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2021 Summer Planning Guide

Updated: Jan 31, 2023


Because protocols and college admissions requirements have changed drastically due to COVID, the playing field has been leveled. This means that selective colleges are receiving more applications than ever before, which translates to lower acceptance rates for these highly competitive school. Because many colleges are now test-optional, and may continue to be for the foreseeable future, the spotlight will focus on the rest of the college application to determine which students are a good fit for their programs. In addition to GPA and class rank, the student’s activities will be scrutinized for year-long learning opportunities. Now more than ever, selective schools are analyzing how students spend their summers.

If your high school student is considering applying to a flagship university, or any school with a selective acceptance rate (less than 30 percent), your students must be engaged in summer learning opportunities. This conversation should take place long before the student is a senior, ideally the summer your child enters high school. The good news is that students can find lots of ways to engage in the time of COVID.

GOOD DAY AUSTIN - Advice for Selecting a Pre-College Camp (January 2020)

Top Summer Programs for High School Students







  • Git Hub (Computer Science Interests), largest and most advanced development platform in the world.

  • GrabCad (Mechanical Engineer Interests), online community of professional designers, engineers, manufacturers, and students.

  • Google Code Jams An international programming competition hosted and administered by Google.

  • Horizon Academics Do college level research as a high school student, working with a college professor.

  • Pioneer Academics The world's ONLY online research program with US college credit for high school students.

  • ScholarLaunch Students work directly with top professors and professionals from hundreds of the world's leading universities and organizations.

MOOCS (Massive Open Online Classes)

  • Coursera - Build skills with courses from top universities like Yale, Michigan, Stanford, and leading companies like Google and IBM.

  • EdX - Access 2000 free online courses from 140 leading institutions worldwide.

  • Masterclass - Online classes created for students of all skill levels.

  • Outschool - 100000+ video chat classes for K-12 science, art, mindfulness, english, social studies, life skills, and more!

  • Udacity - Discover the fastest, most effective way to gain job-ready expertise for the careers of the future.

  • Udemy - Any topic, skill level, or language.


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