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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Juniors: MIT and other summer programs by Matt McGann '00

Juniors may want to start thinking about summer programs including MITES, RSI, and WTP.

This message goes out especially to the juniors… seniors, spread the word to your favorite underclassmen.

The three high school summer programs hosted by MIT — MITES, RSI, and WTP — have their application deadlines coming up quickly. All three are open exclusively to high school juniors. MITES and RSI are free; WTP is subsidized and offers financial aid. Here’s a little more about them:

Please note that all three applications require essays, teacher recommendations, and transcripts, and all three have extremely competitive admissions. If you are planning to apply to one of these programs, don’t procrastinate!

The MIT programs are just three of many terrific math & science summer programs that high school juniors can consider. All of the below are national/international, selective, multi-week, residential summer programs in math & science.

Science & Research programs

Math programs

Women’s programs

Programs open to out-of-state; largely regional

State Governor’s schools

I do not recommend these summer programs as a thing to do “to look good on a college application.” This should be for personal development. We do not expect that students do these programs. As I’ve said in previous entries, a summer of working and spending time with friends & family is a great option, one I chose for the majority of my summers in high school. Reading, doing sports, rebuilding a car, traveling to Europe or Quebec or New York, or whatever else are great ways to spend your summers. I just hope you’ll take advantage of the large block of free time to do something meaningful for yourself.

32 responses to “Juniors: MIT and other summer programs”

  1. Keri says:

    Hey! I know it’s not entirely math and science, but what about CTD at Northwestern University?!

    I worked as an RA at CTD this summer, and I discussed it and some other programs in this post.

  2. HCSSiM rocked my son’s world. Nothing else in his life has come close to the impact that summer had on him. Long Live the Yellow Pig! 17 HCSSiM rocked my son’s world. Nothing else in his life has come close to the impact that summer had on him. Long Live the Yellow Pig! 17 <3

  3. carmen says:

    SSTP at UF was amazing, I completely agree with Roy, not only do you have so much independence to actually learn/live/cook(at least attempt to)/have fun, you get to have so much exposure to what research is really like. The counselors there are really nice and a lot more helpful than any other counselors i know.
    btw: I was in SSTP 2006

  4. Jermaine says:

    I put my eval A, eval B, secondary report, and transcript all in one package in my schools outgoing mail. It seems that MIT has not yet recieved these materials. What should I do? And will I get penalized if I send the copies in after the deadline if they were lost? I don’t want twelve years of waiting to apply fall down the drain because of the U.S postal mail’s mistake.

  5. Noelle says:

    I’m applying to 2/3 of the MIT summer programs plus another one at Carnegie Mellon. Hopefully I’ll end up somewhere cool this summer! SSTP @ UF sounds interesting too…I’ll have to check it out.

  6. Tanmay says:

    I too missed them. :(

  7. Tanmay says:

    These are the moments when I REALLY feel that time machines should have been built!

  8. Tanmay says:

    Wait, but the deadlines aren’t over yet! Maybe I can try! smile

  9. Anonymous says:

    MITES ‘o7!!!….Best MITES class yet lol

  10. Shannon '12 says:

    @Jermaine- One of my evaluations was sent a month before the EA deadline and was never received, apparently. We had to resend it in mid-November and everyone still managed to come out of it alive. wink

    If you’re still stressed, read this or this (summary: they get a lot of mail, and it takes them a while to process it all), and then call the admissions office in a week or two if you’re still concerned. It really all works out.

  11. rko says:

    I’m going to make another shameless plug for the UC Davis Young Scholars Program (, a program that, to my knowledge, a few YSP ’10s and ’11s participated in. Most students are from California, but every year there are a few from out-of-state. The program is a six-week research internship in mostly bio/chem labs. It does cost a fair amount of money, but financial aid is available and, as far as I gather, generously awarded.

  12. Laser says:

    Hey Roy! Say hi to Dustin for me!
    (If you see this again).

