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Summer Planning Checklist

Hello Fellow Parents, and Welcome!

Summer is almost here. Can you feel it?

Parents of seniors…

You have been through a ton, and you have earned the right to cry, hug, take tons of pictures, and otherwise embarrass your child at graduation. Congratulations!  

Parents of juniors

I know you. I was you. You may think you’re “behind” in the college admissions process, but you’re not. You are right where you should be.

Here’s a student checklist to present to your child to help them focus on what’s important:

  • Beware of senioritis. You are not a senior. Finish junior year strong!
  • Take AP exams if you took AP classes. Study, even if it doesn’t count toward your grade, because a score of 3, 4, or 5 will earn you credit (and save you money and time) at many colleges.
  • Meet with your high school counselor, if possible, to help guide you toward colleges to explore over the summer.
  • Make sure you’ve requested teacher recommendations.
  • If you want to use recommenders outside of school, ask them soon to give them plenty of time to write a glowing recommendation on your behalf.
  • As your summer plans fill, choose activities and jobs that will benefit you, not just your college application.

Summer before Senior Year (June-August)

  • Enlist your family to use financial aid calculators on college websites and get real about paying for college before you get your heart set on applying somewhere unaffordable.
  • If this is the only time you can visit desolate college campuses, go for it. Keep in mind that those lovely lilies you see sprinkled around campus this summer won’t be there during the academic year.
  • Record application and financial aid application deadlines on your college calendar as you identify where you want to apply.
  • Register in advance for one last SAT or ACT in the summer or fall if you plan to submit test scores to colleges.
  • If you’re not sure about or don’t feel ready for college, consider alternative paths such as a gap year or working. Share your feelings with your parents so they can help you figure out next steps.
  • Own your college application over the summer before it owns you the night before fall deadlines. Start writing essays that say what you want to say instead of what you think colleges want to hear. Authenticity will serve you well in the applicant pool.
  • It’s called summer vacation, people. Have some (safe) fun!

Sanity Saver…

Don’t forget to stop and smell whatever’s blooming in your neck of the woods!

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    Warmly,

    Jill

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