Continue With SAT/ACT Preparation
A strong GPA and standardized test scores is the foundation to a competitive college application. By the time junior year is over, your GPA is practically a foregone conclusion and there is little you can do to improve it senior year before sending it to your chosen colleges. Fortunately, improving your SAT/ACT scores is still completely within your control, so anything you can do, whether it is hiring a tutor or doing practice tests should definitely be on your radar.
College campuses are beautiful over the summer, and even though the academic year is over, many are still bustling with life and activity. To ensure you are making the right college selections before senior year make sure you visit some campuses over the summer. Talk to students, professors, and admissions officers to work out what makes each college unique. Not only will this reassure you that you are making the right decision it will also prove invaluable when you tackle those pesky “Why this college?” essay questions.
Gain Work Experience
When college applicants think about work experience there is a common misconception that they need to do something that will leave an admissions committee completely awestruck. While this is a viable strategy, especially if it aligns with your intellectual passions, working a regular summer job to earn money can also be equally impressive to colleges. It can help highlight other admirable, less quantifiable qualities such as groundedness and humility.
Attend Summer Programs At Local Colleges and Schools
Intellectual curiosity is something that every college values, it shows that you are proactive when it comes to finding a strong attribute for someone applying to dedicate the next few years of their life studying. Many colleges offer classes over the summer in a variety of academic fields. If these programs cause financial stress, often many of them offer financial aid for low-income students. If this is not possible, enrol in a Massive Open Online Course, most are free and give you exposure to college level classes over the internet. Many are taught by leading professors in their particular fields, including those from Harvard.
Work On Your College Essays
The Common Application essay and the swathes of supplementary questions for competitive colleges can appear daunting when left until senior fall. The timeline for writing is very different than studying for an exam, it is best not to rush a process that in order to be effective requires a lot of self-reflection. Thinking about abstract concepts such as your values and how to define yourself is not something that should be rushed if you want to come across as genuine to admissions officers.