A pre-college program is a no-cost or fee-based leadership or academic opportunity exclusively for high school students. While all pre-college programs are unique, generally these opportunities:

  • Offer benefits including: leadership experience, creating a network of other motivated students, academic credit, an opportunity to enhance your resume, and more
  • Are offered by organizations big and small, including for-profit, nonprofit, and government organizations
  • Range from a one-week experience to a long-term engagement beyond high school.
  • May be residential (requiring you to stay in a hotel or dorm) or local (allowing you to stay at home)
Pre-college programs provide students an opportunity to develop key skills and a valuable network for college success. Additionally, some pre-college programs provide participants more benefits including: housing, transportation, mentoring, or scholarship funds.

To see a list of all the pre-college programs on CHCI’s NextOpp, scroll through the list below. Want to narrow down your results? Click here to do an advanced search based on your personal and academic information.

Current Opportunities

ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative

Application Deadline: March 08, 2017
Description: The ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum is a groundbreaking partnership between ANN INC., parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, and Vital Voices. We are working together to empower young women from across the U.S. with the leadership skills they need to affect global progress, invest in their communities and begin their journeys as the next generation of leaders.

ANN INC. and Vital Voices select 50 outstanding young women every year, who are high school sophomores and juniors, to become ANNpower Fellows and participate in the ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum, a three-day leadership training and mentorship program. After participating in the Forum, the Fellows are charged with transforming their ideas into action, and are eligible to receive ANNpower Grants of up to $2,500 to help them to implement projects in their communities.

CHCI's Ready to Lead (R2L) Atlanta

Description: CHCI's Ready to Lead (R2L) program helps more Latino high school students enter post-secondary education by educating them on the college admissions and financial aid processes, motivating them to complete high school, and empowering them to serve and lead in their communities; all while instilling in them a belief that a college education is achievable.

The intensive one-day program provides 9th and 10th grade Latino high school students with the tools and training necessary to prepare for college. The program is held on various college campuses across the country in cities with a high Latino population. Workshops include:

  • College Planning: Courses and activities that will support a competitive college application
  • Financial Literacy: A primer on financial basics from managing credit cards and checking accounts to saving for college, and resources for financial aid
  • Leadership Development: An introduction to the “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership” to give students the tools to take leadership roles in their schools and communities
  • Mentoring Power Hour: An activity for students to engage in a fluid conversation with mentors, discussing the mentor's personal success story and learning ways to create their own

The program will take place from 8:00 am - 3:30 pm.

CHCI's Ready to Lead (R2L) D.C.

Description: CHCI's Ready to Lead (R2L) program helps more Latino high school students enter post-secondary education by educating them on the college admissions and financial aid processes, motivating them to complete high school, and empowering them to serve and lead in their communities; all while instilling in them a belief that a college education is achievable.

The intensive one-day program provides 9th and 10th grade Latino high school students with the tools and training necessary to prepare for college. The program is held on various college campuses across the country in cities with a high Latino population. Workshops include:

  • College Planning: Courses and activities that will support a competitive college application
  • Financial Literacy: A primer on financial basics from managing credit cards and checking accounts to saving for college, and resources for financial aid
  • Leadership Development: An introduction to the “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership” to give students the tools to take leadership roles in their schools and communities
  • Mentoring Power Hour: An activity for students to engage in a fluid conversation with mentors, discussing the mentor's personal success story and learning ways to create their own

CHCI's Ready to Lead (R2L) Dallas

Description: CHCI's Ready to Lead (R2L) program helps more Latino high school students enter post-secondary education by educating them on the college admissions and financial aid processes, motivating them to complete high school, and empowering them to serve and lead in their communities; all while instilling in them a belief that a college education is achievable.

