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Summer Research and Academic Opportunities: Don’t Miss Out!

Now that the new year has begun, it’s a great time to reflect on your extracurricular activities. One important consideration to make, believe it or not, is how you’ll spend your summer. Can you believe that it’s already time to start making plans for what you’ll do during those three months off? Instead of letting your vacation slip by, you should seek opportunities to gain real-world and practical experience related to your future college major. In other words, you should consider applying to the multitude of research and academic programs available to high school students.

You still might be thinking, “What’s the rush? Don’t I still have a few months to apply?” Not necessarily. Many of these prestigious summer programs require that you apply to them early--like in January. Not only that, the admissions process can be quite rigorous. Students need to write personal statements, essay responses, get letters of recommendation, and provide all kinds of academic information, such as official test scores, GPA, and courses taken. It is better to start making a list of possible summer programs so you have a few options instead of nothing at all. But where do you start?

Thankfully, MIT has a nice listing on its website about its summer programs as well as other prestigious ones around the country. These programs are highly competitive because many of them provide stipends or scholarships to students who are accepted. These programs are great because they give students access to resources that many people can only dream of.

Here are some of the highlights of the list and their respective deadlines:

For business students, there’s MIT Launch, which is a four-week program for students who want to make their own companies. The course helps students learn and get experience with creating a successful business. The early application deadline has passed, but the regular application deadline is February 15, 2016.

For science, math, and engineering students, there’s Research Science Institute (RSI), which is a six-week program that mixes coursework and hands-on research. This is a rigorous program and only 70 juniors are selected worldwide. The application deadline is January 22, 2016.

For medical students, there’s the Stanford Institutes Summer Research Program (SIMR), which is an eight-week program that teaches students about research methodology as they work on a specific project related to medicine. The students collaborate with Stanford faculty and other staff. The application deadline is February 20, 2016.

While summer is typically a time for students to relax and recover from the school year, there are still ways that you can be productive without overwhelming yourself. Choosing a focused program like the ones above will enrich your learning from the school year and better prepare you for college and college admissions. Don’t take the easy way out and binge-watch television shows; make the most of summer. And start putting those applications together!

Also, if you need help working on your application materials for these summer programs. B2A can assist with essay drafting, resuming building, and anything else! We are here to make your summer the best it can be.

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