  13. Tanmay says:

    Matt, do you also summarize the supplemental material we send (say, a description of one of those home-made gadgets)?

    @ my fellow RA applicants:

    Are you guys able to see the finaid application status in your MyMIT account? I can’t see mine, so just thought is it normal or…

  14. Shamarah says:

    @ Anonymous, MY MITES CLASS IS COOL, etc

    @ juniors, MITES is definitely something to look into if you want a challenge and a small taste of MIT. smile consider it!

  15. Manders says:

    Yay! Finally a post for us juniors!
    Yeah, those programs sound really cool. Maybe I should try to do some!

  16. Piper says:

    DO THESE! I wish I had done one of them. I didn’t know about them at the time.

    I may TA for one of these…

  17. Oasis says:

    Yupyup, seeing this post just reminded me that I’m going to write a post about Mathcamp (2004) and SSP (2006). They were two awesome summers. I’ll get to it once I’m not so swamped in Spain…

  18. Nihar says:

    CALM down! I know thats the most difficult thing to do right now but I’m quoting from personal experience. I am an int’l applicant and my materials took nearly four weeks to get processed! As long as your school mail was despatched before the Jan. 1 postmark deadline, you should be fine!

    Im no expert but seriously, I dont think Im mistaken either.

    @P.S. I dont think you will be penalized if you are compelled to send the materials again due to any failure to do so on the part of US mail. Just shoot admissions office a mail explaining your situation and Im sure they would be more than glad to help. Trust me…MIT admission folks = extremely understanding smile

  19. Anonymous says:

    Will MIT do something like this?

    Yale to Reduce Tuition Growth, FREE ADVANCE SCREENING
    Increase Undergraduate Finaid
    By Karen W. Arenson
    The New York Times
    Yale said Monday that it would
    sharply increase financial aid for undergraduates,
    including those from
    families with annual incomes up to
    $200,000, in a bid to ease costs for a
    broad swath of students.
    Yale and other universities with
    large endowments have been under
    pressure from Congress to spend more
    and reduce charges for students. Harvard
    announced a similar aid expansion
    in December, saying the policy
    would cut the cost of attending college
    to 10 percent of income for a typical
    family making $120,000 to $180,000
    a year.
    Last week, Yale said that it would
    increase its annual spending from its
    $22.5 billion endowment, freeing up
    money for more aid.
    The president of Yale, Richard C.
    Levin, said Monday in an interview,
    “I hope this will send a strong message
    to people with incomes between
    $45,000 and $200,000, some of whom
    at the high end perceive our sticker
    price as very daunting, that Yale does
    offer help at that range.”
    On average, students who receive
    financial aid will see their charges
    drop in half, Levin said. A family with
    two children in college, $180,000 in
    income and $200,000 in assets will
    see its Yale bill drop, to $11,650 from
    $22,300. Full tuition, room and board
    this year costs $45,000.
    Students will still be expected to
    contribute in addition to parental payment
    — but the bill will drop to $2,500
    next year, down from their $4,400
    share of the $45,000 total. Despite
    other efforts to increase the aid and
    outreach to low- and middle-income
    students, Levin said, “we are still believed
    in many parts of the country to
    be inaccessible and too expensive.”
    Yale said its changes, to take effect
    in the fall and apply to all undergraduates,
    would raise spending on
    undergraduate aid by $24 million, to
    more than $80 million. Yale also said
    it would limit the increase in tuition,
    room, and board next year to 2.2 percent,
    raising total costs to $46,000. In
    the last five years, the increases have
    ranged from 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent.
    Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa,
    who has been pressing colleges and
    universities to spend more of their
    endowments, applauded Yale, saying,
    “Students and parents are the winners.”
    But Grassley questioned why other
    colleges with endowments of more
    than $1 billion had not followed suit.
    Other well-heeled colleges have
    also taken steps to assist low- and
    middle-income students by replacing
    loans with grants in aid packages.

