Summer is right around the corner, and we encourage students to take advantage of this free time to start preparing for their college journey! Here are 5 summer activities you can do to boost your application.
1. Extracurricular activities. You may already be aware that extracurricular activities are an impressive addition to any college application, but many students are surprised to learn these activities do not always have to be academic. If you have a passionate hobby or personal enjoyment you have devoted time and energy towards, create a portfolio showcasing your talents! Art, creative writing, photography, sports, and music are just a few great examples of extracurricular activities students should consider adding to their application. To learn more about choosing extracurricular activities that will appeal to colleges, click here!
2. Volunteer work. Volunteer work is also a great way to stand out on your college application. Participating in volunteer events shows that you are comfortable working with others, organizing efforts, and giving back to your community. We recommend students look for local opportunities – food drives, blood donations, and charity fundraisers are all wonderful ways to help others in need.
3. Course planning. Summer may be a good time to plan for your courses next year. Many students choose to take AP level classes during their senior year as these classes are worth an extra grade point (5.0 instead of 4.0), and high scores on the official AP Exams are sure to give students the extra edge on their applications. In addition, passing an AP Exam often provides college credit and exemptions for first year courses. By not having to take certain prerequisite classes, students are able to save time and money when starting their college career!
4. Test preparation. In addition to AP Exams, many students will also find themselves taking the SAT/ACT during their senior year. Summer vacation can be an ideal time to prepare for these challenging exams. In many cases, students are able to achieve higher scores by taking practice tests in the months prior to sitting the “actual” exam. In addition, it’s important for students to stay up to date on any test format changes – and as it so happens, the SAT is receiving a complete overhaul! Check out our blog “The Latest SAT Changes: Everything You Need To Know” for more information on this topic.
5. Work on…your application! Even if you haven’t chosen a specific school yet, you can still begin to work on your application early. Many records and documents are required for college applications, and it’s a good idea to start putting together a portfolio of your transcripts and academic achievements ahead of time. In addition, schools often require personal statements or essay sections – and summer is a great time to hone your writing skills!