9 College Application Tasks for the Summer Before Senior Year

With senior year just around the corner, the summer before your final year of high school is an ideal time to start preparing for college applications. By completing these nine tasks, you’ll be well on your way to a successful college application process.

1. Research Colleges and Universities

Start by researching potential colleges and universities that interest you. Consider factors like location, size, tuition costs, and available majors. Make a list of your top choices and determine the application requirements for each school.

2. Visit College Campuses

As you narrow down your list of prospective colleges, take advantage of the summer break to visit as many campuses as possible. While on-campus tours might not be available due to COVID-19 restrictions, you can typically find virtual tours online or visit campuses independently.

3. Finalize Your College List

After conducting thorough research and visiting schools, finalize your college list. Aim for a balanced mix of reach, match, and safety schools to increase the chances of acceptance.

4. Create a Resume

An up-to-date resume will help you keep track of your accomplishments and make it easier to fill out applications. Include academic achievements, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and any part-time jobs.

5. Begin Drafting Your College Essays

Colleges often require one or more essays as part of their application process. Start drafting your essays early so you have plenty of time to revise and perfect them before submitting.

6. Request Letters of Recommendation

Secure letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, or other adults who know you well and can speak to your abilities and character. Reach out early in the summer to give them ample

time to write a thoughtful letter on your behalf.

7. Register for Standardized Tests

If you haven’t already taken the SAT or ACT tests (or if you want to improve your scores), register for test dates in the fall of your senior year. Spend some time studying for the tests over the summer to help you prepare.

8. Complete Financial Aid Applications

Research scholarships, grants, and other financial aid opportunities available for college students. Compile a list of relevant resources and start working on applications, as many deadlines occur in the early months of senior year.

9. Develop an Application Timeline

Stay organized by creating a timeline that outlines application deadlines, test dates, and important milestones throughout senior year. This will help ensure you stay on track and submit everything required in a timely manner.

By completing these tasks over the summer, you’ll be well prepared as you enter your senior year and begin the college application process. Remember to stay organized, focused, and enjoy this exciting time in your life as you embark on a new journey in higher education.