Updated: Jan 4

Prestigious universities receive far more applications than places. At elite institutions in the United States such as Stanford and Princeton University, only around 5% of applicants successfully gained places in 2019. This means that your application needs to be exceptional to secure a place at your top choice college. Admissions committees are always looking for evidence of dedication to your studies, initiative, and experience beyond standard school curricula. Our students find that World Scholars Academy summer courses are the perfect way to demonstrate these qualities.

So, will a high school summer program boost your chances to get into your dream college? And what other factors are important to your application?


A recent article from the New York Times argues that high school grades may be the single most consequential determinant of college admissions success. Why do grades matter so much? Mostly because they demonstrate effort, grit, and determination, as well as representing a credible signal of your ‘preparedness’ to keep up with the higher level of study required at university.

At World Scholars Academy, world-leading experts who know what it takes to perform at an elite level will provide you with tailored individual attention to help boost your academic performance. This is true whether you’re already at the top of your class, or if you have only just started to aim higher. There is no better way to accelerate your academic growth. You’ll also have the time and space to explore a subject beyond your school’s curriculum, both in breadth and depth, while introducing you to the advanced ideas and mindsets that will set you apart from your peers and on the path to achieving the academic success you want.

Although grades are a crucial component of your applicant, they are by no means the only yardstick by which admissions committees assess candidates. As CNBC has recently reported, colleges are carefully examining applicants’ extracurricular activities, particularly those done over the summer holidays. Furthermore, a recent article from the Princeton Review ranks specialized summer program as the #1 best way to boost your college application chances over the summer. This is important to consider!


This is a common question that university applicants may hear during admissions interviews. Just as a prospective employer wants to know what you’ve done in between jobs, colleges are interested in what you got up to during your summers. Are you really as devoted to your studies as you claim? Do you aggressively seek opportunities for growth even when no one is looking and you don’t have to? Do you have well-rounded experiences comprising a multitude of situations, peoples, and places?

Increasingly, there’s even something known as the “the summer school effect” as reported by the UK’s Guardian newspaper. According to this research, teenagers who attended a prestigious summer school program were 21% more likely to progress to an elite university compared to students from otherwise similar academic and social backgrounds who had not!


So, what kind of high school summer programs are best for tipping the scale in your favor with elite universities? Ideally it should be a focused course that reflects what you want to study at university. It should also be taught by a well-respected educator in that field, who ideally can provide you with a personal reference for your application. Let’s say you’re interested in studying investing and becoming a Wall Street trader. In that case, a rigorous summer business course set in a culturally diverse location would help to set you apart from your peers. Our World Business Academy is perfect for those interested in investing and business. Exceptional summer programs are also available for students interested in Medicine, Law, Engineering, and Computer Science. For students who also want a broad overview of these disciplines, or who are not quite sure which subjects they would like to study, they might also consider our Career Exploration course.

Our academic programs focus on developing your knowledge and confidence to tackle higher studies, and are an invaluable asset to any student looking to increase their college readiness and gain clarity on their future career path. Applying yourself on one of our courses will demonstrate initiative and dedication towards your studies, regardless of the particular subject you wish to pursue.

Another important benefit of doing a high school summer program is that it can help make up for any weaknesses or gaps in other areas of your application. For instance, admissions officer Steven Infanti of Harrisburg University of Science and Technology has said, “When I look at an applicant who has a 2.5 [GPA], which would be kind of a borderline admit for us, but I see on his application, I participate in this camp…that shows a lot of initiative and someone who has a passion.”

Admissions committees pay attention to these details, and taking on an academic summer course is a way to stand out from the crowed and get noticed!


Of course, like many students you might not even know yet what you want to study in college, let alone pursue as a career. World Scholars Academy can help provide you with the information you need to make these important decisions, offering courses that are almost certainly not available at your school such as Medicine and Law, and even if they are, they probably wont be taught by the same caliber of instructor. How would you know if you wanted to study these subjects unless you tried them out? Wouldn’t climbing a mountain be easier if you had an expert guide to show you the way to the top? Joining one of our summer courses is a short cut to creating your ideal future, allowing to learn essential skills and try out new subjects before committing to a four year undergraduate degree.

Adding a rigorous summer course to your application will also prove to admissions officers that you are serious about your subject and ready to commit. For example, one of the most important things you need in order to apply to medical school is evidence of practical work experience. On our Medicine Summer Courses, you’ll meet with patients at a hospital (physically or virtually), take their histories, and diagnose their conditions. Not only will you learn a great deal from this experience, but you’ll also be able to refer to it in your applications as evidence of your commitment to medicine.

There are many other potential benefits to attending summer courses besides improving your college application, from realizing your academic potential, increasing your independence, making great friends, to gaining multicultural experiences, all while having an unforgettable experience. World Scholars Academy offers all of these benefits with our acclaimed courses for 12-18 year-olds based either in Hawaii or online.

Read more about our courses designed to help you reach your full potential and achieve elite levels of success. Get inspired this summer at World Scholars Academy!

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1188 Bishop Street, Suite 1509

Honolulu, Hawaii 96813


+1 (877) 680-9775

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