Top Free Summer Camps For High School Students

by Dr. Shanthi Thomas

Summer camps and programs are golden opportunities for high school students to gain valuable experience before they step out into the world of tertiary education. What is remarkable is that some of these programs are accessible to anyone as they are free. Let us look at some of these summer programs for high school students from all over the world.

Girls Who Code summer programs

Girls Who Code summer programs have the reputation of being the best at conducting free online coding programs for girls who are high school students. Girls Who Code is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to closing what is widely perceived as a gender gap in technology. The aim is to do away with gender discrimination in the programming and digital world. Their free program is a seven-week training open to high school girls. You can join either the full time two weeks program or a self-paced six week program.

University of Iowa Student Training Program

This online Secondary Student Training Program is for high school students from grades 10 -11 and is conducted from June 20 – July 28, 2022. This is a highly intensive and selective summer research program in subjects as varied as Biology, Genetics, astronomy and Electrical & Computer engineering. You will be able to conduct research entirely online, mentored by the world-class faculty at the University of Iowa.

Princeton Summer Journalism Programs

The Princeton Summer Journalism Program is a 10 day journalism program conducted in August for students from historically underrepresented backgrounds. Students attending this program get to stay in Princeton undergraduate dorms and attend professional lectures and workshops as well as learn skills to produce their very own newspaper. The program is especially valuable because students get to visit the New York Times, cover a professional sports event, film a short documentary; attend a theatre production and  write, report, edit and design their own newspaper, which is published on the last day of the program.

Penn State Business Opportunities Summer Session

This two week free summer session is meant for middle school students interested in business education. Students get to experience college life and take preparatory courses for college as well as business fundamental courses. BOSS 2022 with be conducted from Sunday, June 12, 2022 to Friday, June 24, 2022 on the Penn State Main Campus in person. Applications should reach before March 31, 2022. The program is free except for a $50.00 registration fee.

Carnegie Mellon University Summer Opportunities for Access and Inclusion

This free online summer program offers courses in STEM, Artificial Intelligence, Fine Arts, engineering, social science, computer science and technology applied to the arts. Students who enroll in the program get a unique opportunity to learn problem solving and creativity in a supportive, yet challenging environment that is typically characteristic of the first year of college.  This program is of great advantage to high school students because they can earn college credit by joining these courses.

Cornell University Curie Academy

This is a one week long free summer program for high school girls who have outstanding grades in Science and Maths. The program focuses on students who have not had prior opportunities to learn about engineering, but want to explore it in an interactive atmosphere. Senior students who are Latino, African/Black American, Native American/Alaska Native, or Pacific Islander and/or first-generation college students who are planning to take courses in Physics, Chemistry or Calculus (or any related advanced Maths or Science) are eligible for full tuition waver. 

University of Pennsylvania Programs for High Schoolers

Penn presents academically gifted high school students with a challenging pre-collegiate experience. Students get to engage with leading faculty and build intellectual connections with peers around the world.  The program is meant for current 9th-11th grade students, and is available as a two week course or a three week course, both of which are open to international students. There is also a pre-college program for current 10th-11th grade students.

University of New Hampshire Upward Bound Summer Program

This free program has a duration of 6 weeks, and prepares eligible high school students for higher education. Students get a taste of university life as they stay at the university during the course, and take part in career workshops. They also go for college visits and learn to navigate through the university application process.


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