  20. Rose says:

    I am a junior and I am really interested in doing research, but my parents won’t pay for a $2000+ summer program. I also do not qualify for financial aid. Is it possible to get research positions without having to do a program? I am interested in physics and space sciences and I contacted NASA. I am applying to a few NASA programs, however, they are all out of state (I am from RI). Is it possible just to email a lab or a professor and supply them with your resumé and see if they give you an opportunity to work with them?

  21. eli says:

    @ matt
    are you aware of the NTSE or JSTS or KVPY scholarship programs in INDIA or do they have to be described explicitly in the application?

  22. Roy says:

    My son (accepted EA this year), attended the SSTP at the University of Florida last summer. Not only did he do seven weeks of stimulating, enlightening CompSci research, he had an introduction to a typical college lifestyle (fending for himself, doing laundry, etc.) a year early. I highly recommend this program, as well as the Young Scholars Program at FSU; any program will help to prepare your child socially, comforting for us parents!

  23. Shannon '12 says:

    To all you juniors: I went to HSHSP (the one at MSU) last summer and loved every second of it. I personally didn’t get into RSI, but I got into HSHSP and live in Michigan so it was a logical alternative (HSHSP is basically RSI, only not free and in Michigan. Minor details). We had kids from California, Texas, New York (more than a few from New York), Michigan, Ohio… the list goes on. Best 7 weeks of my life.

    /shameless plug (but honestly, it really was awesome)

    Seriously, though, like Matt said, please don’t apply to these programs just because it’ll “look good”- the people that you’ll meet will be some of the most incredible people you’ve ever had a chance to be around, and you’ll work your tail off and be miserable if you don’t like what you’re doing. So find something you love and go after it.

    Getting off my soapbox now.

  24. Meghan '12 says:

    WTP was amazing. :D

  25. For all math/science people who also love to play a musical instrument (or even several instruments for that matter), Crane Youth Music at Potsdam, NY is a great program! I know because I attended the program myself, among math/science camps smile During this time, a person receives great musical instruction from a group of extremely amiable, knowledgeable, and renowned professors. The close and tightly knit community there is always there for you, and the friends you’ll make there will be in short, unforgettable. As a plus, the daily meals served by the school is great! I mention this as a summer program because so far I’ve seen no other mention of anything else that is not science/math related. Math and science camps are great, and I’ve done many of them myself; however, there are many ways to enjoy summer!

  26. MITES 07 Rulezzzzz
    Seriously think about MITES juniors

  27. A Junior says:

    So great to learn of these programs from this blog. Thank you all.

  28. WTP was one of my most memorable summer experiences EVER!!! If you’re a girl who loves math and science, and would like to find out if engineering is really for you, there’s no better way than WTP! And don’t be discouraged by the fact that you cannot afford to pay for it, there’s financial aid available for those who need it.

  29. B Junior says:

    I agree with A Junior: i’m excited to learn how to conduct mathematical research this summer!

    I hope PROMYS updates their page soon…

  30. BB says:

    I would highly recommend both the Ross Program and HSHSP (MSU). These were the best summers of my life, both academically and socially. I agree with Matt that you shouldn’t do these programs to help you get into college. They are extremely rigorous and require a great deal of work. I did them because of my deep love for math and research (incidentally, I was deferred MIT EA).
    Good luck!

  31. Noelle says:

    Regarding WTP, what defines overqualified though? I have a strong interest in math, science, and engineering — but from the description, it makes it seem like you can’t be too involved, just interested. I’m still going to apply, but I worry that I have too much experience with engineering, but WTP still sounds awesome. Is there a line where one can be over-qualified?

  32. elie says:

    Simons ’07. Would recommend this program to any serious prospective applicant. So many of the fellows spent 18-hour shifts in the lab and stayed at Stony Brook beyond the official timeframe of the program. Great program + Great kids = Great summer.