Prep Checklist for Rising High School Seniors

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Seniors Applying to College This Fall Can Get the Bulk of Their Applications Done Over the Summer

Summer break provides college bound seniors with the perfect opportunity to get a head start on their college applications and continue their college prep so they’re prepared for the admissions season come fall. With activities, vacations, and other summer plans, it can be difficult to stay on top of everything that students need to accomplish while school is out. We aim to make getting ahead easier by providing students with comprehensive college planning checklists.

This admissions season, rising high school seniors will have a couple of different college applications to choose from – most of which have already announced their essay prompts for the 2016-17 admissions season. The Common Application, the Universal Application, and the new Coalition application, all have released their essay prompts, and my colleges have or will release their school-specific essay prompts well before the new school year. This is a critical time for seniors to get organized, form a plan of action for college applications, and get ahead!

Here’s what seniors need to focus on this summer to prepare for a successful college application process.

  1. Create a final draft of your resume that includes your summer activities and new or continued club/team activities. Colleges want to know how you spend your spare time, so be sure to be as comprehensive and detailed as possible!
  2. Narrow down your college list – include a combination of reach, target, and likely schools.
  3. Make note of all deadlines for each of the colleges on your list. Get organized by keeping detailed checklists, spreadsheets, and more.
  4. Begin working on your college essays and have them checked for content and grammar. Start by brainstorming, then create a first draft and keep revising throughout the summer.
  5. Continue your SAT or ACT prep over the summer so you’re prepared for the exams this fall.
  6. Develop a college application strategy and make sure you know how and when to interact with your college counselor this summer and during the application process.
  7. Continue your outside reading! Many colleges will ask what you read in your spare time, so don’t slack on your outside reading over the summer.

What else is on your personal college prep checklist this summer? Tell us in the comments below!

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