The heat is on - summer is here! Are you working the register, hitting the gym, or just getting the sand out of your car? In the time it takes to scroll through your TikTok feed, you can master our five simple steps to get college-ready this summer.
1. Learn a New Skill
Try an online course for free (yes, for free) via Coursera or edX. In Programming for Everybody - hey Everybody, that's you! - you will install Python and write your first program in just 12 hours of online learning. Classes on a university campus can also expand your horizons.
Not into coursework? How about participating in scientific research at a local university and creating a blog about your work? Maybe you prefer writing to experimenting in the lab. If that's you, consider channeling your most involved citizen self and submit a letters to the editor of your local newspaper on topics that you care about. Interested in the arts? Volunteer to build sets or work backstage at the summer theater productions in your town. So what will it be: Python, papers or petri dishes ? No matter your interests, summer is a perfect time to try on a new skill.
2. Explore College Options
Search for "college search" and you'll get almost three billion hits. But you don't have to sift through a million pages of Google search results or mile-high piles of college brochures to find the right fit colleges. Phew!
Visit any one of our favorite sites, sort by the criteria that matter to you, and presto, your college list starts to take shape. What are our favorite sites for college search, you ask? Well, hey, we're biased but CollegeLab is an awesome online tool to personalize the college search process. It's our favorite, and there's a free trial! Want a few more options? BigFuture (brought to you by the College Board) is an excellent place to start. Identify your criteria - do you want a school with a marching band, a major in oceanography, and housing for international students? CollegeNavigator is the U.S. Department of Education's search site loaded with data.
3. Fund Your Piggy Bank
New friends, money for college, broadened horizons, and skills for success in the 'real world' - where can you find all of that?! Take on a job this summer for all that and more. Learn about being an entrepreneur by working the register at the pizza place in town, or how to manage a team as a camp counselor. Your job doesn't have to be at Apple or Google in order for you to learn a lot. No matter where you choose to work, you will come out richer in more ways than one by Labor Day.
So what will YOU do? Get out there and make the most of your summer!