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College Talk Blog

Summer Activities for Rising Seniors


As soon as rising sophomores, juniors and seniors take a week or so to rest up this summer from a hectic school year, they should be engaging in regular activities that will make their college process and outcomes more successful. Rather than fall behind over the summer months, they can boost their chances of higher SAT and ACT scores and college acceptance by:

  • volunteering
  • reading regularly
  • studying for standardized tests
  • going on college tours
  • engaging in part time employment
  • conducting scholarship research
  • shadowing someone who is in a career field of interest

Although volunteer opportunities are plentiful, parent guidance and encouragement is sometimes needed to help teens find a volunteer activity that is a good fit. Churches welcome vacation bible school help. Community centers are another good source of volunteer positions as are charities like food banks and non-profit organizations such as humane societies, parks and historic tourist attractions. 

Students can also create their own volunteer positions independently. An example of an independent activity students can engage in to volunteer in their community is collecting clothing or canned food for local charities.

Summer reading can involve any required summer reading by schools as well as things of interest to teens. A great strategy to make the next school year easier is to read books that will be required next fall over the summer. Another activity that will involve reading is taking an SAT or ACT Prep course.

Employment can be a challenge for a rising sophomore or junior depending on their age and whether they drive. But employment does not have to be a formal position at a business. Lawn mowing, babysitting, dog-walking and other neighborhood activities in which teens earn money will count as employment on college applications.

Teens can also combine volunteering and reading by volunteering to read to children at the public library or a local bookstore or reading to senior citizens at a senior center or nursing home.

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