The intensive one-day program provides 9th and 10th grade Latino high school students with the tools and training necessary to prepare for college. The program is held on various college campuses across the country in cities with a high Latino population. Workshops include:

  • College Planning: Courses and activities that will support a competitive college application
  • Financial Literacy: A primer on financial basics from managing credit cards and checking accounts to saving for college, and resources for financial aid
  • Leadership Development: An introduction to the “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership” to give students the tools to take leadership roles in their schools and communities
  • Mentoring Power Hour: An activity for students to engage in a fluid conversation with mentors, discussing the mentor's personal success story and learning ways to create their own

CHCI's Ready to Lead (R2L) Nashville

Description: CHCI's Ready to Lead (R2L) program helps more Latino high school students enter post-secondary education by educating them on the college admissions and financial aid processes, motivating them to complete high school, and empowering them to serve and lead in their communities; all while instilling in them a belief that a college education is achievable.

The intensive one-day program provides 9th and 10th grade Latino high school students with the tools and training necessary to prepare for college. The program is held on various college campuses across the country in cities with a high Latino population. Workshops include:

  • College Planning: Courses and activities that will support a competitive college application
  • Financial Literacy: A primer on financial basics from managing credit cards and checking accounts to saving for college, and resources for financial aid
  • Leadership Development: An introduction to the “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership” to give students the tools to take leadership roles in their schools and communities
  • Mentoring Power Hour: An activity for students to engage in a fluid conversation with mentors, discussing the mentor's personal success story and learning ways to create their own

Chicago Scholars Program

Application Deadline: February 12, 2018
Description: Every year we select talented Chicago high school juniors to become part of a college-going community that values and supports learning, leadership, and long-term success.

Once accepted, Chicago Scholars will Launch, Lift and Lead you into college and through college with our 5 year college access and success program, and beyond to successful careers with 2 years of leadership development. You'll start by learning about and exploring your college options, getting to know supportive mentors, and applying to colleges that will challenge you to do your best. In college, you'll participate in career coaching seminars, and other workshops to help you make the most of your college years.

CLYLP Los Angeles Institute

Application Deadline: May 06, 2017
Description: The CLYLP Los Angeles Institute is a three-day intensive leadership development program held in Los Angeles each summer for incoming high school juniors and seniors. Conference participants are housed at a university campus and attend powerful workshops and seminars that will enhance leadership skills, academic preparedness, self-esteem, cultural awareness, provide an understanding of local government and increase their knowledge of the regional's cultural and political landscape. Students have a unique opportunity to learn firsthand about the regional legislative process through mock hearings and personal interaction with business leaders and legislators from the Southern California, as well as legislative staff. Students are also presented with valuable information about college and professional careers, with the purpose of inspiring and motivating them to become the future leaders of Los Angeles Chicano/Latino community through public service. Participants will leave with information and tools that they can begin using when they return to school in the Fall season. Most importantly, students will leave with new friendships from across Southern California. CLYLP programming focuses on Chicano/Latino/Hispanic culture and history, but students form all ethnic backgrounds are welcome to apply.

CLYLP Sacramento Leadership Conference

Application Deadline: May 06, 2017
Description: The CLYLP Sacramento Leadership Conference is a week-long intensive leadership development program held in Sacramento each summer for incoming high school juniors and seniors. Conference participants are housed at Sacramento State University and attend powerful workshops and seminars that will enhance leadership skills, academic preparedness, self-esteem, cultural awareness, and provide an understanding of state and local government. Students have a unique opportunity to visit the state Capitol to learn firsthand about the legislative process through mock hearings and personal interaction with state legislators and legislative staff. Students are also presented with valuable information about college and professional careers. A college fair is also held with top colleges from around the country. Participants will leave with valuable information and tools that they can begin using when they return to school in the Fall.

CLYLP San Joaquin Valley Institute

Application Deadline: May 06, 2017
Description: The CLYLP San Joaquin Valley Institute is a three-day intensive leadership development program held in Fresno each summer for incoming high school juniors and seniors who attend school or reside in the San Joaquin Valley region. Conference participants are housed at a university campus and attend powerful workshops and seminars that will enhance leadership skills, academic preparedness, self-esteem, cultural awareness, provide an understanding of local government, and increase their knowledge of the region’s cultural and political landscape.

Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI)

Application Deadline: March 05, 2017
Description: Kick start your university studies in computer science with an unforgettable summer program at Google. Google's Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) is a three-week introduction to computer science for graduating high school seniors with a passion for technology — especially students from historically underrepresented groups in the field. As CSSI students, you will learn programming fundamentals directly from Google engineers, get an inside look at some of Google's most exciting, emerging technologies, and even design and develop your very own application with fellow participants that you will showcase to Googlers in local offices. Mist Intend to enroll at a university in a computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, or related area department for the 2015-2016 academic year. And be able to demonstrate an interest in and motivation for studying computer science.

 

District of Columbia College Access Program (DC-CAP)

Application Deadline: Year Round
Description: DC-CAP places advisors in all DC public and charter senior high schools to counsel students in grades nine through twelve.  These dedicated advisors work to build awareness among freshmen and sophomores of the importance of college.  Advisors counsel juniors and seniors individually on college selection and completing admission applications. DC-CAP advisors help students identify and apply for financial aid to pay for college.  DC-CAP also provides "Last Dollar" awards for up to $2,070 per year, for up to five years of college, to close the financial needs gap between students' resources, financial aid and actual college expenses.

To Apply for the DC-CAP Last Dollar Award, students must

Kelley School of Business Young Women's Institute

Application Deadline: April- check website for official date
Description: The Young Women's Institute allows high school women who have completed their junior year of high school to spend a week on the Indiana University campus. They have the opportunity to experience college life, interact with professors, and expand their network at no cost to them. Participants attend sessions on all aspects of business, which they apply in case to consult a local business. There is an application for the program, which requires a cumulative 3.5/4.0 GPA, extracurricular involvement, and a letter of recommendation.

Latinas in Progress (LIP) Program

Application Deadline: May 30, 2017
Description: The Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas (“HWNT”), Fort Worth Chapter is accepting applications for the 2015-2016 Latinas in Progress™(“LIP”) Education Series.  We are now in our APPLICATION phase and seeking high school Latina students entering their senior year, fall 2015, who are eager and motivated to pursue higher education. 

LIP strives to familiarize senior high school Latinas with college life and the tools to succeed in their personal and professional life. The LIP Education Series consists of five learning sessions, volunteer opportunities, and a mentorship component. The Education Series enables the students to participate in five modules where they will:

  •  learn more about applying to college and college life
  •  improve their writing skills
  • learn to be more assertive
  • learn about the importance of civic participation
  • learn health and wellness tips and other important life skills  

Each session is taught at local partner college or university and held on a Saturday during the school year from September 2015 to February 2016. The LIP Education Series also exposes the participants to a mentorship component: Latina women who share their stories of overcoming adversity, achieving higher education and professional success. Each session provides enriching learning experiences and encouragement by providing access to opportunities, information, financial resources, and exposure to universities.

Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES)

Application Deadline: The Summer 2016 application will open in November
Description: MITES is a rigorous six-week residential academic enrichment summer program for promising high school seniors, many of whom come from underrepresented or underserved communities and who are interested in studying and exploring careers in science and engineering. This national program stresses the value and reward of pursuing advanced technical degrees and careers while developing the skills necessary to achieve success in science and engineering. In 2015, MITES served 68 students hailing from 22 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Mexico, and Malawi. 

Pre-Law Boot Camp for College Students

Application Deadline: January 08, 2018
Description: The KHOP Winter Session is designed to equip high potential undergraduate students from underrepresented communities with the skills necessary to excel in the law school admissions process, while also introducing students to current law students, lawyers and faculty members at UC Davis School of Law. The no-cost program consists of a series of full-day Saturday presentations and workshops throughout the winter and spring quarter/semester. During the program, participants prepare for the law school application process, gain insight into the law school experience and receive exposure to a variety of legal fields.

