Summer Plans for College Admission

Summer and College Admissions, High School Summer Plans, High School Summers

How a high school student spends his or her summer can absolutely impact their case for college admission.

What are your summer plans for college admission success?

No more pencils, no more books. School’s out for summer at most high schools across America. And if it’s not, it will be soon. But what will you, a rising high school sophomore, junior, or senior, be doing to stand out in the highly selective college admissions process over the course of these next two months? And how will your summer plans contribute to showcasing your unique hook on your college applications? A student’s choice of summer activities plays an important role in how that student’s application is perceived and evaluated by admissions officers at our nation’s top colleges.

When many students come to us at this time of year, they already have summer plans in mind. In some cases, they’ve already started these activities. But after coming to us, we send them in a completely new direction. As but one example, parents often enroll their high school-aged children in fancy summer enrichment programs at highly selective colleges like Stanford University, Duke University, etc. And they think that’ll really help them stand out from their peers come the time they apply to colleges. After all, they spent their summers taking courses at one of our nation’s most elite institutions…what can be better than that, right? Wrong.

As we’ve outlined many times over the years on the pages of our blog, in the press, and from the tops of the highest mountaintops (ok, maybe not!), fancy summer enrichment programs are nothing more than summer camps. In short, participation in such activities conveys to admissions officers (1) that students lack initiative — they’re not seeking out activities on their own but instead following the herd and (2) that students are privileged — these programs are often quite expensive. Oh and what happens if a student does her summer enrichment program at Duke and then applies in the Regular Decision round to, say, Georgetown? Georgetown will likely assume the student applied Early Decision to Duke and didn’t earn admission. In the Regular Decision round, a core objective of every applicant should be to convince each and every school that they and they alone are the applicant’s first choice…so this doesn’t exactly contribute toward achieving this goal.

There is still time to shape your summer plans for college admission success. If you’d like Ivy Coach’s help in shaping how you’re spending your summer so you can optimize your case for admission to a highly selective college, fill out our free consultation form and we’ll be in touch.


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