DEADLINE: 2/8/2018 LINK: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/honors/academicsandenrichment/affiliatedandhighschool/clarks/
Eligibility: students must be 17 years of age by the program start date; the program accepts applications from students who have completed the 12th year of high school
What is is: The Clark Scholars Program is designed to attract gifted students from around the nation. The program allows students the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with outstanding faculty in a research intensive setting. The seven-week program also includes weekly seminars, discussions, and field trips. The students are afforded an atmosphere designed to develop their critical thinking abilities and career interests with faculty and other students like themselves. The Clark Scholars Program is unique in that it is open to gifted students in almost any area of academe from not only the natural sciences and mathematics but to the humanities and fine arts as well. Many of these Clark Scholars have used their research experience to help formulate their career paths and goals.
Why you should apply: Its website abounds with its alumni’s impressive achievements, ranging from finalist entries in national competitions to admissions into selective colleges. Indeed, the program’s low admissions rate is testament to its reputation after a three-round review process, only 12 Clark Scholars were selected out of a pool of approximately 400 applicants in 2017, bringing the admissions rate to about 3%. This is staggeringly low – lower even than Harvard’s acceptance rate, which was 5.4% in 2016. Being admitted to this program would highlight the competitive advantages you have over your peers and make a marked difference in your college applications. Not to mention, the program is a paid opportunity – in addition to a summer full of intense research and learning, Scholars are also awarded a $750 tax-free stipend.
DEADLINE: 3/1/2018 LINK: https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/sip
Eligibility: students who are sixteen years of age or older by June 15, 2018
What it is: The summer internship program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a program where students have an opportunity to work side-by-side with leading scientists in the world, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research in various laboratories across the US.
Why you should apply: The NIH summer internship is an intensive, rigorous and time-consuming opportunity – students must commit for a minimum of eight consecutive weeks, with 40 hours of work per week. However, if biomedical research is a field you are considering, or if you would like to gain more insight into what dedicating yourself to research would entail, this is the right opportunity for you. In a video about what past participants had to say about the program, one past participant says that he had no interest in science at all before attending. White past experience in science may increase your chances, the video indicates that it may not be absolutely crucial. You are additionally awarded a stipend for your work – this is a paid opportunity that you should not pass up looking into.
The internship will provide you not only with the necessary technical skills and lab experience, but it will also give you insight into the ins and outs of conducting research research by participating in existing research under top mentorship in the biomedical science and in state-of-the-art science facilities. The cornerstone of the program is research – as is stated on the NIH website, the program is meant to give participating students a “deeper understanding of how scientific investigation works and what it entails”, with the hope that most of them will decide to include research as an important component of your future career. However, while research is prioritized in the duration of the program, participants are encouraged to participate in other activities, such as career development, networking, and educational activities including lectures featuring distinguished NIH investigators, career/professional development workshops, and Summer Poster Day.
7. Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA)*
DEADLINE: 12/12/2018 LINK: http://ledascholars.org/
Eligibility: students must be juniors at the time of application, come from a low-income background, have an unweighted cumulative GPA of at least 3.6 and class ranking within the top 10% of the high school class, and be US citizens, permanent residents, or have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals (DACA) status
What it is: The LEDA Scholars program comprises four components and a six-year trajectory to help high-achieving, low-income students go to the most selective colleges and thrive there. Students begin their LEDA experience with the Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute, an intensive seven-week experience on the campus of Princeton University, where LEDA Scholars develop their leadership skills through a rigorous and innovative curriculum. The summer program also includes writing instruction, standardized test preparation, college-application guidance and community building. Our internal research confirms that this preparation yields tangible results. Surveys measuring attitudes and beliefs about leadership at the end of the program have found that Scholars show significant decreases in hierarchical thinking, a benchmark of leadership development. LEDA Scholars also report that the Summer Institute provides them with crucial knowledge of the institutions and opportunities available to them and a deeper understanding of the academic expectations of selective colleges, and serves to prepare them for the rigor of highly selective colleges.
Why you should apply: LEDA receives around 1000 applications per application cycle, and selects only 50 to be LEDA scholars. This means that the acceptance rate of the program is approximately 5%, making it very selective. The competitive application process consists of three rounds and is similar to the admissions process for highly selective colleges and universities; it includes a lot of writing, as well as an interview for finalists. But it’s definitely worth it: LEDA scholars have reported that the program equipped them with a crucial understanding of what opportunities are available to them, what academic expectations selective colleges have for the applicants, and the level of rigor their academic programs require of their students. Internal surveys have also demonstrated that scholars are better equipped to take on leadership roles and have the resources to affect positive change in their communities, in addition to excelling academically. Statistics that are available on the LEDA website say volumes about the life-changing experience that the program provides: in 2017, for instance, 99% of the LEDA cohort was admitted to at least one of the nation’s most selective schools.
* programs marked with an asterix are free of charge