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Counseling
The following enrichment and pre-college programs are either free or relatively low-cost. Certain eligibility requirements such as GPA and income level are listed. Please click the links below to visit the program's website for more details, dates, and deadlines.

SUMMER PROGRAMS:
These programs require a one-time commitment during the summer.


Bank of American Student Leaders Program

Open to current 11th and 12th grade applicants

GPA recommendation: 3.0 unweighted

Other requirements: cannot be a family member of a BoA employee

Program focus: Paid summer internship, leadership development, civic engagement


Camp College - Illinois Association of College Admissions Counselors

Open to current 11th grade applicants

Program focus: College admissions preparation and college tours


Carleton Liberal Arts Experience

Open to current 10th grade applicants

GPA requirement: 3.0 unweighted

Other requirements: African American or interested in African American culture

Program focus: Courses in science, tech, art and social science, college readiness workshops, test prep


Carnegie Mellon Math & Science Summer Academy​​​​​​​

Open to current 11th grade applicants and limited 10th grade applicants

GPA requirement: No exact GPA requirement, but students must have a very strong academic record

Other requirements: targeting underrepresented minorities, lower income students, or first generation college students

Program focus: Rigorous science & engineering or computer science enrichment; exposure to a world-renowned research university


Congressional Hispanic Caucus R2L NextGen​​​​​​​

Open to current 10th and 11th grade applicants

Other requirements: Preference given to Latinos with financial need

Program focus: Civic engagement, American government, creating positive change in communities


Denison Young Writer's Workshop

Open to current 10th and 11th grade applicants

Program focus: Creative writing, mentoring, cultural activities


DePaul College Connect

Open to current 10th and 11th grade applicants

Program focus: Academic enrichment, cultural exploration, career awareness


Girls Who Code Summer Immersion​​​​​​​

Open to current 10th and 11th grade applicants

Program focus: Computer science, real world projects, connecting to female engineers and entrepreneurs


Hispanic Scholarship Fund's Youth Leadership Institute

Open to current 11th grade applicants

GPA requirement: 3.0 unweighted

Other requirements: Latino students

Program focus: College access & empowerment


University of Illinois Agriculture Discovery Program

Open to current 9th – 12th grade applicants

Program focus: Plant, animal and veterinary sciences


University of Illinois Research Apprenticeship Program

Open to current 10th and 11th grade applicants

GPA recommendation: 3.0 unweighted

Program focus: Food, human and environmental sciences


Illinois State Summer Research Academy

Open to current 9th – 11th grade applicants

Program focus: Scientific research


Illinois Tech/Opt4STEM Summer Programs​​​​​​​

Open to current 9th – 11th grade applicants

Program focus: Multiple program options available in architecture, biology, computers and the social sciences, among others; free for Von Steuben students thanks to Opt4STEM partnership


Northwestern High School Institute Arts & Debate Programs

Theatre: Open to current 11th grade applicants

Film: Open to current 10th and 11th grade applicants

Debate: Open to current 9th, 10th, and 11th grade applicants

GPA recommendation: 3.3 unweighted or above

Program focus: Rigorous, intensive pre-college program for students who are serious about theatre, film, or debate; partial and full scholarships and financial aid available


Northwestern College Bridge​​​​​​​

Open to current 11th grade applicants

GPA recommendation: 3.5 unweighted

Program focus: Earn college credit


Princeton Summer Journalism

Open to current 11th grade applicants

GPA requirement: 3.5 unweighted

Other requirements: eligible for free/reduced lunch

Program focus: Reporting, writing & editing, career exploration, college readiness workshops, test prep


Rensselaer PREFACE STEM Program​​​​​​​

Open to current 10th and 11th grade applicants

GPA recommendation: 3.5 unweighted

Other requirements: underrepresented minority or female

Program focus: Exploration of engineering and technological fields


University of Southern California Bovard Scholars​​​​​​​

Open to current 11th grade applicants

GPA requirement: Close to a 4.0 unweighted

Other requirements: Demonstrate financial need

Program focus: Exposure to highly selective university; college admissions support and leadership development


Valparaiso Summer Global Leadership Institute

Open to current 9th - 11th grade applicants

Program focus: Academic seminars, leadership development, problem-solving


University of Wisconsin-Madison College Access Program (CAP)

Open to current 9th and 10th grade applicants

GPA requirement: 2.75 unweighted

Other requirements: targeting lower income or first generation college students

Program focus: College preparation, problem-solving, writing skills


University of Wisconsin-Madison Engineering Summer Program

Open to current 10th and 11th grade applicants
GPA requirement: 3.0 unweighted
Program focus: Engineering, physics, math, field trips, faculty mentoring


Young Leaders Summit

Open to current 11th grade applicants

GPA requirement: 3.0 unweighted

Other requirements: must qualify for free/reduced lunch (see counselor if not sure)

Program focus: College access & empowerment


ACADEMIC YEAR or YEAR-ROUND:

These programs take place during the academic year and may include a summer component.


Adler Planetarium Teen Programs​​​​​​​

Open to current 9th – 12th grade applicants

Program focus: Various internships, workshops, and after school programs focused on building technical and professional skills


After School Matters

Open to current 9th – 12th grade applicants

Program focus: Enrichment opportunities in Arts, Leadership, Sports, and STEM run by skilled professionals. Includes a stipend.


After School Matters University I and II

Open to current 9th - 12th grade applicants​​​​​​​

Program focus: Spring Break college knowledge and exploration


Bottom Line College Access Program

Open to current 11th grade applicants

GPA requirement: 2.5 unweighted

Other requirements: targeting lower income and/or first generation college students

Program focus: Support and mentoring through the college admissions and financial aid process


Chicago Scholars

Open to current 11th grade applicants
GPA recommendation: 3.0 unweighted
Other requirements: targeting lower income and/or first generation college students

Program focus: Support and mentoring through the college admissions and financial aid process; career development


UIC Medicina Academy Apprentice Program (MAAP)​​​​​​​

Open to current 9th – 11th grade applicants

GPA requirement: 3.0 unweighted

Program focus: Medical courses & labs and career development for Latino/Hispanic students or those interested in serving the Latino community


MULTI-YEAR:
These programs require a multi-year commitment and take place during the summer, the academic year, or both.

Collegiate Scholars - University of Chicago

Open to current 9th grade applicants

GPA requirement: 3.0 unweighted

Program focus: Academic projects, civic engagement, cultural activities, college readiness workshops​​​​​​​


Minds Matter of Chicago

Open to current 9th grade applicants

GPA requirement: 3.0 unweighted

Other requirements: eligible for free/reduced lunch

Program focus: Test prep, writing skills, free collegiate summer programs, mentoring


Northwestern Academy

Open to current 9th grade applicants

GPA requirement: 3.0 unweighted

Other requirements: eligible for free/reduced lunch, first generation college student, OR from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group

Program focus: College preparation, leadership development, family workshops


Open to current 9th grade applicants

GPA requirement: 3.0 unweighted

Program focus: Rigorous arts curriculum, academic support, mentoring, college credit


University of Wisconsin-Madison Business Emerging Leaders Program

Open to current 10th grade applicants
GPA requirement: 3.0 unweighted
Other requirements: underrepresented minority OR eligible for free/reduced lunch

Program focus: Exploration of business majors and coursework, leadership development, college preparation


OTHER:


City of Chicago Job Resources for Youth

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Internship Search

Look for paid and unpaid internship opportunities for high school students.