Many rising seniors may feel that they're running out of time, but the summer is an excellent place to prepare your student for the next step in their academic careers. Here are 7 practical steps rising seniors should do to prepare themselves for college admission.
1) Use the summer to prepare to take the SAT or ACT. The August SAT or the July ACT provides an excellent opportunity for students to do well because they can dedicate substantial time to studying without the added pressure of schoolwork. Ideally, students should practice every day practicing for tis all important exams. The more time you prepare for these exams, like any other test, you will do well.
2) Spend time writing the first drafts of the college admission essays. The essays can be found on the college website and/or a Google search. By completing the essays before the school year, students will have time to revise and reconsider their approach to the essay prompts. Students should familiarize themselves with the main essays and the supplemental essays. Some students read books or take college admission essay courses during the summer.
3) Start talking through a strategy for getting into college. Unfortunately, students don’t think of strategy when it comes to getting into college. Most young people assume they have the grades, and the test scores to get into a good college. As students assess their college candidacy the summer provides a good time to consider summer jobs, apprenticeships and possible involvement in activities that would give one the edge in admissions process. Strategy is important because on one hand students should be a good match for the college, yet at the same time students must also standout from all the other applicants. Standing-out may mean that students must do something extraordinary. The summer gives students time to start a new project or do something that will help them become a more desirable candidate.
4) Begin searching for scholarships. Typically, parents, and students do not think of scholarships, until after they've gotten into colleges, by then it is too late Scholarships should not be a last-minute concern. While it's true that most scholarships will be gained from the institution that you are going to, it's equally true that you can work to build a portfolio of smaller scholarships that will help you pay for your tuition, books or housing. Researching legitimate scholarships takes time and effort. While many deadlines will be in the fall, the summer is the best time to plan for these scholarships.
5) Enroll your student in a precollege enrichment program. While it may be too late to formally enroll in a pre-college program, many community colleges and online schools have dual course schedules for prospective students. There is also an array of online colleges and ancillary college credit programs.
6) The summer is also an excellent opportunity to visit colleges. You will experience the campus when it is beautiful and quiet. You will also have a time to speak one-on-one with students you may encounter, and, in general, professors are not stressed about meeting deadlines.
7) Build your college admissions team. Now, if you're in traditional school, the guidance counselor, or college advisor should be on your team. And you should figure out who else is on your team who else is helping you, who else is going to guide you who might you go to for a recommendation. And what kind of recommendation might they give. So, it's really to assess your team, you really should have already picked a team but if you haven't at this point is to assess your team and to keep your team going.
If you looking for more resources, check out my list of summer college prep classes on OutSchool.com.
Prof. Cheryl is a professor, author and homeschooling mom and the developer of the Young Author and College Prep Writing classes where through rigor , practice and targeted skill building, students develop their collegiate and creative writing skills. Visit www.Learn4college.com/about to learn more.
Professor Cheryl Carter is a professor, freelance writer, and prolific author.