I ran into friends over the weekend who asked if things slow down for me now that summer is here. Nope, it is just the opposite. June begins my busiest six months of the year. While high school seniors are graduating and getting excited about the prospects of college, younger families are chomping at the bit to pick my brain and get a head start on the application process.
Between my private clients and my Application Nation families, I am focused on making sure we make the most of summer vacation. Here is a look into my June planner for high school students.
RISING HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS
- Brainstorm topics for the main college essay.
- Pick the perfect topic!
- Map out remaining summer college visits.
- Schedule tours, information sessions, and interviews (if offered!) in advance. Summer is the busiest time for admissions offices. Most colleges require reservations.
- First draft of the main college essay complete by the end of the month!
- Start a summer job, "homegrown" project, or passion. (If you want to know what a "homegrown" project is, consider joining Application Nation. It's one of my secrets for students who want to set themselves apart!)
- Consider whether you should take the ACT, SAT, or any Subject Tests once again. There are summer and early fall test dates to squeeze in one last time before "early" applications are due. If you are planning to take a test one last time, make sure to set daily and weekly goals for test preparation.
- If you don't have time for community service work during the school year, this is a good time to do something positive for your community.
Need help navigating the college admissions process with your child?
Join Application Nation, a suite of private Facebook groups hosted by Sara Harberson.
RISING HIGH SCHOOL JUNIORS
- Take a full-length practice ACT and SAT to determine which test is the best fit.
- Compare your scores using the ACT/SAT Concordance chart. This will ensure that you are taking the right test from the start!
- Identify a test prep plan: group classes, private tutor, or a self-guided program.
- Map out your summer test prep plan complete with scheduled practice tests.
- Plan out some college visits as it is hard to squeeze them in during the school year.
- Do something productive with your summer: a job, "homegrown" project, or follow your passion.
- Do some community service if you can't find time to do it during the school year.
BONUS: Download my Summer Checklist for more in-depth tips!
RISING HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORES
- Have fun this summer!
- Test the waters with activities or experiences! Most of the time, the summer experience after 9th grade does not show up on the activities list (due to limited space) unless the student ends up continuing to do that same activity throughout high school. This is a good time to try new things!
- Visit a local college or two. Summer open houses are fairly common and it is a great way to get a feel for what you are looking for.
No matter what year of high school you are in, make the most of your time off from school. Use these next few weeks of June to map out your summer plans. Doing something productive is key in tying together your story when it comes to the application process.