The school term’s busyness has finally ended, and the plans for the next couple of months of summer vacation have now begun. Students and parents alike are planning the next beach activity or another summer outing.
But you, you’re different; you are looking to get ahead this summer. And a summer program is just the boost you need to get you there.
With the number of online schools available, offering top-of-the-line courses, you will find the best program that will meet your needs.
People look for summer programs for various reasons. You could be a student looking to work on his/her grade, a parent looking for your child to be more active in the summer, or a high school student looking to support the university.
If anyone of these is you, then you have made the best choice to get you ahead by enrolling in a summer program.
But, with so many summer programs available, it is sometimes difficult to choose the right one.
Here are the ten best online summer programs out there, and if you are on a tight budget, then that’s ok because these summer programs are entirely free.
This list is in no particular order or ranking, but these ten have some of the most diverse sets of courses. From the general grade K-12 subjects to arts and creative courses. To history, politics, and cultural experiences of people of African descent.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the shortlist.
So what are the best free online summer school programs? Well here’s the quick list:
- Arizona State University – Tuition-Free Summer Session Courses
- Method Schools year-round tuition-free courses
- Mathcamp Five-week Summer Program
- Telluride Association Summer Programs
- K12 Tuition-Free Online Summer School Programs
- Khan Academy
- National History Academy Online Pre-College Camps for High School Students
- Norwich University of the Arts FREE Creative Summer Workshop
- Harvard University: Free Online Learning Courses
- Texas Connections Academy @ Houston (TCAH)
Now let’s see what these programs offer, and while we are at it and also answer the common questions you may have.
1. Arizona State University: Tuition-Free Summer Session Courses
The first is the Arizona State University – ASU Prep Digital, the online high school of Arizona State University. ASU is partnering with the Brookfield Engineering Science & Technology (BEST) Academy. They offer tuition-free, online courses over the summer to California students. Particularly in Riverview, Orange, San Diego, and Imperial Counties.
- What are the eligibility requirements for ASU: Tuition-Free Summer Sessions Courses?
All high school students in the four counties are eligible to enroll in summer session courses and receive high school credits. Incoming 9th-12th grade students with grade point averages 3.0 or higher are eligible to enroll in concurrent college courses and can earn both high school and university credits from ASU.
- What are the Courses being offered by ASU: Tuition-Free Summer Sessions Courses?
There are 15 courses being offered from World Languages, Health & Wellness, to Social Studies, Medical Sciences and Communications. You can see a full list of courses from their Summer Course Brochure.
- How do you enroll in the ASU: Tuition-Free Summer Sessions Courses?
The way you can enroll in these courses is by pre-registering in B.E.S.T. Academy to select and reserve your courses of interest. All registered students will be assigned a teacher and an ASU Learning Success Coach to support their online learning experience. Summer Session classes start on July 1st and courses are available until filled.
ASU has an all-rounded package for students that qualify, if you are a top performer and want to get ahead this summer then ASU is the place for you. You can find out more by visiting their ASUPrepDigital website for more info. If you want to cut to the chase and get started then you can pre-register.
2. Method Schools year-round tuition-free course
Method Schools is a Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredited, independent study charter school for K-12 students throughout Southern California.
In addition to WASC accreditation, Method offers a comprehensive UC a-g and NCAA approved course catalog. Method Schools is tuition-free for students in grades K-12. They believe in providing an excellent education and free curriculum.
- What are the eligibility requirements for Method Schools year-round tuition-free courses?
Students who are eligible to enroll at Method Schools meet these requirements:
- They aren’t enrolled in any other K-12 school (no concurrent enrollment).
- They live in one of the following counties: Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Kern, Ventura, San Diego, Riverside, or Imperial.
- They complete all required enrollment documents (listed below).
- What are the Courses being offered by Method Schools year-round tuition-free courses?
There are 9 categories of courses being offered. You can view the full course list of courses on their course list page.
- How do you enroll in Method Schools year-round tuition-free courses?
The online enrollment is simple and finished in 10-15 minutes. You must turn enrollment paperwork in before the first day of school. This includes:
- A copy of the student’s birth certificate.
- immunization records (up to date).
- Two proofs of residency.
Method Schools offers a year-round track that starts in July and enrollment through January. Their courses are typically up to six weeks long. Method’s school year begins on July 1st, 2020.
Method School is very flexible for not just your summer needs. To find out more about Methods, you can visit their website at:
or contact them via:
Let’s keep moving.
3. Mathcamp Five-week Online Summer Program
Mathcamp is an intensive five-week summer program in which students are able to explore various principles of mathematics. Students can learn about undergraduate and graduate-level topics while bonding with a diverse group of people who share the common love of mathematics. All Mathcamp programs and reunions are currently online.
