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To-Dos for College Applicants: A Guide to Success


Attention college applicants! Summer is a valuable opportunity to make the most of your break and get a head start on your college journey. Whether you're a rising high school senior or a proactive younger student, we've compiled a list of essential to-dos that will set you on the path to success. From SAT preparation to planning fall semester activities, let's dive into the key tasks that will help you navigate the college application process with confidence.


  • Study for the SAT: Summer presents an ideal time to dedicate focused effort to SAT preparation. Allocate regular study sessions and explore free online resources, such as Khan Academy. Practice tests can provide valuable insights into your strengths and weaknesses, enabling you to tailor your study plan accordingly. By dedicating time to SAT prep during the summer, you'll be well-positioned to achieve your desired score before application deadlines approach.

  • Research colleges: Delve into the exciting world of college exploration! Take advantage of the free time during summer to research potential colleges and universities. Consider factors such as location, academic programs, campus culture, and extracurricular opportunities. Explore college websites, attend virtual information sessions, and reach out to current students or alumni for insights. Building a well-rounded list of prospective institutions ensures that you'll have plenty of options when it's time to submit applications. It's helpful to categorize your college choices into reach, match, and likely schools:

    • Reach schools: These are highly selective institutions where admission may be more competitive. While it's essential to aim high, be realistic about your chances of acceptance. Reach schools should reflect your aspirations and align with your academic achievements and extracurricular involvement.

    • Match schools: These are colleges where your academic profile, achievements, and interests make you a strong candidate for admission. They should be schools where you have a reasonable chance of acceptance based on your qualifications.

    • Likely schools: These are colleges where your academic credentials exceed the average admission requirements. These institutions provide a good chance of acceptance and often align well with your academic and personal goals.

  • Draft your personal statement: Crafting a compelling personal statement is a crucial aspect of the college application process. Use the summer months to brainstorm ideas, reflect on meaningful experiences, and outline your essay. Let your unique voice shine through as you articulate your personal story, passions, and aspirations. Seek feedback from trusted mentors, teachers, or counselors to refine your narrative and make it stand out. Remember, your personal statement is your opportunity to leave a lasting impression on admission officers, so take the time to make it authentic and impactful.

  • Plan fall semester activities: While summer offers time for relaxation, it's also an excellent opportunity to plan for the upcoming fall semester. Consider how you can engage in activities that align with your interests and demonstrate your commitment to personal growth. Explore leadership roles in clubs or organizations, seek volunteer opportunities, or pursue internships or part-time jobs. By planning ahead, you'll have a clear roadmap to make the most of your extracurricular involvement and showcase your initiative to college admissions committees.

Summer provides a valuable window of opportunity for college applicants to take important steps towards their future. By studying for the SAT, researching colleges, drafting a compelling personal statement, and planning for fall semester activities, you're setting yourself up for success in the college application process. Remember to find a balance between productive work and enjoying your summer break, as a well-rested mind is essential for achieving your goals. Stay motivated, stay focused, and let your journey to higher education begin!

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