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Senior Rumsha Sajid poses during senior year. Photo by Natalie Herson
While the majority of students spend their summer vacations lounging and generally refraining from academic focus, senior Rumsha Sajid dedicated her time to a more productive practice. Accepted into an elite program at the University of Michigan, called TASP, Sajid knew that the summer before her senior year would be one to remember.
A Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP) is a six-week educational experience for high school juniors that offers challenges and rewards rarely encountered in secondary school or even college. Each program is designed to bring together young people from around the world who share a passion for learning. Telluride students, or TASPers, attend a seminar led by college and university scholars and participate in many other educational and social activities outside the classroom.
The Telluride Association seeks students from all kinds of educational backgrounds who demonstrate intellectual curiosity and motivation rather than prior knowledge of the seminar’s subject matter. TASPers participate solely for the pleasure and rewards of learning with other intelligent, highly motivated students of diverse backgrounds. The TASP offers no grades or college credit.
The opportunity for Sajid to immerse herself in such an enriching program came with it’s trials, though.
“The application process was very difficult,” Sajid said. “Four extensive essays (about 1500 words each) regarding one’s intellectual interests and future plans were required, and that didn’t include the other information regarding my high school career that was also necessary.”
The Telluride Association Summer Program Committee chooses approximately 140 applicants out of an estimated 1250 for interviews each year; Sajid’s interviewer was a TASP Alumni and Department Chair at Grand Valley State University. After further deliberation by a selection committee, combined with the evaluation of the specific interviewers, 64 applicants were finally chosen. These students receive full scholarships (and possibly a travel grant and stipend, if requested) to attend a seminar at either the University of Michigan or at Cornell University. Scholarships ensure that finances are never the deciding factor as to whether a student is able to attend TASP; the lengthy application and interview process is to assure that each applicant who is accepted can diversify the program as a whole.
With such financial generosity and strict applicant consideration, the program has to be selective in its final 64 juniors. TASP has a narrow 5.1% acceptance rate, but Sajid proved worthy of the honor. She was accepted in late May.
The theme of the 2013 program was Dark Phrases of Womanhood: Black Feminist Approaches to History and Literature, which Sajid highly anticipated.
On June 23, she packed left for her six-week stay at the University of Michigan’s own Telluride house.
“On weekdays, participants have seminar from 9am to 12pm,” Sajid said. “After seminar, we would walk back to the house and have lunch. Then, the rest of the day (and weekends) were at our own discretion. You could take a nap, explore the town, watch a movie, or do most anything that you wanted.”
“There were some community events that we could choose to do as a group as well. Amongst many other memorable group activities, there was a toga party, water balloon fight, and kayaking trips,” Sajid said.
While TASPers had the opportunity for freedom in their spare time, their experience also called for considerable dedication to class attentiveness and consistent work ethic to complete rigorous assignments.
“My seminar assigned anywhere from 30-200 pages of reading a night, and each week there was a 3-5 page paper due. Also, at the end of the program, we had to write a research paper with a minimum length of 8 pages, a 2 page reflection piece, and then submit an art project,” Sajid said.
The program concluded on August 3.
“Beyond improving my writing and speaking skills, I feel that TASP taught me patience, humility, and raised my critical consciousness,” Sajid said. “I was exposed to powerful women writers who have changed the way I think about myself and the world. I learned that inquiry is essential to all intellectual pursuits, and that varied answers to how we see ourselves and society demand that we constantly challenge our own views in order to grow as individuals and as a community. Whether it be debunking naturalistic fallacy or stargazing a few seconds prior to sprinklers unexpectedly going off, I am sure that applying to TASP was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
For further information regarding the TASP program, visit this link. This second link contains a brochure for the program. Or, email Rumsha at 14SajidRu@gl.k12.mi.us with any questions about the application process or about her experience as a TASPer.
By Jamie Fleury
Tags: Jamie Fleury, Rumsha Sajid, TASP
As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, the summer between your junior and senior year of high school is a great time to differentiate yourself. Here’s a list of ten extremely competitive summer programs for people interested in business and technology. This list was compiled by our intern, Sultan R.. He’s currently in the ENDEVVR program listed below, which accepts jus 15% of its applicants! If you’re a rising junior, I recommend looking into these programs now!
