What should high school students do before the summer of their senior year?

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Our counselors answered:

What should high school students do before the summer of their senior year?

Rod Bugarin
Former Admissions Officer Columbia, Brown, and Wesleyan University

What should high school students do before the summer of their senior year?

Here is my video response to the question.

Pam Proctor
Author The College Hook

What should high school students do before the summer of their senior year?

Here is my video response to the question.

Ellen erichards@ellened.com
Owner Ellen Richards Admissions Consulting

Suggestions for high school Juniors to jump-start their college action plan during the summer

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! Tests: Before school lets out, sign up to take the PSAT/NMSQT in October Get ready for the ACT/SAT during the summer by taking full-length practice tests and getting SAT/ACT tutoring. Prepare for SAT Reasoning or SAT Subject Tests if the college you are interested in accepts these test scores. If you plan your tests in advance you can take up to three Subject Tests on the same day. Prepare and take AP Exams. Doing well on AP Exams allows you credit or placement at most universities. Start your college search: Make a list of your abilities, hobbies, preferences, and personal qualities and use this list to develop what you may want to study in college Read about perspective majors and careers Use COLLEGE SEARCH to help find colleges with the features and characteristics you are looking for. Visit college campuses. Take campus tours and schedule interviews with admissions counselors. It will show that you are serious about attending their school, plus it gives you a jump start on your classmates. Secure your admission: Begin thinking of what you will write about for your admissions essays. Ask teachers, coaches, community leaders, family friends, etc. if they would be able to write letters of recommendation for you - best to ask as soon as possible so they have time to think about what they will write! Request applications from colleges to which you are planning to apply. Ensure that you have the dates of acceptance down - some schools have early admissions dates or rolling admissions. Prepare for the college experience: Ask your parents for more responsibility over the summer, whether it be getting a job, or attending a summer college course, prove that you will be successful at college once you are on your own. Stay active during the summer: Volunteer or get a job that might help secure your admission into that elite program you have your eyes on - internships are great, even as a high school student! Keep your mind active. Do some summer reading to catch up on required reading. Start thinking about Financial Aid and how to pay for college: Consult with your parents to determine the amount of financial aid that you will need to apply for. Base your college search on schools that fit your budget Begin compiling a list of scholarships to apply for, as well as beginning writing scholarship letters and essays.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

What should high school students do before the summer of their 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. While fall and winter application deadlines can seem very far away in July and August -- the first semester of senior year is an intense whirlwind of activity -- and before you know it -- it will be Halloween and early decision/action deadlines will be right around the corner. In order to write a solid, authentic, and compelling essay, a student needs to devote some time and careful thought to the process. By starting in the summer -- away from the crush of academics and extracurriculars -- you can build a strong foundation to crafting essays that truly reflect the great person that you are.

Alan Sheptin
Owner Sheptin Tutoring Group, LLC

Alan Sheptin, Sheptin Tutoring Group, LLC

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. If students do not choose that route, I may encourage them to take a college-level course at a local school. It does not have to be an expensive summer study at a top-tier school. Taking a college (non-remedial) course at a community college can show schools that your student is an active learner, and is willing to stretch him or herself academically.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services


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...

็Ž‹ๆ–‡ๅ› June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

get the test prep done

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.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Work on your applications

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.

Erin Avery
Certified Educational Planner Avery Educational Resources, LLC

Enter Panic Mode

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.

Tam Warner Minton
Consultant College Adventures

Summer before Senior year

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.