Summer seems a long way off. Especially since the first real snow is just beginning to accumulate outside my window. Yet, even with snowflakes falling, this is the time to put a summer plan in motion for your artsy teen.
I realize that warm summer months are the perfect time for downtime. But getting into top college programs is competitive; a summer program can further your teen’s artistic skills and resume while simultaneously giving him a real taste for college life.
What should you and your teen look for as you search for the best college fit in a pre-college program? Here are just a few tips to keep in mind:
Programs vary in length between one – six weeks.
- Some colleges limit their summer programs to rising juniors and seniors.
- Many institutions will count pre-college courses towards college credit. But make sure to inquire even if your teen matriculates elsewhere; some courses are transferable.
- Some colleges require campus residency over the summer while others don’t provide campus housing at all. The latter means living at home or finding another residence.
- Most pre-college courses have spring deadlines. So don’t wait until the snow melts to do your research.
- And speaking of deadlines, if you’re looking for a financial aid to help cover the costs, keep your eyes open to scholarship application deadlines. They often have different deadlines.
- When totalling up your costs make sure to consider tuition, housing, meal plan, fees, and supplies. Supply costs vary by course.
- Health and other campus services are typically available just like during fall – spring school terms. Residence hall and academic advisors are available as well. Recreation and other facilities are open.
Attendance at a specific summer program is no guarantee that your aspiring artist will be accepted in the fall. However, it will provide a substantial leg up by delivering a college-level challenge, building strengths and skills, contributing to a future portfolio, and providing the opportunity to connect with a professor – who could possibly write a reference letter when its application time.
I’ve listed a few great art and design programs to get your search started. Good luck! And let me know where you end up –