DeLoggio Achievement Program

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CAVEAT: From 1981 through 2000, I only worked with the LSAT and law school admissions. In 2001, I added medical school and allied health professions; and when I joined Quora in 2015, I began learning about other programs from associates. Don't be surprised if you see three times as many answers about law schools as for any other program.

"Head Start" programs can refer to anything from prekindergarten to preparations for graduate school. We'll be treating any programs before college prep as "home schooling," and will start here with college prep programs.

There are a number of college preparation programs, often referred to under the general heading of "Oxbridge" programs, offered in the summer between 10th and 11th grades, or 11th and 12th grades. Their goals include teaching you to be independent from your family in terms of household chores, meal preparation, and time management; how to adjust socially to the lack of parental supervision; how to study and write at the college level; and how to prepare for the standardized tests you may need to apply to college. These programs are sometimes sponsored by organizations for minority or disadvantaged students; they are sometimes available to any student with reasonable grades and the cash to pay their own way. They are rarely connected to one individual school, although some of the minority programs are sponsored by a group of schools.

Programs offered for the summer between high school and college are almost always sponsored by the school you plan to attend. Here's an example of a program that allows early college admission jointly with high schools. But remember that if your purpose is to graduate early, not all graduate schools will be impressed.

The Xavier University of Louisiana Pre-Med program no longer incorporates a summer head start, but requires intensive additional work throughout the school year. If there are any head start programs for medical school besides the superb Xavier program (typically placing more than 95% of its students in medical school), I don't know of them. 

Many colleges offer a year of science courses for people who majored in a non-STEM subject but want to apply to medical school. Rather than treating them as a head start program, we've included them with gap year programs.

There are many head start programs for law school. Some of them, like CLEO, are for disadvantaged applicants, without regard for race or ethnicity. They are also not connected to any particular law schools, although some law schools just don't recruit from them, and others (especially the ones who sponsor the program financially) are eager to admit successful students.

This page lists summer head start programs for Native American students, as well as CLEO and other programs.

And many law schools conduct their own head start programs, lasting from three days to six weeks. Some are based on ethnicity, some on income, and still others on low admission criteria (GPA and LSAT).  Some of the "low admission criteria" programs are free; some have no tuition, but you have to provide your own room and board; still others charge a pricey tuition. You should examine each of these programs carefully; some guarantee admission to everyone who performs adequately, while others specify a grade, or a percentage of the class. Make sure you know how much you're paying as well as what you're getting for your money.

[See? This is one of those areas where I know a lot more about law schools than I do about other programs.]

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