Summer Checklist for College Bound High School Students

Tips From Jennifer Severini-Kresock, NEPA Career & College Counseling

There are several tasks that high school students can start during the upcoming summer months that will give them a head start on career and college planning.

Summer break is a perfect time for rising seniors to work on college essays. Students should give themselves plenty of time to work on the essay, proofread, have someone else proofread and edit as needed.

Begin your high school resume. Students should begin this in grade nine and follow through each year of high school. The summer before senior year is the ideal time to finalize the high school resume by making sure to list all academic achievements, extra-curricular activities and work experience, along with any awards, honors and commendations. In addition, high school students should set up a zee mee profile (

A summer job that is related to career interests can boost a resume and help a student decide if he or she is serious about a certain career. Volunteering at various agencies can also help students solidify career interests. For employment and volunteering, there may be age requirements, so students should have several sites in mind before applying for a job or offering their help.

Another way to get exposure to various career or college options is to participate in college or summer career-related camps or programs. Many colleges host summer camps and other career related programs for interested students. Students (during the summer after sophomore year and beyond) should consider taking college courses through a dual enrollment program.

Students should prepare to take the PSAT, SAT and/or ACT, and possibly the SAT II.  By researching college requirements, students should check to see what tests are required for admission. Various mobile apps, online testing practice programs and private tutoring can get students started with test preparation.

Writing practice and reading will help freshmen and sophomores prepare for future college essay writing during the summer between their junior and senior years.

Visiting some prospective colleges that may be on the same route as summer vacation destinations, or planning a trip to get a first look at a school, will aid in the search for a good college fit.

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