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Thinking About College

By John Raftrey And Lori McCormick

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About this blog: We are writing this blog to give practical advice to students and parents, to reflect on issues affecting college admissions, and to provide a platform for a robust community discussion on post-secondary choices. We occasionally f...  (More)

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Summer Planning

Uploaded: Feb 6, 2015
(written by Lori McCormick)

Before you read about summer planning, a friendly reminder that if you are planning on applying for Financial Aid, the deadline for California residents is March 2nd. Even if you think do not qualify for federal aid, most families qualify for some type of aid. It might be worth considering. Here is a list of FAQ's from FAFSA.

Now, on to summer planning...

Colleges and parents encourage high school students to spend their summers doing something constructive, not to sit around playing video games. However, that does not need to be translated into, "You need to master programming this summer or you will never get into a Computer Science program in college." Many parents, and even colleagues, will disagree with me; that is okay. In my opinion, there is not a "one size fits all" college, nor should there be a "one size fits all" college applicant. I think summer is a time to celebrate the hard work students accomplished during the school year by taking a break and exploring interests they have outside of the classroom or develop an interest to bring that interest to the next level. Students can take a core subject during summer school to offset their workload for the following academic year, take an enrichment class at a college, volunteer, travel, work or get an internship, spend time with family, or visit colleges. Whatever you students choose to do, do it with intention and a mind welcoming to learning something fresh, something new.

I often work with students who may have spent an entire summer doing an activity that in the end wasn't a good fit. But that's also great! That just means students are ruling out their dislikes and getting closer to finding what does interest them.

My advice to students: Start to map out what your summer plans will look like now. Many of the internships, enrichment programs, and camp counselor positions are accepting applications around this time of year. Speak with your school counselor or advisor, or visit your college and career center and find out what opportunities are available. Not only will you get organized for the pending summer, but it sets you up with something fun and exciting to look forward to!

Here are a few links to summer programs. There are certainly many more options available so please share with everyone your favorite summer programs in the comments section below.

Abbey Road Summer Abroad Program -
American Collegiate Adventures Program -
Berkeley Pre-Collegiate Summer School -
Camp Galileo Summer Jobs -
Carnegie Mellon Summer Programs for Diversity -
John's Hopkins Center for Talented Youth -
Middlebury Intensive Summer Language Program -
PAUSD Summer School -
Stanford Intensive Law and Trial for High School students -
Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes -
Summer Sports Camps -
Teen Life -
UCLA Summer School for High School Students -
Volunteer Jobs -

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