Summer Before Senior Year Checklist

The summer before your senior year can be a very stressful time for many high schoolers, but it doesn't have to be. Summer is a great time to get a lot of things accomplished and start preparing for your senior year! Here are some things you need to make sure you get done during the summer to help your senior year a breeze!

Start your College Essay

Summer gives you a lot of time to get started working on your essay for your college applications. By starting early, you'll have enough time to get your essay read by a teacher or a friend to make the essay as impressive as possible. Getting it done during the summer helps you avoid stress during the school year because you won't have to worry about writing college essays along with doing your school work and studying for tests.

Narrow Down your College Choices

Another thing that should be on your summer checklist is to learn more about different schools and check out college campuses. Create a list of colleges you would consider going to. These should be based on the school's location, size, available majors, and any other characteristics that are important to you. If you can, take tours of those schools. The feeling you get when you're on campus will give you a good idea of whether you would want to attend that school. Don't forget to check out how much tuition at each school is! For more tips on deciding which schools to apply to, check out this article: The Starting Point to Finding Colleges!

Look for Scholarships

Take time now to start raking in that cash from scholarships! Apply to as many scholarships as you can. Sometimes you can get more money in one scholarship than you would working the whole summer. Scholarships that require essays to apply are great because they usually have a smaller pool of people applying. Don't be afraid to reach out to different organizations in your community to see if there are any local scholarships that you can apply to.


Colleges look at your academic scores, but they also look at your overall application and how you have made a positive impact on your community. Volunteering looks great on your college application and helps you stand out among the crowd. Volunteering also gives you a good opportunity to get a great letter of recommendation. You'll also be able to build valuable teamwork skills, and you might even find some inspiration for your college essay!


Summer is a great time to get the hard stuff out of the way. Never leave these important tasks for the last minute or your application will looked rushed and unpolished. Take the time to get the most out of your summer!