Plan For College

Friday, June 1, 2012

5 Easy Ways to Boost Your College Resume This Summer

Soon-to-be high school seniors: it's college planning go time! OK, let's take a step back. Summer is on the way and you should enjoy it after junior year - what many call the toughest year of high school. But don't let your brain go to mush and fall behind on your college planning timeline.

Here at the College Planning Group, though, we're also realistic. For that reason, we want to recommend these five tips to boost your college resume this summer, without asking too much. Most of these fit right into your plans for the summer anyway:

1. Ask your college-bound friends about the process

Do you have older friends who just graduated? How about older cousins or neighbors? You'll surely bump into some college students (or college-bound students) throughout the summer. Be sure to ask them about the process. Ask them if they're excited, why they chose the school they did, and if they have any advice for your senior year. From there, you should be able to get a nice conversation going and you'll be more informed about how to maneuver the college planning process. If you're more informed, you'll be more prepared.

2. Follow colleges that interest you on Facebook

Let's face it, you're going to be on Facebook everyday this summer. Right now, your home feed is probably a mix of pictures and posts from friends and the occasional brand you follow. Click "like" on a few colleges that you are interested in. That way, when you go on Facebook, it can be a productive experience for your college planning process. You'll see posts that the colleges are making and you'll get a better feel for what the college is all about.

See also: Facebook and College Admissions: 5 Ways to Avoid Rejection

3. Get a job

This sometimes isn't easy (so I apologize for the title of the article here). However, it's something that all of you should be planning on doing anyways. Jobs can help build your college resume because you'll gain some practical experience and will most likely work on some sort of team. You'll also make some money which is a much needed commodity for college.

More: Top 10 Summer Jobs for High School Students

4. Commit to volunteering

Everyone is looking for a competitive edge on their college resumes: something that will make you stand out from the pack. Volunteering can be that advantage (more importantly, you'll be helping people and will gain a great personal experience). Since we're talking about college admissions, however, let's focus on how it can help your resume and application. In a college admissions survey, more than half of the nation's top 50 schools ranked community service fourth above interviews, legacy, reference letters and more.

The survey also shows that admissions officers aren't looking for students to dabble in a few volunteering events. They want to see commitment to one cause.

5. Do something that could be college essay worthy

Numbers three and four could play into this tip. Here are some ideas for good college essay topics: job experience, a hobby, travel experience, volunteer work, a quality that distinguishes you, a life goal/mission, a difficult time in your life, or a major contribution you've made.

So have a meaningful experience this summer! Whether it's working at a talent/hobby or traveling and volunteering, you'll have fun and beef up your college resume at the same time.

Are you on track this summer? Click here:

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