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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

25 Online Summer Programs for High Schoolers in 2024

What’s Covered:


Remote summer programs allow you to explore career paths and passions from the comfort of your home. In this post, we’ve compiled a list of the best online summer programs for high school students in 2024. These opportunities range from programs in math and economics to programs in film and writing.


25 Remote Summer Programs for High Schoolers 


1. Harvard Summer School’s Secondary School Program Online


Dates: June 22 – August 10

Application Deadline: February 14, or April 10 (space permitting)

Cost: $3,900 – $7,600


Harvard Summer School’s Secondary School Program Online is a seven-week program where students can take classes in a variety of subjects taught by Harvard faculty. Though the program is virtual, those taking classes remotely can get a taste of college academics while building connections with other students from around the country.


The program is open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors and while there is no minimum GPA requirement, the program requires your transcript and a counselor report. Financial aid is available.


2. Iowa Young Writers’ Studio


Dates: June 16 – July 28  

Application Deadline: April 21

Cost: $475 


The Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, hosted by the University of Iowa, is a summer program for high school students interested in creative writing. The program provides students with the opportunity to study with graduates of one of the most renowned writing programs in the nation—the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. 


Participants in this program choose a focus—poetry, creative writing, or fiction—and share their work, practice their craft, and improve their writing while working alongside other high school writers from across the U.S. To apply, students need to submit a statement of purpose, letter of recommendation, transcript, and parental permission form. All applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. 


3. Economics for Leaders



  • Session 1: June 10 – 14
  • Session 2: June 17 – 21
  • Session 3: July 1 – 5
  • Session 4: July 29 – August 2

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $800 


The Foundation for Teaching Economics offers leadership seminars that teach economics at college campuses across the country to interested current high school sophomores and juniors. If none of the host schools are near where you live, they also offer the program virtually. Over the course of a week, students will learn about fundamental economics concepts and develop economic reasoning skills, as well as their leadership, during “live” online lectures and activities.  


The program is fairly competitive—roughly 50% of applicants are accepted.  


4. LaunchX 


Dates: June 17 – July 19 

Application Deadline: April 24

Cost: $6,500 


LaunchX is a program for high school students who want to learn how to design and develop a successful startup company. The program invites expert guest speakers to discuss the process and the logistics of beginning and maintaining a startup. 


Acceptance into the LaunchX program is competitive—its acceptance rate is roughly 30%. Financial aid is available.


5. New York Film Academy Online Summer Camps


Dates: Varies depending on area of focus

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $300 – $2,625


Through New York Film Academy’s online summer camps, students can learn about creation and performance in a medium of their choice—filmmaking, acting for film, or 3D animation. Students receive live interactive instruction, participate in group meetings, and complete practical, creative projects, all while learning about the exciting world of storytelling through film.


6. NYU Tisch Online High School Filmmakers Workshop


Dates: July 8 – August 2 

Application Deadline: May 1 

Cost: $7,376 


Hosted by the famed NYU Tisch School of the Arts, the High School Filmmakers Workshop allows students to work together online with other emerging artists on skill-building film projects. In one-on-one virtual meetings with experienced instructors, participants will learn to develop their writing, directing, shooting, and editing skills in order to produce a variety of short films.


Applicants must be current high school students with at least a 3.0 GPA. Applicants must submit a personal statement, creative resume, and transcript. Standardized test scores will not be reviewed.


7. NYU Tisch Online High School Screenwriters Workshop


Dates: July 8 – August 2  

Application Deadline: May 1 

Cost: $7,376


In this program, which is hosted by NYU Tisch School of the Arts, students will participate in intensive screenwriting exercises to learn the basic principles of writing for film and television. Students will have the opportunity to develop story ideas and characters while learning film language and script structure. There will also be workshops where students will analyze important works, as well as have a dialogue about each other’s works. 


Application requirements include a personal statement, creative resume, and transcript. The program is open to current high school students with at least a 3.0 GPA.


8. High School Conservatory at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy Summer Conservatory 



  • Session 1: June 23 – July 5
  • Session 2: July 7 – 19 

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $2,475


Hosted by The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, the High School Summer Conservatory offers two-week virtual programs in two fields—Musical Theatre and Acting. In each of these programs, students will participate in an immersive and rigorous exploration of their chosen domain. Besides learning essential fundamental skills from industry professionals, participants will produce works of their own.


9. Boston Architectural College Summer Academy for High School Students


Dates: July 1 – August 2 

Application Deadline: June 3 

Cost: $1,800, or $2,000 if you want to receive college credit


In this program offered by Boston Architectural College, students will gain a deeper understanding of fields like architecture, interior design, and landscape design. Virtual participants will explore case study buildings, attend virtual site and professional firm visits, and receive kits in the mail to participate in hands-on design and building. 


No design experience is required to participate in the program. At its conclusion, all students will have developed a digital and physical portfolio suitable for design school applications. 


10. The AFSF Build San Francisco Summer Design Institute 



  • Session 1: June 10 – 28 
  • Session 2: July 8 – 26 

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $3,000 


This summer program offered by the Architectural Foundation of San Francisco provides high school students with many tools and skills that will help them succeed in the world of architectural design. Students will receive one-on-one professional feedback and guidance from architects and engineers, as well as instruction in computer-aided design tools—including SketchUp and the Autodesk family of modeling software.


