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  • Writer's pictureJeff Boron

Make Summer Count | Activities to Boost Your College Application

We help students and families to understand the college planning process better. For a high school student, one of the biggest steps to attending your favorite college is getting in! This means sticking out from your competition in the application process and separating yourself in a positive light.

One of the best ways you can look good is to participate in extracurricular activities. This doesn't just mean "in-school" activities, however, as summer is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate positivity outside of school, and separate from other applicants with similar grades and test scores.

How to Impress Colleges Over Summer

Summer vacation is certainly one of the best times of a student's life, and we feel a break is still necessary for any kid. However, summer is also the best time to have distraction-free time for college prep, and engaging in activities that can boost your college application. Here are a few ways to catch the eye of admissions officers while also enjoying summer!

Get a Job

You may need a work permit if you're entering your sophomore or junior year, but colleges are definitely impressed when a student has already been employed. Even if it's just working for a family friend or at an ice cream shop, having a job demonstrates initiative and responsibility!

Be Your Own Boss

A step further, why not start your own business? Starting a small business shows admissions officers that you're entrepreneurial and driven! We don't mean you should start your own restaurant... Things like babysitting, mowing lawns, walking dogs, cleaning, or starting a recreational program for local kids are all businesses!

Apply for Internships

Internships are a structured opportunity to work (paid or unpaid) for a company for a set amount of time. If you have an interest in a particular major or study, consider calling a few companies to see if you can spend some time learning and studying from real-life people who are in the field! These can be competitive, but rewarding! They look great on a college application and also provide outstanding experience for later.

Take College Visits!

One of the best ways to make the right college choice is to visit a campus and feel it out. You don't want your first day at school to be the first time you see and feel the energy of a college. You may be thinking you want to attend a city school or a rural campus, but you can't be certain until you check it out for yourself! Check out as many campuses as you can this summer! Read More: College Visit 101 | Questions for Faculty on Your Campus Visit

Participate in a High School Program at a College

Along with taking a visit, you should research to see if any specialized programs are held on campus for HS students. Some of the top colleges in the country provide opportunities for HS students in the form of Business Development, Mock Trials, Leadership Conferences, and other outstanding events and programs. You should see if any interest you because it will look great when it's time to put your application in!

Take an Online Class

In today's world, you can find classes on just about anything. There are plenty of places to find online classes in an endless amount of subjects, some of which are even free. You can check out Coursera, Udemy, and edX to see if there are any classes in your field! There are also lectures you can find online from renowned professors that will help you demonstrate you didn't just sit around and watch TikTok all summer!


One of the best ways to have a consistent and continual pursuit of college application bonus points is to donate your time to a great organization. Colleges love to see that you volunteered and the sooner you start, the more time you can demonstrate ahead of application season. Start early, and stick with it!

You should aim to complete between 50 and 200 volunteer hours before you apply! The best volunteer opportunities are usually the ones that help serve the community, like pet shelters, Habitat for Humanity, Food banks, elderly care, and any charity events. We hope this helped open up students' minds to the many ways they can help with their college applications over the summer! If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call! We are happy to help any student and/or family in WNY with the college planning process. We take pride in what we do and are committed to helping! Check out our Facebook for more college planning tips!

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