Even if you are taking advanced classes, keeping up your grades and participating in a number of extracurricular activities during the school year, there are still things that you can do to bolster your college application.

For example, many students end up taking summers off, but there are plenty of summer activities that you can participate in that will impress your desired college. These summer activities could even make the difference between you and another student, especially at highly competitive schools.

Take additional classes

Taking classes in the subject you’re interested in over the summer shows colleges that you are serious about your education and about the subject that you are choosing to study.

This willingness to learn during your free time is not taken lightly and is considered a good indicator that you will be a successful college student. There are also some colleges that offer summer learning programs specifically for students in their last years of high school.

Volunteer in the community

Colleges want students that will contribute positively to the college environment. If you volunteer in your community, whether it’s by working at an animal shelter, reading to children at a children’s hospital or keeping the elderly company at a retirement home (to name a few), it shows that you have a selfless personality and you have the values schools are looking for.

Get an internship

Getting an internship before you go to college is an impressive feat – few students even attempt it. This means that colleges will no doubt be impressed as well. Not only does seeking out and completing an internship show motivation on your part, it also shows colleges that you are taking your area of study seriously and that you are willing to work hard to get the education and experience you need to succeed.

Getting an internship is also an excellent way for you to build relationships and connections with people within an industry that you may end up joining following college.

Start your own business

Starting your own business is a real challenge at any point in your life, which means if you are able to do so while still in high school, then colleges will certainly take note. Starting a business shows ambition and hard work – and even if your business doesn’t end up succeeding, it provides you with invaluable experience that can help you succeed during and after college.

And you don’t have to start a Fortune 500 company either – copywriting online, doing freelance design work or even mowing lawns are all entrepreneurial pursuits that will be looked upon favorably.

Get a job

Getting a job is a great way to save money for use during college, but it also shows college admissions that you are willing to work during your own time. Even if you’re not starting your own business, having employment displays a strong work ethic that will be welcomed on campus.

Additionally, you may be able to find a job that’s connected with the subject matter you’re interested in studying. For example, working for a local animal hospital if you are interested in becoming a veterinarian or working at a hotel if you’re interested in the hospitality industry.

Work at a summer camp

Working at a summer camp is a great way to spend the summer because not only does it look good on college applications, it can be an incredibly fun way to spend your months off.

Not only will you be paid, but working at a summer camp will showcase a number of valuable skills, including work ethic and leadership skills. The leadership skills you display and develop by working at a summer camp will look particularly good due to the fact that they can translate into good management and personnel skills.

Travel abroad

This one might seem surprising to you. After all, why would a college board be impressed by your ability to go on vacation? Well, it depends on where you go and what you do.

There are various programs out there that allow you to go abroad for the summer, whether it’s an area of service, an academic program or even a skilled training program. Either way, it displays a willingness to go outside of your comfort zone and experience different cultures, which is something colleges will welcome on their campus.

Use your summer to get the edge on your college application

While you should certainly enjoy your summer – especially if you worked hard over the course of the school year, you should also consider these summer activities to improve your chances of getting into the college of your choice.

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