11. Stanford University Mathematics Camp (SUMaC)



  • Session 1: June 17 – July 5 
  • Session 2: July 8 – 26

Application Deadline: March 29

Cost: $3,550 


In a three-week virtual experience, SUMaC participants immerse themselves in advanced mathematics through activities such as lectures, guided research, and group problem-solving. Students engage in daily problem sets, work with teaching assistant Stanford students, and attend virtual guest lectures from mathematicians and others who use mathematics in their respective fields.


12. Tufts Leadership for Social Change


Dates: July 28 – August 9 

Application Deadline: May 1

Cost: $3,800 


Open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors, the Tufts Leadership for Social Change pre-college program helps students develop their leadership skills. Participants will discuss issues including educational inequities, environmental justice, public policy, and more. They will also develop change-making skills, resiliency strategies, and civic knowledge to build connections, work collaboratively, and emerge as agents of change who can inspire others.


13. The Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program


Dates: Mid-June to early August

Application Deadline: March 31

Cost: $450


The Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program, hosted by The Adroit Journal, gives high school students, graduating seniors, and gap year students the opportunity to work with experienced writers and to explore the creative writing process of drafting, redrafting, and editing. Instead of traditional class instruction, the program offers flexible, individualized correspondence to students interested in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or memoir.


To apply, you will need to submit two application essays and a sample of your written work, as well as your high school transcript, if you would like. Financial aid is available for qualifying students.


14. Sarah Lawrence College Virtual Writers’ Week 


Dates: July 15 – 19  

Application Deadline: N/A 

Cost: $1,025 


During Sarah Lawrence College Writers’ Week, participants will explore the creative process in workshops led by experienced Sarah Lawrence faculty and alumni. This program celebrates the risk and adventure that is part of the creative process, by giving students the opportunity to meet in small groups with workshop leaders. Writers’ Week also includes faculty and student readings, as well as a celebration of student work on the final day of the program. 


15. Boston University Summer Journalism Academy



  • Session 1: June 17 – 28 
  • Session 2: July 1 – 12
  • Session 3: July 15 – 26

Application Deadline: May 10 

Cost: $1,500 


In BU’s Summer Journalism Academy, high school students will have the opportunity to develop their writing skills and learn journalism from real working journalists and reporters. Each lesson is bolstered by practical, real-world applications and actual reporting assignments that will help participants learn what a news reporter’s life is like. Students can choose between two domains—News Reporting and Writing, and Photojournalism.


16. Columbia Scholastic Press Association Summer Journalism Workshop



  • Session 1: July 8 -12 
  • Session 2: July 15 – 19 
  • Session 3: July 22 – 26 

Application Deadline: May 24

Cost: $899 


Hosted by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association at Columbia University, this program unites high school students interested in developing their journalistic skills. During the program, students develop interviewing and reporting skills. Students can choose to study mediums focused on a number of skill sets—writing, editing, design, photojournalism, and leadership.


17. Columbia Online Summer



  • Session 1: July 1 – 12
  • Session 2: July 15 – 26
  • Session 3: August 5 – 9 

Application Deadline: May 24

Cost: $2,810 for one week; $3,960 for two weeks


Participants in Columbia’s pre-college programs will not only get to dive into the university’s world-class academic offerings in their areas of interest, but also bond with their peers and learn more about how to succeed in college. Students who participate in the program for two weeks will also have the opportunity to take part in a workshop on college essay writing.


There are some scholarships available to residents of New York City.


18. Girls Who Code



  • Two-week Summer Immersion Program: June 14 – 28
  • Self-Paced Program: June 14 – August 9

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: Free


Girls Who Code offers two free summer programs for young female and non-binary high schoolers ages 14 through 18: a two-week-long immersion program and a self-paced program. Both programs introduce participants to careers in tech, deliver hands-on computer science experience, and help cultivate a community of like-minded peers.


Eligible students can receive a $300 need-based grant for their participation.


19. UC San Diego FUTURES Programs


Dates: Varies depending on area of interest

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $350 per course


UC San Diego’s FUTURES programs introduce high schoolers to potential college and career paths. Courses range in length and are self-paced, so that even the most time-crunched high schoolers can squeeze them into their busy schedules. Programs are designed specifically for high school students and offered in a number of in-demand fields, including business management, front end web development, and machine learning.


20. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: Virtual Architecture Summer Camp Academy


Dates: August 4 – 10

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $550


This summer program for high schoolers in grades 9 through 12 is a great choice for students interested in architecture and design. Students participate in hands-on activities and workshops to learn how to communicate their ideas through models, drawing text, and presentations while also gaining an understanding of how to use digital models, read architectural drawings, and document their work.


Although this program is online, students are given the opportunity to visit Milwaukee in person to take architectural tours and have lunch at UW-Milwaukee’s School of Architecture.