Mathcamp is one of the special selections on our list since there is a cost; however, their financial aid is amazing!
Offering over $150,000 per year in scholarship and it is free for US and Canadian families with household incomes under $65,000 (with typical assets*), and need-based financial aid is widely available for middle-income families as well as international students, including full scholarships and travel grants.
*Typical assets include cash, savings, checking, investments, home equity, other real estate (other than home) equity, and business equity. Retirement assets (i.e., 401K, 403b, IRA, Keogh) are not included in the analysis.
- What are the eligibility requirements for the Mathcamp Five-week Summer Program?
They invite applications from high-school and middle-school students from around the world who are passionate about mathematics. Students between ages 13 and 18 are eligible.
- What are the Courses being offered by Mathcamp Five-week Summer Program?
The program offers courses, problem-solving sessions, and lectures by leading mathematicians.
- How do you enroll in the Mathcamp Five-week Summer Program?
An application to Canada/USA Mathcamp includes the following:
- Basic personal and contact information.
- The information about your school and your mathematics background.
- A personal essay about why you want to come to Mathcamp.
- Your solutions to the Mathcamp 2020 Qualifying Quiz.
- Two recommendation letters: one academic, one personal.
- A scholarship application, if you require assistance to attend Mathcamp.
The application form can be found on the MathCamp Website.
The key takeaway here is Mathcamp is FREE for all US and Canadian families with household income under $65,000. Once the eligibility and household income requirements are met then your ticket to an awesome 5 week maths summer program is waiting.
4. Telluride Association Online Summer Programs
Telluride Association Online Seminar (TAOS) is a free six-week ONLINE educational experience for high school sophomores and juniors. It is an extension of their Telluridean education for Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP) and Telluride Association Sophomore Seminars (TASS). The program was originally set on-premises however it has moved online in 2020 with hopes of continuing online moving forward.
- What are the eligibility requirements for Telluride Association Online Seminar?
All current high school sophomores (tenth grade) are eligible to apply for the program. You do not need to be a United States citizen to apply, nor do you need to go to an American high school.
- What are the Courses being offered by Telluride Association Online Seminar?
They offer exciting courses designed to inspire young people to explore the histories, politics and cultural experiences, and various other topics.
- How do you enroll in Telluride Association Online Seminar?
To apply, you must fill out a two-part program application consisting of short answer questions and essay writing.
You can find the application form here: Telluride Association website.
The Telluride Association believes very strongly in the program experience and covers all costs associated with the program.
To find out more, you can check out the Telluride Association Program page, which gives up to date information on all what they are doing.
5. K12 Tuition-Free Online Summer School Programs
Next on our list is K12 Tuition-Free Online Summer School Programs. At this halfway mark we introduce a unique selection. K12 is not just one summer school but showcases a list of virtual schools all around the country.
- What are the eligibility requirements for A TK12 Tuition-Free Online Summer School Programs?
None. Seriously, anyone can search for an available summer school program and apply for it.
- What are the Courses being offered by K12 Tuition-Free Online Summer School Programs?
They offer courses from K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. They offer a variety of courses. You can find out more here on their course overview page.
- How do you enroll in K12 Tuition-Free Online Summer School Programs?
To apply you can follow 5 simple steps:
- Create a parent portal account
- Provide basic information
- Choose your school
- Answer admissions questions
- Submit required documentation
The application form can be found on the K12 Website.
K12 powers several types of tuition-free online public schools. And with their school finder, you can search the best school in your area that suits your online needs.
6. KHAN Academy
Moving on, we have come to Khan Academy. Khan Academy is not the traditional online summer school like we know it. They offer practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside the classroom.
Millions of students from all over the world, each with their own unique story, learn at their own pace at Khan Academy every single day. And that’s why it’s on our list.
If you’re looking for a summer program, why not choose something that will pinpoint precisely the subject or skill you’re trying to advance. Khan Academy will help you achieve that and it is FREE.
- What are the eligibility requirements for Khan Academy?
All current high school students are eligible, in fact anyone, from a child to an adult can take KHAN academy courses.
- What are the courses being offered by Khan Academy?
They offer math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. You name it.
- How do you enroll in Khan Academy?
How to enroll is very simple; just sign up to join Khan Academy as a learner, teacher or parent and get full access to the dozens of courses being offered.
Khan Academy is a nonprofit with the mission to provide free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.
Everything that is needed can be found on the Khan Academy website. Check it out to learn more.
7. National History Academy Online Pre-College Camps for High School Students
Another, is the National History Academy Online. It is a summer experience for high school students interested in the history, law, and government of the United States.
Each week, you will immerse yourself in a case developed by Harvard Business School Professor David Moss’s Case Method Institute and spend two days virtually visiting seminal historic sites.
