Does attending a summer school/young scholars/SSP improve your chances?

For example the Harvard SSP, or Stanford summer school, yale young scholars etc. Do they improve your chances at all? I guess you’re able to talk about them when applying, but it also seems easier to get in if your parents have the money.


5 Replies


Certain summer programs do give you an advantage in getting in - most of the time these programs are partly or fully funded. If a program is very expensive and as a result, not very selective, then it would help less.

For example, typical Ivy League summer schools are relatively easy to get in if you can pay for it. However, it is only useful if you do well in the courses and receive A or A+. This way the professor would be willing to write you a good recommendation letter which is useful for applications.

Better yet, you should go to programs like the Wharton’s LBW, or MIT’s RSI, which provide financial aid. These programs are very selective (typically 1-2 NZers get in per year), and just getting in would be an enormous help in your applications.


Hmm what about the Wharton, Yale, Young Scholar programs - I feel like that aren’t too hard to get in, and it’s pretty easy to go if you have the money. Will they increase your chances to show that you’re interested in the school, or more so: meeting professors to write a recommendation for you.

I can’t do any of those programs, applications already due and I’m in snr year already.

Also how beneficial, say I want to go to Yale and I’ve met a Yale professor who writes me a recommendation? Do they have any say over the admission officers?

Thanks Victor!


Yale Young Global Scholars provide financial aid and the acceptance rate is
low at 30%.

Wharton has a few programs and they all provide financial aid and
acceptance rate is very low.

A professor will only write you a good recommendation if he or she has
taught you over a course or has interacted with you for an extended
duration of time.


What are your thoughts on selective summer school programmes like Yale Young Global Scholars and Wharton’s LBW? Do you think going to summer school programmes like the above will allow you to get many things out of it and be useful in any way? Are there any summer schools you recommend to go to or are they just a waste of time and money?

Also, from reading your reply, not sure if I am correct but by going to a selective summer school like YYGS or LBW and interacting with your professor well, forming a good relationship and thereby get a good recommendation would this then increase your chances or acceptance into that particular college? For example, if I went to LBW and I got a good recommendation from a professor there would this improve my chances of getting accepted into Wharton?


Hey Jennifer! We absolutely see that it does. This gives you the changes to show Admissions Officers that you already have been seen as competitive by these selective camps. Plus they are incredible programs. They are thoughtfully designed and filled with great activities and learnings. Universities will appreciate that you used your summers in a productive way and made great connections throughout!

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