Harvard summer program on your college application? $10,000

Matt Zalaznick's picture

As a junior in high school, Anne Marie Urban spent seven weeks at a summer program at Harvard University, and received recommendations from professors there that she’s sure helped her get into the University of Chicago.

The lure of Harvard endorsements comes with a hefty price tag: $10,490 for the program, and it’s much the same at other elite colleges, where summer courses for high school students have become a lucrative business.

While the colleges say they help prepare students for the transition to university, critics charge they give false hope of gaining admission, are unfair to poor students who can’t attend and add to the debt burden by depleting parents’ savings.

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