- What are the eligibility requirements for the NHA Online Pre-College Camps for High School Students?
All current high school students going to 10th, 11th, and 12th grade are eligible.
- What are the Courses being offered by NHA Online Pre-College Camps for High School Students?
History, Law and government of the United States.
- How do you enroll in the NHA Online Pre-College Camps for High School Students?
Students who are interested in attending should register by submitting an application which includes GPA and test scores. Students are also asked to submit a short, two paragraph essay answering one of the following questions:
Which historical site has had the biggest impact on your life? Why?
Which historical site would you most like to visit? Why?
The Academy utilizes a hybrid of formal and informal learning methods through case discussions, virtual site visits, and lectures by noted leaders and scholars. The website design allows interaction in classrooms and with distinguished speakers.
To find out more, you can contact them at the National History Academy Website.
8. Norwich University of the Arts FREE Creative Summer Workshops
Join free Online Summer School workshops with the Norwich University of the Arts and get creative. From designing album covers to sculpture, from character design to expressive painting, NUA staff and graduates will teach you new skills and build a creative portfolio for university.
- What are the eligibility requirements for Norwich University of the Arts FREE Creative Summer Workshops?
Must be aged 14 to 19.
- What are the Courses being offered by Norwich University of the Arts FREE Creative Summer Workshops?
A range of creative workshops like typography design, 2D animation, designing sculptures and much more.
- How do you enroll in Norwich University of the Arts FREE Creative Summer Workshops?
Students who are interested would need to book their spot through their event booking platform. Which can be found on the Book Your Summer Workshop Page.
As an attendee to the NUA Online Summer School, you will receive an official certificate that you can include in your personal statement.
To find out more, visit the NUA website.
9. Harvard University: Free Online Learning Courses
Here is another of the non-traditional Online Summer programs.
Through the edX learning platform, founded by Harvard and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), anyone with an Internet connection can access courses from Harvard, MIT, and other partner academic institutions.
- What are the eligibility requirements for Harvard University: Free Online Learning Courses?
- What are the Courses being offered by Harvard University: Free Online Learning Courses?
100 free courses to choose from, you can check them out on Harvard’s Catalog Page.
- How do you enroll in Harvard University: Free Online Learning Courses?
Each course has an enrollment button; once signed in and you select a course, and you are automatically enrolled.
Harvard University Free Online Courses is a great way to get ahead this summer. Be sure to visit Harvard’s website for more info.
10. Texas Connection Academy @ Houston
The final item on our list is Texas Connection Academy @Houston.
Texas Connections Academy @ Houston (TCAH) is a tuition-free online public school that students in grades 3–12 attend from home. TCAH joins caring, certified teachers, involved parents, and a high-quality curriculum to support students’ learning.
- What are the eligibility requirements for Texas Connections Academy @ Houston (TCAH)?
To participate in Texas Connections Academy in Houston, students must:
- Be able to perform at a grade 3–12 level.
- Follow the Texas public school curriculum.
- What are the Courses being offered by Texas Connections Academy @ Houston (TCAH)?
The education features a core curriculum including math, science, English, and social studies. They also offer Electives in varied topics such as digital photography, marine science, game design, and world languages for the High School students.
The full curriculum with school level breakdown can be found on the Curriculum page.
- How do you enroll in Texas Connections Academy @ Houston (TCAH)?
To enroll in Texas Connections Academy @ Houston (TCAH) one must provide their Proof of Age requirement, Proof of Residence, Proof of Immunization, Caretaker Proof of Identity, academic records and a few other documents.
A comprehensive list can be found on the Eligibility Checklist Page.
Students throughout Texas are thriving at Texas Connections Academy (TCAH), a tuition-free online public school. Texas Connections Academy offers an alternative to homeschooling in Texas and still gives Texas students the flexibility to learn at home with a curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards.
To find out more please visit the Texas Connections Academy @ Houston (TCAH) Official Website.
We hope that you have seen the best free online summer schools/programs. And at this moment you can make an informed choice of what you want to do this summer.
We have learned what the eligibility requirements for summer schools and programs are. We went down in the details of how to enroll in each of those programs. We also learned about the exciting courses that they have to offer.
We learned that two out of the ten were not the typical summer school programs. These two offered year-round courses that anyone can choose from once signed up.
Some schools, though tuition-free, had varying requirements to determine free access. Like offering tuition-free admission with household incomes under $65,000.
They’re quite specific programs like maths or history. While other programs are quite broad and offer 100s of courses to students.
Now that you are equipped. Go out there and get ahead. Embrace the requirements, apply with confidence, and select your courses for your next big adventure called an online summer program.