High School Summer College Programs

Crazyday

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Okay, I'm in quite a dilemma here.

I have been accepted to Washington University's (in St. Louis) High School Summer Scholars program where I would live up there for a month this summer and take a summer semester (a couple of philosophy courses).

If I were to go up there and get an A in both courses, how big of a difference would that make when I apply to colleges next year? I'm planning on graduating high school with a 33-34 on the ACT, a 4.7-4.8 weighted GPA, about a 3.6-3.7 unweighted, with 7-8 AP courses, with a 3-5 on each AP exam. My extracurriculars are relatively insignificant right now, but I'm planning on founding a couple of clubs next year (a philosophy club and possibly a future health administrators club, and possibly a gardening club); I've also been a member of the science Olympiad team at my school for two years.

What are my prospects for higher tier schools such as Washington University and Duke, and how about some middle of the road schools? And would this high school summer scholars program have a significant impact on my admission chances?

My reason for asking is that I have figured out that I might be able to get a car instead of going to this program, which is a big deal for me in many ways. So I'm really stuck between a rock and a hard place here. I could get a part time job next year, be more active in extracurricular activities, and have a more rich social life.

If you were in my situation, which would you choose? Thanks in advance.

Oh, and the AP courses are

AP Biology
AP Chemistry
AP European History
AP United States History
AP World History
AP Calculus AB
AP English Literature
AP Physics B (no exam)


I've also taken a couple of other courses offered by a local university for dual-credit.

Anatomy and Physiology
College Algebra

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Salvorix

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While I think that doing this summer semester might look good for colleges (especially the higher-tier ones), I think that you doing 8 AP courses is already going to show them that you are capable of college level work. Personally, I would get a car because it has made seeing friends, getting places like to clubs and sports so much easier for me. Plus, if for some reason or another you do poorly in this summer semester it could affect your GPA before you've ever really "been in college."
 

Crazyday

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I'm not too worried about doing poorly there, I'm just wondering how big of an impact it would make on my competitiveness for upper tier undergrads, or if I'm already pretty competitive for them.
 

karayraisu

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I don't think it makes a big difference. If you went to RSI or TASP during the summer, you might get a raised eyebrow from one of the adcoms, but a general summer program where you just take courses in is not very significant in terms of college admissions, regardless of where it is held.

Also, like you said, you have a pretty competitive courseload already for college, so I would say don't sweat it. Get the car and enjoy this summer. :)
 
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