Use The Summer To Gain An Admissions Advantage

Congrats on the end of another school year!  However, as the school year is ending, the college admissions process is ramping up – particularly if you’re a rising senior.   If you want to gain an edge over your competition then you need to use the summer to your advantage.

But, it’s not just rising seniors who need to use the summer to their advantage. No matter what grad you’re in, the summer is a great time to get on track for the college admissions process.

The earlier families start, the better the college results. Period.

Colleges look at all four year’s of a student’s high school experience in order to make admissions decisions. So waiting or delaying your preparation until the end of junior year or the beginning of senior year puts you at a disadvantage.

So why not use this summer to get a head start, get yourself on track for a successful fall semester and an advantage in the admissions office?

Here’s a handy checklist to get you started:

Rising Freshmen

  • Take the time to explore interests and activities you think you might want to get involved with or learn more about.
  • Connect with some school-mates who are a year or two ahead of you and get a better idea of the “lay of the land” at your particular high school.
  • Start thinking about clubs, sports or other activities at your high school that you’ll want to join. Freshman year is the year to try lots of new things so that you can find the 3 or 4 that you’re going to REALLY get involved with during high school.

Rising Sophomores

  • Take time to review your extra-curriculars. Which ones did you enjoy? Which ones are not in line with your interests? Are there other extra-curriculars that would make better use of your time?
  • Consider whether there are one or two of your activities where you might be able to take on a leadership role. Brainstorm possible projects or service ideas that you could bring to the group in the fall.
  • Is there a club or activity you wish your school had? Consider starting it! Summer is the perfect time to draft a proposal; outline a membership drive; and find out what’s needed to get your new club approved by your school.
  • Start pulling together what you’ll need to create an effective college resume
  • Definitely read two books – not required for your classes – this summer.
  • Do a college visit or two without going out of your way to do it. Stay local, or visit a school near where you’ll be spending your vacation. Focus more on types of colleges than the specific school itself.

Rising Juniors

  • Start preparing for the SAT or ACT. 10 to 15 minutes a day over the summer will be far more effective than “cramming” a week before a test.
  • Be sure to continue with your outside, non-school related reading
  • Update your resume
  • Get Organized – research colleges, brainstorm questions, get clear on what qualities of a college are the best or your needs and goals.

Rising Seniors

  • Plan on visiting colleges you haven’t yet been able to get to. Summer may not be the best time for a visit, butacceptance-letter1-300x225 it’s more important that you visit.
  • Narrow down your serious contender list to your “I’m going to apply list”
  • Get started on your application – even if you don’t know exactly who you’re going to apply to.
  • Set your goals and create your application timeline.

Still feel like you’re falling behind? Smart Plan For College’s team of experts can help you outline your plan of action to get you through high school with college in mind – whether you’re just starting high school or you’re going into your senior year.  With college competition and costs rising you need every admissions advantage — after all, there are no “do-overs”.

If you feel you need help with all of this, contact us today and set up a college plan review. We’re happy to take a look and see if what you are currently planning to do to get into college is actually going to get you more college acceptances and five or six-figure scholarships to help you pay for it. If you’re on the right track, great. If you’re not, we’ll see if or how we can support you in getting back on track.

Schedule your college plan review today.

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