While there may be some reasons to attend a summer program held at a prestigious college, I’ve written before that gaining an inherent admissions advantage isn’t one of them.
Parke Muth, a current admissions consultant and former associate dean of admission at the University of Virginia, makes the point even more effectively here on his blog:
“While I cannot speak for the policy on how these courses are evaluated by admission officers at all highly selective schools, I can speak to what I believe is most often the case. For the most part, summer programs students enroll in, even the ones at elite colleges and universities, play a small to negligent role in an admission decision. The purpose of these summer programs is not, nor has it ever been, primarily to offer an advantage to students who have the resources to take these expensive courses. The primary purpose is to offer a good program that also brings in a significant amount of money to the college or university. I know of no college or university that has ever said in clear terms that enrolling in a summer program will be a significant advantage in the admission process.”