Summer is here! If you have not finished the school year yet, you will soon. You have the whole summer to do whatever you want. The summer may be filled with family vacations, sleeping in, and having fun with friends. You may also want to consider doing some college prep during the summer. There are some things all students should consider doing, and some things that are grade specific.
Read! It’s not a myth – reading is good for you. It can boost brain power, improve memory, and increase intelligence. The College Board has compiled a list of 101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers. Some of the books on the list include To Kill a Mockingbird*, Catch-22*, The Grapes of Wrath*, and The Bell Jar*. Or, find books you will enjoy reading.
*This is an affiliate link through Amazon. You will not pay extra; however, I do receive a small reimbursement if you purchase through the links. Thank you for your support of JLV College Counseling.
Scholarships. No matter what grade you are in, search and apply for scholarships. College is expensive and every little bit counts. It is never too early or too late to apply for scholarships.
Freshmen & Sophomores
Discuss future plans with others, such as the colleges you are thinking about, the majors you are considering, and the careers you want to pursue. Do research about the things you are considering you can learn more.
- Finalize your college list. Continue doing your research into the colleges you are considering to ensure they have what you need and want in a college.
- Visit colleges. If there are colleges on your list you have not visited and won’t be able to visit during the school year, considering making a visit this summer.
- Start drafting your personal statement for your application for admission. While some college applications may not be open for submission yet, many have already released their essay questions.
- Confirm your chosen college has everything they need from you. This also means confirming your final transcript is scheduled to be sent by your school as soon as final grades and graduation dates are submitted.
- Learn more about the college you will be attending, such as job possibilities and clubs you will join.
- Watch out for your housing and roommate assignments. Reach out to your new roommate to start getting to know them before you move into your room in the fall.
Something I always remind students and parents to do is to discuss finances. I continually bring it up because there are heartbreaking stories every year of students who committed to colleges and then realize they cannot afford it. Some students will figure it out for the first semester or year, but then realize the cost is just too much and they have to leave the institution. Other students will continue on and build up huge debt.
For seniors heading to college this summer, sit down with your parents to discuss how you will pay for your balance after financial aid is applied. Have the discussion early instead of waiting until a few weeks before school. If there is a gap that may seem overwhelming, contact your college financial aid office to discuss your options.
For students who will be continuing high school next year, discuss finances. By knowing how much your family can afford, you will be able to make better choices when looking at colleges. After finding colleges that meet your needs academically and socially, research your possible financial aid options at the colleges. Learn about your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and fill out the Net Price Calculators at the colleges you are considering. These tools will help you understand the financial gap you may have at each of the colleges you are considering.
Have a great June. If you ever have any questions or think there is an article that could be helpful, send me a message. My goal is to help students and their parents as much as I can as they move through the college admissions and financial aid process.