College Admissions "To Do" Items for July and August

Updated: Jul 31

Rising Senior or Junior and wondering what you should be doing at this point in the summer to prepare for college admissions? Here are some practical actions to take!


Rising Seniors:


  • Common App Personal Essay: How's it going on this? I strongly recommend getting a jump this month. In August, the supplemental essays for colleges will be released and it would be great to have the Common App Personal Essay out of the way so you can jump on the supplementals.

  • College List: It's time to start really refining the list. If you haven't done so already, start exploring schools (either in person or virtually) and dropping schools that aren't of interest. It would be great to have your list down to 15 schools (20 max) by the end of the month.

  • Summer Activities: I'm going to assume at this point your plans are set and underway. Just keep reminding yourself: If a college asked me how I spent this summer, would I have an interesting answer? (I hope the answer is yes!)

  • SAT/ACT: If you've decided you want to take one of these tests again this fall, what is your plan to improve on your prior scores? Establish that study plan now.



Rising Juniors:


  • SAT/ACT: It's still really early, but have you started thinking about timing for when you might take these tests? Most students take their first official SAT around March of Junior year (which I think makes sense), but this fall you will probably want to take the PSAT, and if possible, consider taking a practice ACT to see which test you prefer.

  • College List: Continue working on your college list (or maybe build your first version of it if you haven't done so already!). At this point, feel free to keep the list large and open to lots of different options. You have the luxury of time to explore and refine.

  • Summer Activities: I'm going to assume at this point your plans are set. Just keep reminding yourself: If a college asked me how I spent this summer, would I have an interesting answer? (I hope the answer is yes!)

All: Read, Read, Read!!!

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