If you’re a high school student with no plans for the summer, consider enrolling in a summer enrichment program.

At first thought, spending your summer preparing for college after an intense year of schoolwork might not sound enticing, but there are valuable benefits to these programs.

Summer enrichment programs allow students to get a better feel of what college is going to be like and ease the college transition. Many offer the opportunity to network, see what it’s like to live in a dorm room, build relationships with other incoming students and sometimes gain college credit. Programs that offer college credit can help lighten your workload during the school year, help you graduate on time and save money on school tuition in the long run.

Below, you’ll find some of the summer enrichment programs available to high school students.

1. Colorado State University’s Native Education Forum in Fort Collins, CO

The Native Education Forum is a six-day program for rising high school juniors and seniors who are interested in Native American and Indigenous issues. Students enrolled in the program will get college classroom experience, research critical Native American/indigenous community issues, earn one academic credit and work closely with professionals to learn more about college applications.

Cost: Free. Students only need to pay for textbooks, supplies, transportation and recreation.

Application Deadline: April 30, 2019

2. Academic Enrichment by Westcoast Connection

Westcoast Connection offers precollege enrichment programs to high school students that include courses as well as day trips. There are programs on various domestic campuses, as well as in foreign countries like Spain, Italy and Canada. Once the courses are completed, students will get either a certificate of completion or college credit, depending on which program they select. There are also language programs that include courses to improve language skills as well as hands-on experience in local communities like Costa Rica and Spain. These are open to high school students in any grade.

Cost: There are several different programs available and pricing depends on the option you choose. For an eight-day program in Boston, the price is $2,399. The most expensive is a 28-day program in Florence for $8,399.

Application Deadline: Enrollment is welcome and encouraged after April 1 up until the departure date of the trip you choose, as long as spaces remain. The program recommends checking in on the availability of the program you like before applying. If you register after April 1, full payment is required upon enrollment.

3. Emory University Pre-college Program in Atlanta

Emory is a liberal arts college that allows rising high school juniors and seniors to live on campus in a residence hall while participating in excursions, activities and taking classes with professors. Students can enroll in two-week or three-week noncredit courses. There are also two six-week courses where students can earn college credit. The program is small, which is an advantage for students who are able to get individual attention from professors.

Cost: Prices vary depending on which program students choose to enroll in and whether they will be commuting or living on campus. Tuition ranges from $2,958 up to $8,055.

Application Deadline: Deadlines vary by program, but are generally about two weeks before the program begins. For example, Session A for the pre-college noncredit sessions begins on June 16 and the application deadline is May 31. May 6 is the application deadline for Session 1, which is a college credit session that begins on May 20.

4. Academic Connections at the University of California San Diego in San Diego

This is a three-week program that allows students to prepare for college by taking college-level academic classes. Students must be in high school and have a 3.3 GPA or above to apply. Students can choose one of about 25 three-week courses that are offered. They’ll go to class five hours a day, usually taught by graduate students or doctoral students. Students will also live on campus in residence halls and participate in activities like sports, arts and crafts, music and dances.

Cost: Tuition for 2019 is $4,200 with a $100 application fee.

Application Deadline: May 31, 2019 or until course is full.

5. Summer at Columbia College of Chicago in Chicago

Columbia College of Chicago offers this three-week program to rising high school juniors and seniors who are interested in the fields of art and communications. Students will take college-level courses that can be transferred as elective credits to Columbia College of Chicago and to some other colleges and universities. There are courses in filmmaking, journalism, podcasting, gaming, hip-hop movement and culture and more. Students live on campus over the course of three weeks where they will also be able to take part in different activities, get to know other students and work closely with professors. It’s a great opportunity for any high school student, but especially those who plan on attending Columbia College of Chicago for college.

Cost: For students who want to live on campus, tuition is $4,300, which includes housing and 10 meals per week, as well as three college credits. For students commuting and not living on campus, tuition is $3,200. Financial aid is available.

Application Deadline: While the program offers open registration, space is limited and registration will be closed when there is no more room. There are still some dates to keep in mind. For guaranteed housing, the deadline is April 15. After this date, requests for rooms will be granted based on availability.

