Do you want to give yourself every advantage you can to get into a your dream college? In addition to all the stuff you normally hear about getting good grades and doing well on standardized tests, you will make your application much more compelling by both standing out from the rest, and showing a deep and genuine interest in the subject you wish to pursue at that college. How can you accomplish both of these objectives at once? Summer enrichment.
Yes, I know at first glance this sounds like more school, more work, no fun. This is definitely not the case. The reason? It is totally up to you as to what you do. Summer enrichment can be anything from reaching out to a group that pertains to your area of interest (ex. Historical Society) or an individual that pertains to your area of interest (ex. local college professor) to see if they have any interesting projects going on that you would be able to participate in, or maybe even undertaking a project yourself that pertains to an area of interest. This “project” could come in the form a research, construction of something, or an experiment-anything that will both benefit your knowledge in that area and can be described later in a college application letter to show your interest in that subject area and to make you stand out. In addition to a project, many local groups, as well as colleges and universities all across the nation offer summer programs for certain subjects or areas. These programs can also be added to college applications to demonstrate interest and to make one stand out. The more competitive of an application/selection process into a program, the better. The more challenging of a work load, the better. The more recognized and/or prestigious the program or the campus on which the program is based off of, the better. Some of these programs can be expensive or far away, although certain programs will offer scholarships or financial aid to those who would otherwise have difficulties affording the programs. For the reasons mentioned above, it is very important to plan out your summer months in advance, and check out any programs you wish to attend very carefully to see what benefits they offer, and if they offer any scholarship opportunities. Whether you prefer, summer program(s), or summer project(s), the main point for summer is, anything is better than nothing, and putting in the work over summer now will pay big dividends further on down the road.