School’s out for the summer, and it’s important to take some time for relaxation before heading back to school in the fall. As an incoming high school Senior you’ll want to work on some important tasks during the summer, so you’ll be prepared for a busy year ahead as you manage classes and college preparation. To help you out, we’ve compiled a summer checklist to help you get organized and get a head start.
- Work on your college list.
This is a great time to research schools and identify which colleges you’re interested in.
- Visit college campuses
Summer can be a great time to visit a college campus when there is no conflict with classes or school events. Most colleges also have virtual campus tours on their websites so if you can’t be on campus, you can still tour the campus.
- Have a game plan for entrance exams.
You’ve likely already taken the SAT, but if you’d like to retake it, register for the fall SAT and/or ACT tests; you might boost your score. If you’re a 21st Century Scholar taking an SAT or ACT is a requirement for the program.
- Learn about financial aid options.
The most common options for reducing your personal costs of attending college are grants and scholarships. The state of Indiana and most colleges require that you submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for any financial aid. There are thousands of scholarships available as well, and summer is a great time to start researching those that you may be eligible for. Make it a goal to apply for as many scholarships as you qualify for.
- Compile an activities list.
Make a list of activities you’ve participated in during high school. This should include volunteer work, clubs, leadership roles, any other extracurricular activities, and work experience. Document the dates, number of hours of your participation, your role, and any achievements. If you don’t have many activities, consider using your summer to volunteer or work with a local business.
Many college and scholarship applications ask for this information, and it can also be used in any potential essays.
- Letters of recommendation.
It is routine for colleges and scholarships to ask for letters of recommendation, usually a teacher, coach, or guidance counselor. Email your request, and consider including your activity list, the college(s) you’re considering, and any information that would help them. If you receive a letter of recommendation, a letter of thanks is always much appreciated.
- Review college applications.
Colleges have application requirements and deadlines. It’s important to review this for each college you’re considering and add it to your calendar, so you don’t miss your opportunity to apply. If a college requires an essay, begin working on it now rather than wait until you’re completing the application. Essays are your chance to shine and are a very important tool in their consideration of admission.
- Leverage social media.
Bear in mind that there is always a chance that college admissions departments may look at your social media accounts. Review all social media and clean up any accounts that don’t reflect your best self. Don’t let social media get in the way of your college plans.