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Best Scholarships for Summer Programs [2024 Authentic List with Application Tips]

Written by Medha Pandey

Updated on: 17 Jan 2024

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Hello, high schoolers! Are you searching for compelling summer programs? Summer programs are all about learning through research, exploring new places, and internships. The programs usually last 2 to 6 weeks. But they can be pricey, costing from $500 to even $4,000 and above.

The good news: many colleges offer scholarships for summer programs. The scholarships can help cover the costs of your summer activities or your college fees.

But, finding these scholarships can be tricky. A report in 2020 by Scholly said 42% of scholarships are hard to find online, like on Google. We found the data true when searching for summer program scholarships. Many lists we found weren’t very helpful.

But don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you! We went through the resources to create a list of the most reliable scholarships for summer programs. Plus, we’ve got some handy tips to help you secure the right scholarships. Keep reading for more info!

What are scholarships for summer programs?

Scholarships for summer programs are financial awards or grants offered by organizations, universities, or colleges to support students’ academic pursuits during the summer. They cover various fields like STEM, humanities, arts, and business. 

Summer scholarships offer funding for research projects, internships, language immersion programs, and travel opportunities. The scholarships help in a student’s academic or professional growth. Eligibility criteria and application requirements may include essays, academic records, letters of recommendation, or proposals. 

Benefits of scholarships for summer programs

Summer scholarships offer financial aid, learning and development opportunities, and professional growth opportunities to students across various fields. Here is how they support these areas: 

Financial Support: Summer scholarships offer crucial financial aid to students to cover their tuition fees, research, and projects. 

Enriching Opportunities: These scholarships open doors for students to participate in valuable summer activities like internships, research endeavors, or study abroad programs.

Academic and Professional Growth: Engaging in such activities during summer break together contributes significantly to students’ academic and professional development, enhancing their skills and knowledge.

Now that you know the benefits, let us move on to the list of best scholarships for summer programs:

Best scholarships for summer programs

According to the Education Data Initiative research, 84% of students receive some form of financial aid. If not financial aid, scholarships for summer sessions can fund educational research, trips, and projects to help you achieve the finest of your academic potential.

Here you go with the best scholarships for summer programs to apply for:

Washington University in St. Louis 

High School Summer Scholarship Program


The High School Summer Scholars Program offers credit and undergraduate courses in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics, with students selecting 3-unit and noncredit options.

This program is perfect for students seeking college credit, academic challenges, and exploration of specific majors or subject courses. 


  • You must be a current junior high school graduate.
  • You should have an IELTS Academic score of at least 6.5 or a TOEFL iBT score of at least 90 as an overseas student.

Further guidelines about international students can be found here.


Assistance with scholarships is available based on need. A 10% discount is available to returning students and children of WashU staff. Here are more specifics on costs, need-based scholarships, and savings.


The High School Summer Scholars Program has two application deadlines: 

Early (March 1, 2024) and regular (April 1, 2024). 

  • The early deadline and income documentation for need-based scholarships ends on March 1, 2024. 
  • The regular deadline is April 1, 2024
  • The scholarship application section and income documentation are a must for need-based scholarships. Decisions will be made by April 8, 2024.

Click to apply for the summer program

University of Notre Dame

Office of Pre-college Programs


Summer Scholars participants at Notre Dame take a challenging college-level course for two weeks, with small classes and high faculty attention. The coursework is rigorous and rewarding, with students earning one transferable college credit upon completion. They collaborate outside class and enjoy the unique social aspects of college life.


Summer Scholars program dates are June 8-22, 2024, and June 29-July 13, 2024. High school students must be:

  • Current sophomores and juniors, have strong academic standing and be self-motivated, self-disciplined, and mature. 
  • They must express a desire to be part of the Notre Dame community and be at least 16 by August 1, 2024.

Further application guidelines can be found here.


Students can get financial aid for their studies under the Office of pre-college programs.

Note: The NDU has “limited need-based partial to full-tuition scholarships available to students who apply for the Summer Scholars program.”


  • Applications Live: October 16, 2023
  • Application Deadline: February 20, 2024
  • Financial Aid Request Form Deadline: February 12, 2024

To access the financial aid request form for Summer Scholars Session I, click this link.

To access the financial aid request form for Summer Scholars Session II, click this link.

✍️Kindly ensure that a parent or guardian fills out the form by February 12, 2024.

Rice University

Summer Session Financial Aid


Under the Summer Session Financial Aid Of Rice University, undergraduate students can receive grants, loans, or both institutional and federal Pell Grants for summer, while graduate students can also request student loans.


  • You must be a current graduate. 
  • As long as you are enrolled in Rice undergraduate courses, the Summer Rice Grant is only available for two summers. (Each summer, up to nine credit hours). 

✍️Note: The Summer Rice Grant is exclusively for Rice online, in-person, or “Rice in country” coursework and other faculty-led overseas programs during the summer, not for non-Rice summer programs.

Email fina@rice.edu with any inquiries you may have about your eligibility for a summer grant.


