So your teen didn’t get into a desired summer program this year? Don’t worry!
Because top schools value uniqueness, it’s often the case that an applicant who has put together a do-it-yourself (DIY) summer wins admission to a top college over the student who has mainly enrolled in formal programs, which provide pre-made curricula leaving little to student initiative. Believe it or not, more important than attending (what many consider to be) a prestigious summer program is filling one’s summer with meaningful, deep activities that display authentic passion and growth.
Admissions officers truly enjoy learning about students who follow their passion more than about those who do things because they think it will “look good” to a college. To get into a top college in 2021 and beyond, your child will need to really stand out from the pack. Believe it or not, the DIY summer is the perfect opportunity to do so!
So I suggest you help your teen think through what they really want to explore and build a customized plan. If it’s put together thoughtfully, it will surely serve your child’s admissions case. Here are some DIY tips for choosing the right summer activity for you that will help you achieve your college aspirations:
If your child keeps these criteria in mind when choosing a summer activity, they will undoubtedly put together an optimal summer. Here are some examples of using the criteria above to create a balanced and powerful set of summer activities that fuel your child’s admissions chances:
We hope these examples are helpful and give your student ideas of the many possibilities out there. Honestly, all it takes is a little creative and strategic thinking. I invite you to review our free College Planning Foundations Workbook for further explanations and exercises geared toward planning for top school admission.