We found this article online and thought there were some great tips for students who are going into their senior year. Thanks to www.unidgo.com for the "To Do" list item below.
1) Think about and outline a college essay. As more and more schools sign onto the Common Application (over 400 colleges use it now), it's safe to say you'll apply to one that uses it for their admissions process. For this reason, you can get a jump start on writing your essay now.
2) Make a list of the qualities you desire in a college. Everyone knows that college isn't all about hitting the books. So, what other qualities are you looking for in a college? There's many to research: city versus rural life, athletics, the quality of facilities and the tastiness of dining hall food, famous professors, the strength of a potential major, among many others.
3) Develop your personal interests. Colleges want you to be passionate about something. Take extra guitar lessons, join a summer soccer league, go on extra camping trips-all you have to do is demonstrate your interests. Admission officers love well-rounded people who can bring something unique to campus. A personal interest may help you stand out.
4) Work to improve your standardized test scores. If your scores are not in a school's 50% range, you may want to retake the SAT and/or ACT in the fall. To do better, you must develop a proper study plan. There are practice questions on www.collegeboard.com that you should start with. After tackling these, think about going to the library to rent one of their books, or purchase one from your local bookstore.
5) Take summer classes at a local college/university. Enrolling in summer courses can work to your advantage if you're a straight A student or if your grades are weak. Either way, doing well in these courses will show admission officers that you're capable of being an academic success at their school. Doing this will only increase your chance of being accepted to a "reach" school or obtaining a lucrative scholarship.
6) Practice your interview skills. If you're shooting for a top ten school, or if your GPA and SAT scores are at the lower end of your dream school's applicant pool, an interview moves from being an option to a requirement for you. And you must perform well when meeting with an alumni representative or admission counselor. Setting up one or two mock interviews with your parents, a teacher, your college counselor, a friend, or a sibling can be a very beneficial thing.
7) Volunteer. Admission counselors are looking for certain personality traits, compassion being one of the most important. Colleges want good people on their campuses; nothing says benevolent and selfless better than volunteering some time in a nursery home or at a local animal shelter. Check Idealist.org to see if there are any volunteering opportunities in your area, or just call a local nursing home, community center, animal shelter, or other non-profit to see if they need any help. Chances are they do.
8) Visit at least two or three colleges. Although the campus won't be bustling with activity since students are home for the summers, visiting college campuses during the summer can be very rewarding. Being on a large state university feels much different than being at a small liberal arts college. Use these summer visits to figure out what kind of college you want to attend.
9) Think about potential careers. This isn't entirely necessary, since most people have no clue what they want to do for the rest of their lives…at the age of 17! But, if you've never thought about it, putting some time into thinking about careers that match your interests can't hurt.
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As always, thanks for reading!