Rice undergraduates who received academic year need-based aid are eligible for institutional aid equivalent to 50% of summer tuition.


Usually, the summer request form deadline spans around the last week of May.

Click to apply for the summer program

Yale University

Summer Session Financial Aid Program


Students at Yale College are eligible for a tuition discount of 50% on up to two summer courses. The maximum award for Summer 2024 is $5,070 per student. This is the maximum amount that students can receive in a 10-week summer. After earning their degrees, Yale College students are no longer qualified for financial aid from YSS.

The summer session programs include summer penn grants, student loans, application fee waivers, and abroad education.


  • You should be an undergraduate student for the Summer Pell Grant Program.
  • Yale College students with a Safety Net percentage of 80% or higher will receive an application fee waiver, similar to the ISA percentage in YaleHub. 


Summer 2024’s maximum YSS financial assistance award per student is $5,070, with students not exceeding this limit within a 10-week summer.


Session A: May 27 – June 28

Session B: July 1 – August 2

Click to apply for the summer program

Stanford University

Summer Session


Stanford scholarship funds for summer tuition and living expenses are only available to students who missed a standard quarter or will graduate at the end of summer. Exceptions can be made for independent students enrolled in classes at Stanford. The summer quarter counts as one of the twelve eligible quarters.


  • You must be a high school or university student at a recognized educational institution. 
  • Available to students who missed a standard quarter or will graduate at the end of summer.


 Standford Summer Session offers need-based funds for students. 


Mostly, the last week of May. 

Click to apply for the summer program

Carleton College

Summer Liberal Arts Institute


The Hearst Foundations has granted Carleton a $100,000 grant to provide scholarships for high school students from underprivileged backgrounds who are enrolled in the College’s Summer Liberal Arts Institute (SLAI). The Foundations increased the award amount by $50,000, offering up to 33 full scholarships for the summers of 2024 and 2025.


  • You must be an undergraduate with a strong inclination toward discovering your discipline and the practical applications of your courses.


The Summer Liberal Arts Institute (SLAI) is a summer learning community for high school students in Northfield, Minnesota, allowing them to explore the liberal arts at a top 10 private residential college. Students learn from top-ranked faculty, earn college credit, and develop research skills.


Round 1 Deadline: February 5, 2024

Round 2 (Final) Deadline: March 11, 2024

Click to apply for the summer program

University of Pennsylvania

Penn Summer Abroad Fellowship and Scholarship Program


Penn Summer Abroad programs are open to undergraduate students at Penn or other accredited US institutions, requiring an online application and strong academic standing.

There are currently three scholarship programs available:
1. The William A. Levi Travel Fellowship

2. Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

3. Fund for Education Abroad


  • You must be an undergraduate pupil at Penn or another US university with accreditation.
  • You should be able to fill out the online application form which includes 
  • An essay application
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Application to more than one program (if needed)
  • Additionally, for each type of scholarship program, there are specific requirements which you can find here


Under the Penn Summer Abroad Fellowship and Scholarship Program, students can get funds to study abroad, exponential learning, and exploration of their disciplines. 


Deadlines vary depending on the scholarship program you choose.
1. The William A. Levi Travel Fellowship – January 31st, 2024

2. Fund for Education Abroad – Application opens: Mid-November

                                                  Application closes: Early January

                                                  Scholars announced: Early April

Click to apply for the summer scholarship

Emory University

Pre-college Program


High school students can participate in an academic summer program at Emory Pre-College Program. It offers incoming sophomores and juniors an intriguing look at residential life and/or academic life at a nationally regarded university.


  • You must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident.
  • International students are not allowed.
  • You must complete the Pre-College Financial Aid application, application items, and application fee, and submit your parent’s current tax return.


Award amounts cover tuition, granted on a rolling basis, with notifications sent via email to applicants. Acceptances must be returned via email.


Financial Aid applications usually close by April 15.

Click to apply for the summer scholarship 
⭐Graduating soon? Discover opportunities with the Best Scholarships for High School Seniors.

🎗️Pursuing higher education? Read Best Scholarship for College Students.

How to get the right scholarships?

You are trying to find the best suitable scholarship for the summer program, but don’t know how to go about it. That doesn’t just delay the process of application but also drops your confidence to secure the scholarship. Here you go with the best practices to find the right scholarships for summer:

Start looking for scholarships early

Starting your scholarship search early offers numerous advantages, including increased opportunities, time for preparation, and less stress. With specific deadlines and application windows, you can apply for a wide range of scholarships, maximizing your chances of financial aid.

Additionally, starting early allows you to focus on your best work, ensuring your application stands out among the candidates.

For example: Let’s say you’re interested in a scholarship that requires you to write a top-notch essay about your career goals. Starting early means you can brainstorm, draft, revise, and polish your essay over a few weeks or months. 

Maintain a good GPA

While your GPA might not be the only criterion on which your scholarship application is assessed, it often falls into one of the main criteria. A good GPA shows you’re determined and hardworking towards your academic goals. This might increase your chances of getting selected in the process.

