I’m assuming this means that the 11th grade is over. If not, be sure to ask special teachers for LOR’s. Waiting until the fall can be too late, as they’ll be bombarded by your classmates. Make sure that if they work in the summer that they’ll earn <$6,000 in 2012, otherwise, for every dollar earned over, they’ll lose 50 cents in financial aid! Contemplate starting your own fundraising organization to get a real boost in the admissions process & hire your friends as your assistants. Make sure that if you have to visit a college campus that at least a summer session is in progress. Poor planning resulted in this decision.
Before the summer of senior year, students should spend at least 2-4 weeks doing something productive, interesting, and challenging. The exact activity should be dictated by the student and their interests.
Here is my video response to the question.
High school students should already have an idea of the schools to which they want to apply before the summer of their senior year. Most, if not all, of the research should be done. If possible, arrangements should be made to visit the schools of interest – either in the spring of a student’s junior year or in the summer of his/her senior year. Of course, this is not always feasible for various logistical and financial reasons, but there’s nothing that can beat an actual visit to a campus in helping a student to make college application and acceptance decisions. On those visits, the student should plan to attend an information session, take a campus tour, and if required or recommended by the institution, participate in a private interview with one of the admissions officers. Time permitting, it would also be of benefit for the student to wander around campus for awhile to get a feel for the environment. The best time to visit a college is when classes are in session and students are on campus, but this doesn’t always fit into the schedules of most high school students, so the visits will just have to be scheduled when they can be – usually spring or summer breaks. When colleges are in session, it is often possible to schedule on-campus overnight stays with current students, which is one more way to get a “feel” for the schools.
I always tell my students to show that they can undertake responsibility. One of my favorite activities for my students is to have them take on a summer job. It can be anything from working as a camp counselor, to coaching youth basketball, to working at a local McDonalds. It shows an admissions office that a student is responsible, can manage his or her time, and is willing to earn their own keep.
Just kidding! Nothing could be farther from the truth. Have you ever heard the saying: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”? I hate that saying, because failure to me in not an option for teenagers. Everything is a learning experience. But I’m a middle child, and that means I learned most of what I know from observing the trial and error of others. Step One: Breathe through your nose. Repeat Step One. Now, get organized.? Does your guidance counselor even know who you are? Who is writing your recommendation letters? Work on your brag sheet (resume/list of activities). Make a calendar of important due dates. Most importantly, remember Step One. 80% of US colleges accept 80% of their applicants. You WILL get in somewhere if you have a balanced list.
Do something interesting! Whether academic, athletic, or other, do something that interests YOU. Go to college for high school students, volunteer, get a job, learn a new skill, spend time on your passions, go on an adventure….all of these are better than just sitting around or hanging out with your friends. Colleges want interesting students to deepen the substance of their student body….so be interesting, and be interested.
most students will spend time on test preparation during the summer before their senior year. however, if you have a three year plan for summer, you should stay with your plan and work on your test prep throughout the year.
it is also the last opportunity for students to catch up with their activities outside classroom.
if you ca not affort to do anything else, you may get a job and work part time.
Visit colleges. Read books. Get a job. Take a pre-college class at a college campus. Finalize your college list. Start on your essays. Volunteer. Get an internship. Begin the Common Application which becomes available on August 1. Relax a little before school starts…
The summer before your senior year of high school is the ideal time to focus on all things admissions related. Tour schools, fill out the Common App, write those essays, request those letters of recommendation, open the FAFSA, schedule interviews, stay focused. If you can be done by the time school begins, you will be soooo happy. There are plenty of other activities demanding your attention in senior year, how nice to be able to give them you undivided attention. Plus, if you apply early, you’ll hear back sooner; another BIG relief when that first offer hits your mailbox.
Suggestions for high school Juniors to jump-start their college action plan during the summer. As tempting as it might be to goof off and sit in the pool the summer before your Senior year in high school, take these tips to heart and the college application process will be significantly smoother come Senior year!
While this may not be a popular answer — we highly recommend that students start on their college essays during the summer. At the very least, students should review essay prompts and begin the brainstorming process.
There are a number of things you should do before your senior year that can help in the process. Start on application at its worst the process can seem like another class so anything you can do—draft of essays, entering the basic information on the Common application, whatever–can help ease that burden. Do some final visits even though summer visit to some schools may not give you the best picture since they may not have very full or vibrant summer population. Undertake some kind of productive and substantive activity—an academic program, volunteer work, or a job. Work in particular has a bad rap as far as its impact on college, and it shouldn’t for the demonstration of responsibility inherent in any job is nothing but positive. There is no one right thing to do, but use the summer productively.
Ideally, students will have made significant progress in their college process during junior year and will already be developing a list of potential schools and batting around idea for essays. Given the intensity of 11th grade, however, most kids are still at the beginning stages of the process when summer rolls around.
I’m assuming this means that the 11th grade is over. If not, be sure to ask special teachers for LOR’s. Waiting until the fall can be too late, as they’ll be bombarded by your classmates. Make sure that if they work in the summer that they’ll earn <$6,000 in 2012, otherwise, for every dollar earned over, they’ll lose 50 cents in financial aid! Contemplate starting your own fundraising organization to get a real boost in the admissions process & hire your friends as secondary’s. Make sure that if you have to visit a college campus that at least a summer session is in progress. Poor planning resulted in this decision.
Utilizing the summer break is critical to a successful application process. Admissions officers look for engagement in activities 12 months of the year, not just during the school year. So, what you do with your summer’s matters. There is no right or wrong way to spend this time, but let it be unique to your own situation, goals and needs – just make sure you do something! Some students spend the summer focusing solely on test prep or taking classes at a local community college or online (MOOC’s, too). Others work full-time or part time, and there are some students who travel, volunteer or focus on a sport or sports. Most students do a combination of one or more of the above over the summer months, and the ability to demonstrate balance of a set of meaningful activities is a great characteristic to be able to highlight in your application.
Rest…that said: Whittle down your college list; prepare for the SAT/ACT; draft your essays; volunteer, work or participate in a leadership activity; visit campuses; and most of all, enjoy yourself. Find balance between the items listed above and your own personal growth.
Too many students their senior year wished they had used their summer break to start the application process. I would say in August before school starts up, begin “messing” with the personal essay and if schools you’re applying to are part of the Common Application, begin to fill out some of the sections. I say August because that is when the Common Application becomes available for students’ senior year application to college. (Rumor has it that in Fall, 2013, one of the essay prompts will be changing.) And, even if your schools are not part of the Common App., August is plenty soon enough to dig into that arduous task of beginning your personal statement/college essay!
Congratulations on finishing up junior year! As a rising senior, here are some tips for making the most of your upcoming summer:
– work on your college essays
– fill out applications
– do something academic or within your area of passion
– narrow your college list
– have fun!
Here are some of the things you may want to consider completing the summer before Senior Year (if you haven’t already):
Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.
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