Even though school is out for summer break, now is the best time for rising high school seniors to get a head start on their college searches, according to these five summer tips from Cappex.com.
“Using the summer to get a head start on the college search process will help make what can be a very stressful process much less stressful,” says Chris Long, president of Cappex.com. “These five tips, plus the use of online resources such as Cappex.com, will make your college search as painless as possible.”
1. Decide what the most important factors are in choosing a college, and keep those in mind when researching and visiting schools. To start, spend some time researching colleges on college search sites, Facebook, or on the university’s own website. Explore different colleges’ admission requirements as well as tuition costs.
2. Schedule a campus visit to get a real feel for the college. According to a survey by Cappex.com of more than 1,100 high school seniors, visits to colleges were the key factor in helping students get a feel for colleges being considered. Be sure to take the time to go on a guided campus tour, sit in on a class, visit a residence hall, eat at a campus cafeteria or meet with admissions staff.
3. Prepare a game plan for senior year. Find out when your school’s college fairs are and develop questions for admissions representatives that will be attending. If you are looking to bolster your extracurricular or volunteer hours, take the time to get involved with clubs and activities that spark your interests and passions.
4. Prep for or take the ACT or SAT. If you are waiting until fall for standardized testing, use the time beforehand wisely as you may not have a second chance to improve your test scores before applications are due.
5. Write application essays for colleges that you know you are applying to. Working on essays over the summer will give you a head start and take the pressure off in the fall when things can get really busy with senior year schedules.
“With application season starting in the fall, leaving your college search to the first semester of senior year can sometimes be too late,” says Long. “Taking advantage of the time you have outside of school in the summer can really give you the upper hand.”