Good news: Punxsutawney Phil said we will have an early spring, which means it’s almost time to start planning for summer! The summer is a great time to get started on college planning and your college journey. Here are a few tips on how to get prepared for the summer months:
- Think about an academic summer program at a local college or university. Summer pre-college programs prepare high school students for college life. You’ll live in a dorm, eat in the dining hall, and take classes-some of which could earn you college credit! This is a great opportunity to get a taste for college life and explore your interests, while demonstrating to colleges that you are eager to learn. Here are a few local universities with summer programs: Boston University, UMASS Amherst, University of Vermont, and Keene State College.
- Get a head start on standardized test preparation. In our January Varsity Letter, we discussed the School Day SAT and the chance for high school juniors to send a free SAT score to their colleges of choice (for more information on the School Day SAT, click here.) The summer is a great time to begin preparing for the SAT or the PSAT and what these exams ask of you. At the Center for College Planning, we recommend using Khan Academy’s official SAT preparation program because all of their materials are offered for FREE.
- Visit college campuses. Although school may not be in session, the summer is still a great time to visit college campuses. Families typically have more free time and can spend more time exploring a given college or university. Visiting campus can be very telling and often helps to narrow down a list of schools. During the summer months, admissions representatives and staff on-campus typically have a more flexible schedule and can spend more time answering questions. If you’re able, ask about setting up an interview with your admissions representative. This is a great opportunity for the representative to put a face to the name on your application and gives you an opportunity to explain who you are and why they should admit you. To get started, visit the admissions pages on the college websites of your choice. You can typically register for a campus visit or an admissions event through the school’s website, but also don’t be afraid to call. When you call, you are building a relationship with the admissions office and getting your name out there. Also look into colleges that offer a scholarship for visiting campus; this is a great way to earn some extra money to finance your education!
- Apply for a job. College admissions teams look at applications holistically-meaning they admit the whole student and not just a good GPA. Although your grades and the rigor of your transcript are important, colleges are also interested in how you spend your time outside of the classroom and are curious about your interests. A summer job is a great way to show colleges that you are responsible, determined, and reliable. Not to mention you will be paid! The money you earn could help you buy textbooks or a late night pizza for you and your friends as you study.
- Attend a Center for College Planning Summer Boot Camp workshop. Each summer the Center for College Planning (CCP) offers workshops on the College Essay and the College Application. In the College Essay workshop, you will learn what makes a good essay, review successful essays, and being work on your own. This workshop will be offered on the following dates: July 15, July 22, July 29, August 5, and August 12. Each session is four hours, running from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. In the College Application workshop, you will create an application organizer, begin the Common Application, and receive hands-on support from college counselors. This workshop will be offered on August 7, August 11, August 13, August, 17, and August 19. On each date we offer two sessions: the first from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. and the second from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Both workshops cost $25 and are located at our Concord office. To register, please call 888-747-2382 x119.