Summer Activities & Experiences

Summer Activities & Experiences

Don’t sit on the couch and watch T.V. or play video games all summer! Get up and move, enjoy the outdoors, or take some summer courses that will help you get ahead. If planning for college Starts Now!, don’t see the summer as a time to pause. Instead, use the time to accelerate toward your goals.


The school year will come to an end, but college-bound students of all ages can take advantage of summer academic programs, especially those offered by universities and colleges. These opportunities often build basic academic skills or focus on a particular profession, such as medicine or engineering, through intensive hands-on activities. In some programs, high school students can even earn college credit.

Students benefit greatly from the additional academic experience, but the social skills they develop are just as important. Not only do participants expand their circle of friends to include other students who want to go to college, but they also interact with university students, staff, and faculty to learn about the host campus and its resources.

Some factors to consider when choosing a program include its duration, intensity and cost. Many programs offer scholarships or waivers that may make attendance possible if costs seem prohibitive. Inside, you’ll learn more about a variety of university-affiliated summer programs that redefine the “school year” and help students explore their university aspirations.  A great list of summer programs can be found at

Summer Reading

Use the summer months to begin reading books required in the fall.  This way you can get ahead and spend your fall semester analyzing and preparing for book reports.  Ask your teachers for a list of books you should read, or go to for ideas.


If you are in high school, college is right around the corner.  Use the summer to investigate schools, prepare for the ACT or SAT, fill out applications, or strengthen your portfolio with service and leadership. 

Campus Visits

Take a quick trip to one of Arizona's universities for a campus tour.  You can get a view of most of the campus, a sneak peek inside a residence hall, as well as speak with current students.  Use this opportunity near home to prepare for trips to other campuses in Arizona, as well as out-of-state schools, if you have the opportunity to vacation somewhere else in the country.