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How to Enrich Your Summer and Improve Your Chances for College Admission

Last Updated: Mar 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM

You Serious About Getting into a Competitive College? Here’s a Summer Tip.

out of an old family sitcom, we recall dad’s summer advice to his offspring:
“Do something constructive!” That’s
our tip to you, too, and here’s some background:

universities search among their thousands of applicants for those kids who
demonstrate a flair in some way, who have stretched their minds a bit more than
usual in preparation for the big time of self-directed life and learning at the
undergraduate level. Broadened experience often goes hand in hand with
self-assurance, stability, and curiosity—traits in an applicant that are very
much appreciated by admissions. So, what can you do during the summer that
encompasses these qualities – and, thus, improves your chances for college

Here are
several options to consider, none of which have to fill an entire school
vacation. The first, and possibly easiest to schedule, comes under the broad
heading of enrichment. Local,
national and international programs provide short-, medium-, and long-duration sessions
of every imaginable kind. Enriching your mind may be linked to enriching your
body: hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, Outward Bound on Penobscot Bay in Maine,
weekender excursions into the headwaters of the Everglades, study on a college
campus, touring with a string quartet, SAT prep, Habitat for Humanity. The list
is virtually endless. And some choices may actually accrue college credits!

could probably guess the next constructive thing to do this summer: find a job or secure an internship. If
you’re really lucky, you may get both wrapped into one opportunity! Interested
in large-animal veterinary medicine? Start asking around now for your summer chance. Mechanics? Then how about the county
motor pool garage? Medical research? Scripps, Shands, Wellington Regional.

never know about a chance until you ask.
Who’s your primary care physician? She may have leads.

every summer position may be linked to a future academic pursuit. But making
some money to support yourself now and in the future is certainly a sign of
commitment to your life. One additional thought here: sometimes the most
successful go-getters actually create within an organization positions for
themselves that never existed until suggested by the applicant! Welcome to the
land of imaginative thinking.

only so many jobs and internships to around, many students find themselves volunteering for a host of organizations
that really need some mental or physical muscle. By working for such an
organization for the summer, you’ll be accumulating a tremendous amount of good
will with an admissions office. Colleges really admire teens who, as Rotary
International (an international service organization) explains in its motto,
think about “Service Above Self.” These opportunities abound at every
imaginable distance from your doorstep—just miles away, or continents away from
your home. You can find some great local outreach opportunities at, a website created
several years ago by two high school students from Boca Raton.

Last but
not least, academic work. This
entails web-based and classroom courses that expand your horizons. As an
accredited school, Score At The Top can provide you with summer coursework in
virtually any academic subject (regular, Honors, or AP). You’ll be adding to
your high school transcript, and hopefully bulking up that GPA in the same way
that you would if you were to enroll in a course of the college-level, dual-enrollment
variety. The beauty behind this sort of work is that you can pick and choose.
Whether it’s a local state of community college or university, or a campus many
states away from home, the course possibilities are endless—and often pretty
exciting, because more and more universities want to attract high school
students to their campuses with alluring summer course offerings. The feedback
that we’ve gotten from students whom we advise about these special summer study
courses has always been outstanding.

In any
case, don’t wait! Get out a piece of
scratch paper and start brainstorming now about what you’d like to see yourself
doing this summer. Or call us for some great ideas! Your summer experience will
surely be a win-win.

Topics: College Admission College Planning


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