KHOP Winter Session participants:

  • Attend workshops on pre-law preparation and law school admissions
  • Attend presentations and panels featuring UC Davis law school professors, alumni attorneys and law students
  • Participate in individual pre-law advising with School of Law Admissions Staff to develop law school admission action plans
  • Complete critiqued writing assignments concentrating on critical analysis and reasoning

R2L NextGen

Application Deadline: April 17, 2017
Description: Each year, CHCI brings students in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade to participate in the R2L NextGen program, a week-long leadership training in Washington, D.C. During the program students gain a deeper understanding of the importance of their role as engaged citizens, meet with key leaders, participate in study visits at historic sites and develop a deeper understanding of how they can affect positive change in their communities and their nation.

Road to Success

Description: Road to Success, provided at 25 San Antonio high schools, places College Access and Success Advisors on campus to directly assist students to successfully complete all aspects of the college application and enrollment process through key services focused on college aspirations and goal setting, college and career exploration and planning, college entry and enrollment, college affordability and financial aid, and college transition. Advisors provide these services through one-on-one meetings, group forums (assemblies, parent nights, college fairs) and a vast portfolio of workshops throughout the academic year and assist students through the transition from high school to college over the summer months.

Student Leaders Program

Application Deadline: January 31, 2018
Description: Bank of America is looking for the next generation of community leaders. If you are a junior or senior in high school with a passion for improving your community, we want to support you. 

As a Student Leader, you will participate in an eight-week paid internship at a local nonprofit organization where you will learn first-hand about the needs of your community and the critical role nonprofits play. In addition, you will learn valuable civic, social and business leadership skills. Each Student Leader will attend the Student Leaders Summit held in Washington, D.C. where you will learn how government, business and the nonprofit sector work together to address critical community needs. 

Summer STEM Program - Rising 10th Graders

Application Deadline: April 15, 2017
Description: Engineering is all about creating, building, and making things better! So what does it take to be an engineer? If you like math and science, you are off to a great start. If you enjoy discovering new things, solving problems, and learning how things work - even better! Creativity, persistence, and the desire to make the world a better place are also important qualities. Becoming an engineer requires hard work and a good education. Our summer program will be a great start to your career in science and engineering.

Summer STEM Program - Rising 11th Graders

Application Deadline: April 15, 2017
Description: Engineering is all about creating, building, and making things better! So what does it take to be an engineer? If you like math and science, you are off to a great start. If you enjoy discovering new things, solving problems, and learning how things work - even better! Creativity, persistence, and the desire to make the world a better place are also important qualities. Becoming an engineer requires hard work and a good education. Our summer program will be a great start to your career in science and engineering.

Summer STEM Program - Rising 8th & 9th Graders

Application Deadline: April 15, 2017
Description: Engineering is all about creating, building, and making things better! So what does it take to be an engineer? If you like math and science, you are off to a great start. If you enjoy discovering new things, solving problems, and learning how things work - even better! Creativity, persistence, and the desire to make the world a better place are also important qualities. Becoming an engineer requires hard work and a good education. Our summer program will be a great start to your career in science and engineering

The Princeton University Summer Journalism Program

Application Deadline: February 20, 2018
Description: What is the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program?

We welcome about 25 high school students from low-income backgrounds every summer to Princeton's campus for an intensive, 10-day seminar on journalism. The program's goal is to diversify college and professional newsrooms by encouraging outstanding students from low-income backgrounds to pursue careers in journalism. All expenses, including students' travel costs to and from Princeton, are paid for by the program.

 

What is the program like?

Classes at the program are taught by reporters and editors from The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and ABC News, among other media outlets. Students tour the Times, Newsweek, and CNN; cover a professional sports event; cover news events in the Princeton area; film and produce a TV segment; conduct an investigative project; author a group blog; and report, write, edit and design their own newspaper, The Princeton Summer Journal, which is published on the program's last day.

The program is also designed to give students a taste of what life is like at one of the best colleges in the country—students live on campus and eat in one of the university's cafeterias—and to prepare them to apply to top schools. Students meet with Princeton's top professors as well as the school's president and its dean of admissions. Students attend seminars on every aspect of the college admissions process. They also take a practice SAT and attend an SAT class taught by Princeton Review.

After students return home, program staff remains in contact with them, assisting them during the college application process and helping them to apply for journalism internships once they are in college.

