exploring the university’s lakeside campus.

 

2. American Collegiate Adventures

 

Dates: July 3–22 or July 10–22 

Location: UW—Madison

Application deadline: 

Cost: $6,995 (3 weeks)/$5,295 (2 weeks)

 

ACA is an opportunity for middle and high-school students to experience college firsthand while engaging with like-minded peers and learning about the admissions process. Students will take courses in areas like Digital Photography, Community Service, Culinary Skills, Foreign Language Study, Algebra, Health and Wellness, and much more. 

 

ACA is also hosted at several other Public Ivies across the country.

 

3. Summer Music Clinic

 

Dates: June 26–July 1

Location: UW—Madison

Application deadline: May 15, 2022

Cost: Residential: $1,050/Commuter: $700/International: $1,250

 

Young musicians and music lovers will learn from experienced educators and music and arts professionals, developing their craft and skills and enhancing existing ones. Founded in 1929, the program is the second-oldest music camp in the country. The program will culminate in performances and presentations for family and friends. 

 

4. Freshwater Camp

 

Dates: June 13–17

Location: University of Wisconsin—Parkside

Application deadline: N/A

Cost: Free

 

This water-focused camp for entering high school juniors and seniors is an opportunity to experience important freshwater habitats by swimming in Lake Michigan, canoeing local rivers, and hiking in extraordinary bogs. Participants will build skills — analyzing water chemistry, conducting a toxicity test, collecting aquatic invertebrate samples, using microscopes, and much more. They will also learn about careers in the field.

 

5. Python Programming

 

Dates: June 20–23

Location: UW—Parkside

Application deadline: June 6

Cost: $449 (scholarships available)

 

Python is one of the most-loved and most-used programming languages in the world. Through this program, high schools will discover the ins and outs of the language and gain insight into its environments, capacities, and troubleshooting methodologies. The camp is design to make coding accessible and enjoyable.

 

6. Pride Camp

 

Dates: June 27–30 (additional dates available)

Location: UW—Green Bay (additional locations available)

Application deadline: June 20

Cost: Free

 

Students in grades 6-12 come to Pride Camp to meet and engage with other LGBTQ+ and allies their age. You will learn about queer history, health topics, and wellness, while also participating in traditional summer camp activities like arts and crafts and games. The camp is led by the UW-Green Bat Interim Pride Center Coordinator and student interns. Additional dates and locations are available. The camp is divided into middle school and high school divisions.

 

7. Cartooning & Comic Book Illustration

 

Dates: June 13–17

Location: UW—Green Bay

Application deadline: June 8

Cost: $345

 

Available as both a commuter and residential program, Cartooning & Comic Book Illustration is a course for students who want to learn basic drawing skills, the foundations of penciling, inking, computer coloring, and digital techniques. Participants entering grades 8-12 will explore the unique story-telling language of comics and graphic novels and apply their knowledge to the creation of original comic stories.

 

8. TechKnowledge College

 

Dates: Varies

Location: Fox Valley Technical College

Application deadline: N/A

Cost: Varies

 

TechKnowledge College at FVTC offers a wide range of opportunities for middle and high-school students to gain knowledge and explore new topics over the summer. Just a few examples of the programs and courses available are:

  • CSI Adventures
  • Culinary Arts, Baking and Hospitality
  • Exploring Therapeutic Activity Specialist
  • Diesel Technology 

 

9. Music Production and Recording Camp

 

Dates: June 19–24

Location: Shell Lake Arts Center

Application deadline: Rolling

Cost: $675 (residential)/$350 (commuter)

 

Students completing grades 6-12 will gain a first-hand look at the world of music production, through hands-on audio engineering study and work. They will learn how to use industry-standard software and practice creative and technical skills under the guidance of industry professionals in a live setting.

 

10. American Dance Training Camp

 

Dates: July 10–16/17–23/24–30

Location: Central Lakes

Application deadline: N/A

Cost: Varies

 

ADTC is an overnight dance camp for girls ages 8-17, novice and experienced competitors alike. Held at several locations in the US, including Wisconsin, and one in Canada, the program gives young dancers an intensive experience, where they will learn various disciplines, including contemporary, hip hop, and jazz, under professional choreographers.

 

How do Summer Programs Impact Your College Chances?

 

When evaluated according to the four tiers of extracurricular activities — with Tier 1 representing the most specialized and rare activities and Tier 4 representing the most common activities — summer programs are usually considered Tier 3-4. You should have several activities in these categories, although the most impressive candidates will have at least a couple Tier 1-2 activities.

 

However, in some cases, particularly selective summer programs may fall into a higher tier. Wondering how your activities stack up? Check out our free chancing engine to find how your extracurriculars affect your chances of admission at hundreds of colleges across the country — and get 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.