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1. Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES)
Since 1975, this six-week residential program has leveraged a demanding academic atmosphere to help students develop the skills and confidence needed for success in technical fields. Along with calculus, physics, natural science, and humanities courses, students take a hands-on elective course and participate in lab tours and social events. MITES serves up to 80 student per year
2. Harvard Secondary School Program
Alongside college and adult students, you can earn college credit in Harvard courses and explore subjects not available at your high school. You study with distinguished faculty, use state-of-the-art labs, and have access to the largest university library system in the world
Cost: $11,000, which includes tuition for two 4-credit courses or one 8-credit course, room and board fees, and a health insurance fee (if needed)
3. UPenn Management & Technology Summer Institute
The Management & Technology Summer Institute (M&TSI) is a rigorous and rewarding for-credit summer program for rising high school seniors and a select few rising high school juniors interested in exploring the integration of technological concepts and management principles. Open to all high school students.
Cost: $6,000.00 (including tuition, housing, meals, and weekend excursions)
4. Wharton Leadership in the Business World
Sponsored by Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Leadership in the Business World (LBW) is an intensive summer program for a select group of rising high school seniors who want an introduction to a top-notch undergraduate business education and the opportunity to hone their leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. Open to rising juniors and seniors. Available in San Francisco and Pennsylvania.
Cost: $6,595 (covers tuition, housing, most meals, activities, and weekend trips)
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5. Wharton Leadership Education and Development
The Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Program at Wharton engages youth of diverse backgrounds in the world of business. Founded at Wharton in 1980 by Harold Haskins and Bill Whitney, the four-week LEAD Program hosts 30 bright and accomplished students from across the nation on the University of Pennsylvania campus.Open to rising juniors and seniors.
Cost: $2,800.00 (Includes $2,450.00 tuition and $350.00 activity fee)
6. Yale Global Scholars
An official Yale University program, participants in the Yale Young Global Scholars Program for Outstanding High School Students can expect an amazing summer experience studying in beautiful campus lecture halls and classrooms, living in Yale’s historic residential colleges, eating in award-winning dining halls, meeting a talented community of fellow students, engaging with world-renowned professors, and interacting with extraordinary visiting practitioners.
Cost: $5,000 (instruction, housing in one of Yale’s historic residential colleges, three meals per day, linens, and processing fees.)
7. Telluride Association Summer Program
A Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP) is a six-week educational experience for high school juniors that offers challenges and rewards rarely encountered in secondary school or even college. Available at UMichigan and Cornell.
8. MIT Launch
Entrepreneurship program for high school students held at MIT in Cambridge, MA. High school students will become entrepreneurs in each of two programs during the summer of 2014. Launch also inspires interest in entrepreneurship at the high school level and provides foundational concepts and tools through Launch Weekends
Cost: $5,290, including tuition, housing, and activities
9. ENDEVVR at Georgia Tech
Summer entrepreneurship program for high school students. Every year endevvr helps talented students start and fund real companies. By leveraging their university, corporate, and startup partnerships, they rapidly turn their students into successful entrepreneurs over the course of the summer at Georgia Tech.
Cost: $5850, (housing, all meals, activities and tuition)
10. PAVE at Vanderbilt
PAVE is a five-week Vanderbilt summer program designed for students who are planning to enter a college engineering, pre-med/healthcare, science, or technology program. In addition to strengthening your background and having fun, PAVE can help you decide if an engineering, medical/healthcare, science, or humanities degree is really the field for you.
Cost: Commuter: $895 / week; Residential: $1,240 / week
Don’t forget to check out college application files and essays of accepted students! Unlock a package of profiles at your top choice school to learn about more summer programs accepted students have participated in!
About The Author
We remember our frustration with applying to college and the lack of information surrounding it. So we created AdmitSee to bring much-needed transparency to the application process! Read more about the team here.