 

The VALHEN Hispanic College Institute (HCI)

Application Deadline: April 01, 2017
Description: The VALHEN Hispanic College Institute (HCI) is a highly successful residential program that prepares Hispanic students in the Commonwealth of Virginia to enter and succeed in higher education. The 2015 HCI takes place at Virginia Tech from July 15 to 18.

The program is based on research and input from Hispanic educators and community leaders, and much of the content is delivered by Hispanics who can relate to the students’ experiences and challenges. The program provides clear and practical college application and financial aid information, and allows students to have the opportunity to engage with successful Hispanic leaders and role models who will help inform them about career and educational opportunities. If admitted, students will:

  • Live on Virginia Tech's beautiful campus
  • Receive help writing a college application essay
  • Participate in STEM-related workshops (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sponsored by NASA
  • Learn and/or improve public speaking, presentation and interviewing skills
  • Experience increased awareness of community-focused civic engagement
  • Understand the financial aid and the FAFSA application processes
  • Acquire knowledge on how to search for available scholarships and other types of financial aid
  • Meet and engage with Hispanic leaders and role models to learn about their career successes
  • Have the opportunity to meet with college admissions and financial aid representatives
  • Compete for available scholarships
  • Participate in a College, Career and Community Resource Fair

TRIALS Pre Law Program

Description: Trials is the product of a unique partnership among Harvard Law School, NYU School of Law, and the Advantage Testing Foundation. It is a residential summer scholarship program for students of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds that are currently underrepresented at the nation’s leading law schools. Our aim is to help talented students of modest means gain admission to these schools by providing intensive LSAT preparation and a broad-based exposure to diverse aspects of the legal profession.

University of New Mexico College Prep Programs

Application Deadline: Varies by program
Description: The purpose of College Prep Programs (CPP) is to promote P-20 student success and post-secondary education, from college awareness to college readiness, through academics, career exploration, civic engagement, college-life and leadership development for students from low-income and first generation college-attending families in New Mexico and across the country.

Natural High Program (NH) promotes leadership development and teambuilding, specifically through cooperative games and low ropes facilitated by Educational Mentor/Tutors (EMTs) on UNM’s campus as well as off site at schools and community organizations, in addition to presentation on college awareness and readiness

College Readiness (CR) is a program that consists of a summer session, monthly seminars and 1:1 support which take place during students’ senior year of high school.

Summer College Prep Programs (SCPP) provide various residential sessions for middle and high school students to experience post-secondary education through academics, career exploration, civic engagement, college life and leadership development.

Valedictorian Club

Application Deadline: March (Contact Organization in March)
Description: A program for 8th graders that provides each participant with a mentor to guide them as they learn to use high school as a platform to develop the leadership and academic skills necessary for entry into and success in college.

Young Ambassadors Program

Application Deadline: April 06, 2017
Description: The Smithsonian Latino Center's Young Ambassadors Program (YAP) is a national program for graduating high school seniors that fosters the next generation of Latino leaders in the arts, sciences, and humanities via the Smithsonian Institution and its resources. YAP is a college preparatory and leadership program that encourages participants to explore various academic and career opportunities through the lens of the Latino experience.

Up to 24 graduating high school seniors who have demonstrated interest and commitment to the arts, sciences, or humanities as it pertains to Latino communities will be selected to participate in a weeklong all-expenses paid interdisciplinary training seminar in Washington D.C. This will be followed by a four-week internship in a preselected museum or cultural center in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Youth Editorial Advisory Board

Application Deadline: Various (Spring: February; Fall: September)
Description: The Latinitas Youth Editorial Advisory Board is a group of young writers, between the ages of 13-25, who assist with writing articles for our magazine. Participants who dream of a career in media and journalism and who want to make a difference while getting published are encouraged to apply. Our Latina "word weavers" will get the experience they need as our future leaders of America through journalism opportunities that include, but are not limited to, editing, writing, blogging, and creating multimedia projects. PR and Marketing opportunities are also available for those interested. Previous journalism or writing experience is not required. This program is designed for motivated writers who want to get published, make an impact and have their voice heard.