I recently published some ideas on how to spend your summer so that you impress college admissions officers and build your resume. For the flip side of the equation, here are 10 ways to waste your summer. You'll find some great advice for wearing out your couch cushions and damaging your skin at a young age.
If you're planning to attend a selective college, you shouldn't think of summer as a time to kick back and do nothing. Successful college applicants tend to do something productive during the summer. Come up with a plan that will challenge you, develop your skills, and contribute to your educational and career goals. Some great options include
- Work -- try to find a job that is intellectually challenging or develops your leadership skills
- Travel -- learn about different cultures and improve your language skills
- Classes -- get ahead in math or a language, or earn credit from a community college
- College Visits -- narrow down your options
For more information and more summer options, read this article on the best summer plans for high school students
A college degree is often touted as the ticket to a better job and a lifetime of financial security. At the same time, the college admissions process often seems to privilege those who are already privileged. Fortunately, students from underrepresented groups and students who are the first from their families to go to college have an advocate in a relatively new initiative, College Greenlight. Raul Alvarez at College Greenlight recently shared with me a list of scholarships specifically geared towards first-generation and underrepresented students. Be sure to check out the opportunities for college funds, and act quickly -- many of these scholarships expire soon: 26 Scholarships for First-Generation and Underrepresented Students.
New England has some of the most prestigious, selective and historic colleges and universities in the country. To see if your grades and standardized test scores are on target for some of the region's top schools, check out these graphs of GPA, SAT and ACT score data: Amherst | Babson | Bates | Bentley | Boston College | Bowdoin | Brandeis | Brown | Coast Guard | Colby | Connecticut | Dartmouth | Harvard | Holy Cross | MIT | Middlebury | Olin | RISD | Smith | Trinity | Tufts | Wellesley | Wesleyan | Williams | Yale