You must maintain a good GPA to maximize your chances of getting selected. Read How to improve your GPA to find helpful tips on getting a good GPA.

Know various resources for scholarships 

As stated in Scholly’s Research data: 42% of scholarships are not discoverable through Google searches. That implies that to find a suitable scholarship, you may have to visit specific organizations’ websites that offer scholarships and dig out the necessary information. 

For example: Scholarships can be found through various sources, including online databases like Fastweb, Scholarships.com, and CollegeBoard. 

School resources like guidance counselors, community organizations, professional associations, social media, employer scholarships, government, and military programs, financial aid websites, and local libraries and foundations also provide scholarship opportunities. It’s important to verify the legitimacy of scholarships and be cautious of applications that ask for sensitive personal information. 

🖊️Are you a STEM student with a knack for expressing yourself through words? Check out the Wiingy Future STEM Leaders Scholarship and win up to $1200. Besides, get a chance to get your essay published on Wiingy’s official website! 

Research well on the eligibility and application process

To maximize your chances of success in applying for scholarships, your research must include:

  • Academic qualification required. 
  • Age limit, nationality, and other identity requirements.
  • Application items such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, essays, and more.

Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria, such as academic achievements, extracurricular activities, community service, intended major, and financial need. Gather necessary documents such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, essays, and financial information.

Also, follow the application instructions strictly. Pay attention to deadlines, formatting guidelines, and submission methods. Tailor your application materials to showcase your strengths and align with the scholarship criteria.

Find the most suitable option

Regardless of how unique your situation is, there is a scholarship out there for you. Filter out options until you find the scholarship program that best suits your requirements. 

For example, if you need a scholarship for summer programs that allow you to gain exponential experience in your field through funded tours and experiments, do not work hard for scholarships that provide financial aid or grants and vice versa.

Double-check your application

Get your documents ready. This might include grades, recommendation letters, or a short essay. Before hitting submit, double-check your application. No room for mistakes! If you’re unsure, ask! Contact the program organizers for help or clarification. Once you’re 100% sure about your application, upload the documents and hit the apply button!

Consider other funding options

Summer break scholarships are a common form of financial assistance, but there are numerous other options available, including grants, loans, part-time jobs, and startup business funding. Federal government grants and loans, such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), may also be eligible for you, so do not refrain from exploring.

Summer scholarship programs help you achieve your career goals with financial support, research, and travel facilities during summers. Various nationally recognized universities across the country roll out summer scholarship programs.

To ensure you make the most of the summer scholarship programs, start looking for scholarships early,  know the resources of scholarships, find out eligibility and application details, and submit your application before deadlines.

💡Recommended Reading:
Best Essay Writing Scholarships

Best Athletic Scholarships

Best Art Scholarships

Best Merit-based scholarships

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I write a good essay for scholarships? 

To write an impressive essay and win a scholarship grant, follow these steps: 
1. Understand the prompt, brainstorm ideas, create an outline, craft a strong introduction, develop the body, highlight achievements, connect with the scholarship, and conclude strongly. 
2. Start with a captivating hook, then focus on a single idea or experience, supporting it with specific examples. 
3. Highlight your achievements, leadership roles, community involvement, and any challenges you’ve faced. 
4. Connect your experiences and goals to the scholarship’s mission, values, and goals. 
5. Finally, summarize your main points and reiterate your passion and commitment, leaving a lasting impression. 
Most importantly, submit it on time!
🎉To find the best essay writing scholarship programs and a detailed guide on writing scholarship essays please read: Best Essay Writing Contests.

💡Read the December 2023 winning essay of Wiingy’s Future STEM Leaders Scholarship Program and find the top student essays for reference.

What’s the easiest scholarship to get? 

The scholarship that aligns with your interests and best potential is the easiest to get for you. For example, if you’re good at writing essays, the Wiingy Future STEM Leaders Scholarship is very easy to apply for!

Also, Merit-based scholarships, awarded during the acceptance process, are often the easiest to obtain for colleges, especially private schools, as they don’t require a separate application.

Can you get scholarships for summer classes?

Yes, there are so many options for scholarships for summer programs discussed in this article. Many scholarships cover expenses for summer programs, workshops, or courses. Some may specifically target summer learning opportunities for high school students or incoming college freshmen. You can find the scholarships on specific university websites of Emory, Standford, NDU, Rice, Yale, and more. 

Some reliable summer scholarship programs are:
Summer Session Financial Aid Program
Standford Summer Session
Office of Pre-college Programs
Pre-college Program

What are the best Summer scholarships for incoming college freshmen?

To find the best scholarships for summer, it is best to search your local community colleges, University scholarships, like the ones discussed in this article, Specialized programs, and the online search that you’re doing now!

Some reliable summer scholarship programs are:
Summer Session Financial Aid Program
Standford Summer Session
Office of Pre-college Programs

Written by by

Medha Pandey

Reviewed by by

Prerit Jain

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