Teens Choose a “Taste of College” Instead of Summer Camp

More high school students are spending summers in college dormitories as participants in “a taste of college” programs. The programs are expensive, but provide them with a chance to experience college life as they earn college credits and/or prep for college entrance examinations.

“This is college but college on training wheels,” said Jason Lubar, director of American Collegiate Adventures. The company offers precollege programs at the University of Wisconsin, starting at $2,795 for two weeks, and $6,795 for six weeks (excluding airfare). Summer Discovery, another company that arranges precollege summers, started by sending 170 students to the University of California in 1986. Last year, the company enrolled more than 2000 students into programs at ten different universities. Summer Study Programs of Melville, NY sent 600 students to Penn State University last summer, and has added programs in Paris, France, and Boulder, Colorado.

Precollege programs abroad often emphasize cultural and language immersion, and are available not only in France but also Spain, South and Central America, Southeast Asia and others.