Summer activities for youth: college visits and pre-college programs

Interested in attending college after high school? Consider taking a college visit or participating in a pre-college program during the summer!

Attention all students: summer is here! During your summer free time, there are a lot of fun activities in which to take part. But did you know there are also some that provide fun and educational enrichment by helping you plan for life after high school? Depending on a student’s career interests, one option for post- high school is attending college. Are you interested in attending a college or a university when you finish school? If so, the summer is a good time to get involved in activities that help you plan or prepare for just that.

One fun summer activity is to take a visit to a college or university you are considering attending. College visits are beneficial for college planning and preparation for several reasons. They will help a student make a connection on how certain degrees (associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, professional or doctorate degrees), majors and programs offered at the college can assist them with their career goals. College visits also allow prospective or interested students a chance to interact with other students and faculty members on campus. They also provide students with an opportunity to learn about:  

  • Campus life and the college environment.
  • Requirements for admission.
  • Financial aid and scholarships.

Another option for college preparation during the summer is participating in a pre-college program. Some pre-college programs are offered as a day program with no overnight stay, while other programs are held over multiple days and students get to stay overnight at the college or university campus. Pre-college programs can focus on a variety of topics, including general college information to prepare students for the college experience or specialized programs that are related to majors at the college or university (these programs are coordinated by the college or department that offers the major). Some advantages of participating in a pre-college program are:

  • Studying at a college campus.
  • Gaining in-depth information on a potential college major or career field.
  • Gaining experience living in a college dorm/residence hall.
  • Networking with college faculty and students.
  • Learning if the college or university meets your needs for future enrollment.

Students interested in taking advantages of these great activities during the summer can check a college’s website to find out details for participation. For example, to participate in a college visit at Michigan State University, students can go to the Visit Campus website through the Office of Admissions. To participate in a pre-college program at MSU, students can visit the Spartan Youth Programs website and locate the pre-college program that matches their interests.

If a student is interested in college, participating in a college visit or pre-college program is a great way to take advantage of summer free time and help youth plan and prepare for their future. Looking for other ways to help plan for college? Michigan State University Extension has a variety of articles that can help.

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