During the school year high school kids juggle school, homework, athletics, clubs, volunteer work, SAT prep, jobs and social activities. Busy schedules during the school year leave little time for college visits, scholarship research or extra reading. Holidays and summer vacation are prime time for parents to help kids complete critical college prep tasks like college tours, scholarship research and extra reading.
Most colleges offer college tours 5-6 days each week every month of the year. Reservations can be made online 24 hours a day on the admissions page of college websites. In addition to daily tours, most colleges offer overnight and weekend visitation programs. High school calendars show term breaks and teacher work days that parents can use to plan day trips for college tours. Summer vacations and term breaks allow time for extended trips to colleges more than a few hours away.
Scholarship research is a skill that students can learn as early as middle school. Because many scholarships are available every year, students can identify potential scholarships a few years in advance of applications. Research to identify scholarships and required essays for scholarship applications and college applications can be completed on term breaks, over summer vacations and sometimes as school assignments.
Extra reading is important for college-bound students. Breaks and summer vacation provide precious extra time to read outside of class. Outside reading is important because it improves both reading and writing skills students need to excel on standardized college entrance exams. Additonally, some colleges ask students to list books they have read that were not required for classes. Students can multi-task by reading novels required in scholarship competitions and admission essays.