Back to posts

For Parents, Setup Summer For Success!

College Admissions

The most efficient way to utilize the summer from America’s top college consultant, Neha Gupta

Founder of College Shortcuts and Elite Private Tutors and

When it comes to the summer, these are the most cherished times of a child’s life before they head off to college.

So many parents are curious – what should my child be doing over the summer? Long gone are the days of watching MTV and chilling around at home. Summer has been considered the most crucial part of expressing interests and passions for the college admissions process.

But – is there a better way? There is.

There is a way to setup the summer for success – where a child can have the following experiences:

  1. Academic
  2. Extracurricular
  3. Family Focused

Here is how I recommend planning out summers – in order to achieve the most out of those eight weeks.

First, if your child is in middle school – they can honestly do whatever they want – colleges truly only count what happens in high school as something to review – but if your child does do something epic – you can include it in applications.

Second, for high school students – it is so important to use the summers wisely.

Find summer camps and activities that RELATE to what your child is interested in – this means you must start early in the process – looking into these opportunities as early as December. There are many activities that are available at top universities or even nearby. If you are uncomfortable sending your child away, they can even take part in online courses as well from top schools. As far as academic – this is a great summer to take advantage of taking a class or making sure all grades are solid prior to tenth grade. Students can get ahead in the summer – and it is extremely important to use this summer. MOST ninth grade parents make the mistake of just letting their kids sit around. When it comes closer to the school year – about two weeks before, make sure to hire a tutor to start getting their brains going for the school year – as teachers start strong right at the beginning. Getting those textbooks and starting to review material can change your child’s entire sophomore year.

For the tenth graders, this is the time to start using the summers to also incorporate some test prep. Once 11th grade hits, you should be ready for the PSAT – and we highly recommend that students get a tutor for the PSAT – as it qualifies the student for national merit scholarships, which stand out in the application process. In all honesty, the PSAT, is not a PRACTICE SAT – it is being counted towards scholarships and watched by colleges. In addition, you should get a tutor before 11th grade starts, as the 11th grade is the hardest grade of high school. Start collecting letters of recommendations if your child partakes in an internship or summer activity, the next 12 months will be college focused. Students should focus on taking the SAT or ACT three times over 11th grade, including one in the fall, in order to avoid taking it senior year.

For eleventh graders, the gas is on for this summer. It is so important to fill out all applications and essays for the college process. Hiring a college consultant can absolutely make this effortless and easier. You can also visit colleges over the summer, and make sure your summer does have a form of extracurricular activities in it to talk about in essays – but also to show consistency throughout your summers.

Applications open August 1 of 12th grade – and thousands of students actually apply on that day – and do not wait until the last minute. Chances of getting into a good college are almost double or triple if students apply early.

Please pick the summer activities wisely. Sometimes the best planned summers will include a summer activity that could be 2-6 weeks that overlaps with other activities, an internship for 2-3 weeks, a family trip for 2-3 weeks, academic work for 2 weeks, and then that is the entire summer. While it does sound jam packed – it is much better than having a child focused on Snapchat or Instagram – those don’t look good in the college process.

If you are looking for assistance in the application process, tutoring, or getting guidance around planning out your child’s future, please don’t hesitate to reach out – as we work with families as early as 8th grade.

Get The Most Important College Admissions Data In The Last 12 Months Delivered Straight To Your Inbox Now.