6. Cornell Summer College in Ithaca, NY

This summer program offers several options — you can choose between two-week, three-week, five-week or six-week courses for students who will be high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. Students will gain three to six college credits depending on the program they choose, work closely with Cornell professors, attend college fairs, learn more about the application process and experience college life by living on campus with a roommate. There are a few programs to choose from, including design, biological research, macroeconomics, business, fashion and songwriting.

Cost: Prices vary depending on the program you choose. For two weeks (which does not include college credit), tuition is $4,385, three weeks is $6,500, five weeks is $10,885 and six weeks is $13,200. Tuition includes any college credits received (you get more the longer the program is), as well as food, housing and various workshops. Financial aid is available.

Application Deadline: Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis. That said, most programs do fill up, so students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

7. Syracuse University Summer College in Syracuse, NY

Summer College offers a variety of different programs that can be anywhere from two to six weeks long for high school students in any grade. There are different program options available, from forensic science to acting to graphic design, and each of the programs are different. For example, the forensics program is six weeks long, with college-level courses and hands-on activities like being part of an actual forensic crime scene. This program can give students six college credits. Photography, on the other hand, is a two-week program offering classes taught by professors and hands-on experience but no college credit.

Cost: Tuition varies depending on the program you choose and whether or not you want to live on campus. For the six-week program, it’s $9,930 for students who live on campus and $7,548 for students who commute. For the two-week program, it’s $4,830 for students living on campus and $4,036 for commuters. There are scholarships available for need-based students.

Application Deadline: Applications close on April 15 for international students and May 1 for American students.

8. Harvard’s Precollege Program and Secondary School Program in Cambridge, MA

Harvard University offers two different summer programs for high school students ages 15-18 — the Precollege Program and the Secondary School Program. The Pre-College Program runs two weeks and offers a choice of over 100 courses. Although you won’t get college credit, you will learn at a college level, live on campus and do many precollege activities.

The Secondary School Program is a seven-week program that Harvard calls a “test-drive of college.” You’ll take college-level courses where you’ll receive college credits you can transfer to your school of choice. You’ll also take trips to other colleges and can set your own schedule. Students can choose to live on campus, commute or do the program online.

Cost: It depends on the program. For the Precollege Program, tuition is $4,600. For the Secondary School Program, it’s $12,730 to live on campus, and between $3,340 and $6,680 for commuters or those taking the course online. Limited financial aid is available.

Application Deadline: For the Precollege Program, the regular application deadline was March 15, but there is a late application deadline of May 15 at noon ET. If you do apply for the late application, full payment is due upon registration for all accepted students. For the Secondary School Program, the deadline for international residential students is April 1 and the deadline for domestic students is May 6.

9. High School Journalism Institute at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN

If you’re looking for a career in journalism, this program is a great option for high school students in any grade. Students participate in five-day workshops on all things journalism, learning how to examine the media and develop the skills necessary for college courses. Although credit is not offered, the program is an effective way to introduce yourself to college-level academics. The workshops give students hands-on experience and offer instruction on how to do school projects and write for school publications.

Cost: Workshops are $425 for a five-day session. That includes tuition, housing and a $50 meal card, as well as most supplies. If students want to commute, it’s $285 (no meal card). They also offer a three-day mini-workshop for Sportscasting, which costs $285 per session.

Application Deadline: Apply by June 14.

10. Smith College Precollege Summer Program in Northampton, MA

The Smith College Precollege Summer program is for young women who are incoming juniors and seniors in high school. It offers them the chance to strengthen their college applications and experience college courses and activities through college-level courses and hands-on activities. There are several different programs to choose from, including Science and Engineering, Young Women’s Writing Workshop, Discovering Women’s History, Field Studies for Sustainable Futures and College Skills. Students will live on campus and potentially have a roommate. Depending on the program you choose, it can be a week or a month long.

Cost: It depends on the program, but it’s typically between $3,300 and $6,380.

Application Deadline: While the official application deadline is June 1, be sure to note that after April 22, the application fee increases from $50 to $100.

Summer enrichment programs are wide-ranging and there is something for everyone, whether you’re looking for college credit, to get more comfortable with campus living or to meet people at your college before fall. To get started, talk to your high school counselor about options or do a quick online search to find out what’s available.