College Admissions

RISING SENIORS: How to Make the Most of Your Summer

By Tonya DuBois

Fall of Senior year can be overwhelming. In addition to keeping up with your course work, and extra curricular activities, you will be dedicating several hours each week to college applications, essays, campus visits, etc. In order to cut down on the stress, try to do as much as you can during the summer before your senior year. Here are some suggestions:

1. Be sure to like/follow my Facebook page for helpful updates and reminders:
2. Also like/follow:
3. If you have not yet selected your classes, choose quality coursework; in your strongest areas of study, you should enroll in AP/IB/ACE courses, whenever possible.
4. Get a summer job or internship, or participate in a community service activity that is consistent with your desired area of study and/or special talent.
5. Take a test prep course to improve either your ACT or SAT scores, depending on which test you prefer.
6. Register for the August SAT or September ACT test to get one last set of scores in before school starts.
7. Clean up your social media pages, so that they are college-admission-office-appropriate! Also, if you don’t have one yet, set up an e-mail address for yourself that is college-admission-office-appropriate too.
8. Work on your extra-curricular resume.
9. Work on your Common Application (and/or Coalition Application).
10. Start brainstorming/drafting your college essays. You can find the essay prompts for the Common App here:
11. If you are an athlete, register with the NCAA Eligibility Center:
12. Read a book (not assigned in school) on a topic that interests you – preferably in the area of your intended major or of your extra-curricular interests. Be prepared to talk about this book in college interviews.
13. If you have a special talent, work on your highlight reel, portfolio, etc.
14. Research the colleges that you are considering.
15. Once you know which colleges/universities interest you most:
a. Call their Admission Office to get on their mailing list
b. Follow their Social Media pages
c. Schedule a campus visit through their admission office
d. If you have a special talent or interest, be sure to ask how you can get in touch with the department head, advisor, or coach and see if you can meet with them, too, while on campus
16. Plan for your campus visits, by: doing practice interviews and writing lists of questions you want to ask at each school.
17. Visit the colleges/universities of your choice. You should visit a few different “types” of college – large/small, urban/suburban, specialty/liberal arts to see which type feels like the best fit.
18. Consider an Early Decision / Early Action strategy.
19. Make a list of all the application due dates for each college to which you plan to apply.
20. Read my blog for other helpful information: