Over the past few days, I have been getting ads and emails from colleges to experience their virtual pre-college courses. I am wondering if doing something like this will make me stand out in college applications. I am currently a sophomore and wondering about unique skills to put on my application to help me in the future. Does anyone have any tips on some things to do. Should I also apply for a pre-college course?
Pre-college programs, especially when they aren't free, tend not to do anything for an application. When applying to stuff, keep in mind that even if it is hosted on the campus of a top-college, doesn't mean it will do anything. Not to mention, these aren't free. Even the pre-college summer program at a local university near me (Murray State) costs over $500. And that is if I commute. If you are a low-income student, programs held by local universities could cost upwards of several hundred dollars. And the same thing applies to stuff at top schools.
Here are some (free!) summer programs you should keep your eye on:
-TASP. A summer program held at Cornell University. It's humanities-focused, and the application doesn't ask for things like test scores, grades, or etc. Your application is completely judged by your essays. You can't apply for it as a Sophomore but as a Junior. I recommend if this really interests you, doing your essays now and keeping them in a Google/ Word doc until the application opens up. Believe me, those essays will take a good chunk of time and people have said that them starting late was a major black mark on your application.
-Clark Scholars Program. A free program held at Texas Tech. You do research in a variety of fields and even get a free stipend on top of it. Doing something like this is a very, very big profile booster. It is unique because it's the only one I've seen that includes social sciences as a potential research subject.
-MIT MITES (Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science program)- A program held at MIT that focuses on well... You saw the name. I'm a future humanity major so I don't know much about STEM programs.
-Research Summer Institute.
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