21. BETA Camp



  • Session 1: June 17 – July 16
  • Session 2: July 18 – August 2
  • Session 3: July 22 – August 16

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $3,950


Participants in BETA Camp tackle an MBA-inspired curriculum designed especially for high schoolers. Students are thrust into the startup world and tasked with building a revenue-generating business that solves a real problem. Along the way, they learn business fundamentals, explore career opportunities, receive mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs, and build skills like teamwork and communication.


22. Summer Springboard UX/UI Design Online



  • Session 1: July 1 -11
  • Session 2: July 15 – 25
  • Session 3: July 29 – August 8

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $1,798


This summer program provides students with real-world knowledge of UX/UI design, by helping them better understand the UX design process and how to create meaningful products. While honing their fundamental design skills, students will explore how humans interact with computers, how to incorporate research into the design process, and how to build a visual identity. Students will test their newfound skills with a hands-on project and develop a prototype using their research and analysis.


23. University of Pennsylvania: Wharton Global Youth Program: Essentials of Leadership



  • Session 1: June 17 – 28
  • Session 2: July 8 – 19

Application Deadline: May 1

Cost: $4,099


This program introduces students in grades 9 through 12 to undergraduate business education and helps them build skills that will serve them in college and beyond like emotional intelligence, problem solving, communication, teamwork, and collaboration. Students will take part in business simulations, discuss business topics with peers and instructors, and participate in experiential learning opportunities.


24. CU Denver GenCyber Summer Camp for High School Students


Dates: July 15 – 19

Application Deadline: June 1

Cost: Free


This free summer program is open to all high school students in Colorado and introduces students to a variety of aspects of cybersecurity, such as computer operating systems, the internet of things, online safety, and computer and digital forensics. Students will gain hands-on cybersecurity experience through games and exercises, learn about potential career paths, and earn a certificate of achievement.


25. University of Massachusetts Juniper Young Writers Online


Dates: August 5 – 9

Application Deadline: March 7

Cost: $1,280


Young wordsmiths in grades 9 through 12 can share their creativity, writing, and ideas with a community of their peers in this summer program. Over the course of the week-long program, students will develop their craft, draw inspiration from their peers, and receive advice as they participate in writing labs, readings, craft sessions, and life talks.


How Impressive Are Summer Programs to Colleges? 


Extracurricular activities such as summer programs are a great way to develop your interest in a particular field and meet like-minded students. College admissions value extracurriculars because they can demonstrate a student’s passion for a particular subject or field.


Generally, there are four tiers of extracurricular activities that colleges think about when reviewing applicants’ activities. Tier 1 extracurriculars are the most impressive and rare whereas Tier 4 activities are more common and less prestigious. Below is a small summary of the different tiers of extracurriculars. 


Tier 1: National achievements, such as attending a very prestigious summer program or winning a renowned national science fair.


Tier 2: State-level or major achievements, such as ranking #2 in wrestling in your state, making an all-state orchestra, or being student body president. 


Tier 3: More minor leadership positions, such as being secretary of the debate club, a class representative, or captain of the varsity soccer team. 


Tier 4: Participatory activities, such as volunteer work or involvement in common school clubs without a leadership position. 


Typically, summer programs fall into Tier 3 or 4. Nevertheless, selective and impactful programs may be considered Tier 1 or 2 activities. The most impressive programs will often be free and selective; programs that are expensive and open to everyone won’t boost your chances as much, even if they’re hosted by a top school.


Other Ways to Spend Your Summer 


Attending a summer program isn’t the only way to learn and grow over the summer. We’ve compiled a list of other projects you can participate in that may be even more impressive than attending a summer program.


1. Self-Driven Projects 


You don’t necessarily have to participate in a formal program to learn something new. There are a variety of engaging activities that you can do on your own. These activities include: 


  • Creating your own small business
  • Teaching or tutoring a class or subject
  • Learning a new language
  • Building a computer
  • Publishing a book or starting a blog
  • Starting a YouTube channel
  • Creating artwork for public spaces
  • Running a half marathon
  • Starting a band
  • Raising money for a local political candidate  


Admissions officers love self-driven activities, as they demonstrate your initiative and passion.


2. Internships


High school internships can be a great way to differentiate yourself on your college application, pursue your passions, and/or develop a new interest. When you start your search, reflect on your interests and leverage your personal network to get your foot in the door. If you can’t think of any relevant connections you may have, check out websites such as Glassdoor, LinkedIn, or Indeed for opportunities. We also have a list of remote high school internships you can explore.


3. Jobs 


As a high school student, it can be hard to find jobs—especially online—that pay well. However, many different options exist depending on your interests and skill set. For example, you could: 


  • Become a freelance blogger on Fiverr
  • Design your own products on Redbubble
  • Teach an exercise class
  • Become a tutor online or privately
  • Provide customer service
  • Do voice-overs
  • Do a computer programming project
  • Sell your used items online 


Whatever you decide to do with your summer, be sure to check out how your summer plans will impact your chances of admission using our free chancing calculator! Based on your extracurricular and academic profile, the calculator will estimate your personal chances of acceptance at each of the schools on your list, and categorize them as safeties, targets, or reaches. You’ll also receive tips for how to improve your profile, which might just include participating in a summer program or internship!

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.