[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”23825847″] When summer rolls around, many parents are eager to help their child gain acceptance to their “dream” school and therefore may push them into attending a summer college program. Many parents carry a misconception that enrolling their child in an Elite summer college program will give them an advantage when it comes to gaining admission. This notion is not entirely accurate, according to Raymond Ravaglia, the former associate dean for pre-collegiate studies at Stanford University and currently the director of pre-college programs at The School of The New York Times. Ravaglia explains that summer is the time when high school students should be relaxing, exploring and experiencing some significant personal growth. Many parents are under the impression that if they send their child to an elite summer program and he/she does well, that experience will improve their child’s competitive edge, making him/her more marketable to elite colleges. The truth is that during the summer college session the majority of regular students leave campus and spend summers at home. Many of the faculty are absent as well, engaging in research and other projects, so the classes are actually being taught by graduate students. Another misconception regarding summer college programs is that parents believe these programs are developed because the university wants to prepare students with the knowledge and experiences needed to be successful in college, and for their institution in particular. Sadly, this is another false statement since most students go home for the summer all colleges are likely trying to fill the dorms during summer vacation. It is important for parents to note that the goal is not just to get their child into a good college, but to set them up for long-term success, in college and beyond. The early process of self-discovery is key, and summers are a critical time for that process to take place.