Are Summer Enrichment Programs a Waste of Time?

April 8, 2020

Was your high school student invited to a summer programs with the promise of enrichment, prestige or something else? Many of these programs are expensive. For example, Stanford’s Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes program for high school students for 2020, Tuition is $7,500. (

Some of the email and letters sent to high school students and parents typically state that their program will make their student stand out. The wording of the letter sounds like it impresses a college, it does not. Typically, it reads like this:

  • Congratulations!  Based on your outstanding academic achievement and blah blah blah, you have been selected for membership in Our Prestigious Program.

I have dozens and dozens of letters that read exactly the same. Don’t they know that plagiarism is wrong?

Here is a really good question. How did they find out MY student’s “academic achievement”? Are my kids grades public record? No, they are not. So how did that entity get my kids name, did they purchase a list somewhere? Yes, there are many different list companies such as American Student List. All those “sign up for this free thing” collect names and sell them to various entities. Even CollegeBoard sells names (but only to colleges).

So, before you fork out thousands of dollars, do a little research. Don’t be fooled by the heavy stock paper with the gold foil seal.

There are some legitimate summer programs that will truly enrich your student. Typically, the student must apply for the program and is selected. The student may have to submit transcripts, test scores and an essay to qualify. Not everyone is admitted to those types of programs.

However, if you really want to stand out, forgo all those summer programs and forge your own path. That would truly be unique. can help students create their own path.

Know before you go.

If you get any of these invitations, and are unsure, give me a call or send an email. I’ll be happy to provide my expert experience. 1-888-237-2087 or

#summerenrichmentprograms #summerprograms

   Send article as PDF   

Comments are closed.