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7 Important Things to Do Before the School Year Ends

The school year is coming to a close and summer is just weeks away.

Before students empty out their lockers and embrace vacation, there are a few important steps to take to prepare for the college admissions process. Our handy end-of-school checklist will help you get on track and make getting into college a bit more manageable.

Here are a few things you should do:
  1. Juniors should ask two academic teachers to write letters of recommendation for them. Asking teachers before the end of the year gives them notice as some will write their letters over the summer. It also gives you a better chance of getting your favorite teachers to write for you.
  2. Make sure your schedule is set for the following year and that it is appropriately competitively for the colleges where you plan to apply. If you want to go to a highly selective college, your curriculum should reflect it and your grades should support your intentions.

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  3. Plan out your standardized test plan and preparation. Summer is the best time to get a kick-start on test preparation, but you want to have a clear sense of which tests you plan to take for the following year. Most of all, stick to the plan as long as you are seeing the results you want.
  4. Meet with your college counselor at least once before the end of the school year. If you don’t have a college counselor, seek out an administrator at your high school. A principal or assistant principal will most likely fill out your college application materials if you don’t have a counselor, so it’s important they know who you are before summer.
  5. Ensure that your summer has at least one sustained and meaningful activity on the calendar. This can be a summer job, athletic training, or even a hobby with a goal in mind. There’s no right or wrong summer activity, just as long as you get something out of the experience.
  6. Schedule at least one college visit. If resources are limited, visit a local college or university. No matter what grade you are in, visiting a college campus is the ultimate motivator for your future.
  7. Dream. Dream big too. As the year finishes up, think about what’s next. What’s your impact going to be? What’s your legacy? What’s that special thing that only you can do? Don’t wait for summer. Plant the seed now so that you can start pursuing that dream the moment the school year ends.
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Most students’ minds are already thinking about summer. Before they get there, they need to make some key moves which will set them up for a productive summer vacation and college process. Getting into college is not a sprint to the finish; it is a marathon of sorts.

Think of the end of the school year as the time to map out your training schedule. Just as many of your peers have one foot out the door this time of year, make sure you get ahead of the race before it even officially begins.