Summer is a great time to do some low-key exploration of colleges and the college admissions process, regardless of the age of your student. Here are some ideas for making the most of the summer months:
- Visit college campuses. Start to get a feel for what campuses look like and see what gives you a ‘gut feeling’ of either YEA or NAY. Many schools will not be in session, but if you check in with the Admissions Office (look online, ahead of your visit) you can probably at least have a tour with a student and perhaps an Info Session.
- Start thinking about what you might want, in terms of areas of study and/or possible career fields. Use tools such as the College Board’s Big Future website to explore careers and majors, if not specific colleges.
- Research standardized tests and determine whether you will want to take them, and when. If you will, do some prep – free tools can be found at Khan Academy and on testing websites.
- If you haven’t already compiled a list of activities (“extracurriculars”), do so! Include sports, lessons, travel, community service, paid and unpaid work, summer programs, etc.
- If you won’t be receiving a high school diploma, start NOW to develop your homeschool transcript (courses, curriculum/books used, projects completed, etc.). Save (scan) samples of work.
- Check out the essay prompts used for college applications. The Common Application’s Essay Prompts, even if you don’t use the Common App, will give you a good idea of what to expect. If you’re headed into your senior year, draft a few essays this summer!
As you dive into the college admissions process, remember that you don’t have to go it alone. Every fall, Oak Meadow hosts a free College Counseling webinar series designed to guide homeschool students towards college admissions success. Plan to join us!