Maximize your Summer Before Senior Year for College Applications


Kate Sliunkova

AdmitYogi, Stanford MBA & MA in Education



5 min read

Maximize your Summer Before Senior Year for College Applications


Summer break is finally here and for many high school students, this means taking a well-deserved break from school work and classes. However, for rising seniors, this is also the perfect time to start working on your college applications. Maximizing your summer break can bring you one step closer to getting into your dream school. In this article, we will be discussing some tips and strategies for tackling college applications during your summer break.

Start your college search early

College Research

Summer is the perfect time to start your college search. When it comes to college research strategies, safety, target, and reach schools are an important part of the process. Safety schools are those that you feel confident you can get into with your current academic profile. Target schools are those that you have a good chance of getting into but may require some extra effort on your part. Reach schools are those that you may not be able to get into unless you have a stellar academic profile or some other special qualifications. For example, Rice University is a stellar school that only accepts 7% of applications every year โ€” it would be considered a reach for all high schoolers. Meanwhile, Bucknell University, with a sizeable acceptance rate of 34.7%, would be many students' target or safety school.

What factors should I consider in a college?

It's important to do your research when it comes to selecting the right school for you. You'll want to consider factors such as location, size, cost of attendance, and available majors and minors. Additionally, take some time to look at the student body demographics and campus culture so that you can make sure the school is a good fit for you.

Once you've narrowed down your list of potential schools, it's time to start researching each one in depth. Look at their admissions requirements and application deadlines so that you know what needs to be done in order to apply successfully. Additionally, read up on any scholarships or financial aid opportunities available so that you can maximize your chances of getting accepted and paying for college without breaking the bank.

College research strategies don't have to be overwhelming if you take the time to plan ahead and do your homework! With careful consideration of safety, target, and reach schools combined with thorough research about each school's admissions requirements and financial aid opportunities, you'll be well on your way towards finding the perfect college for yourself!

Student writing their Common App essay

Start writing your Common App essay

The college essay is one of the most important pieces of your application and it's essential to craft a compelling narrative that will engage the readers. When choosing essay topics, the common app prompts are a great place to start. However, personal statements are also an option that allows you to showcase your unique perspective. When writing your essay, focus on telling a story that demonstrates your growth and development while remaining authentic. Don't be afraid to revise your work multiple times to ensure your message is clear and impactful.

At the very least, brainstorming essay topics, outlining your ideas, and writing a rough draft should all be done before the start of school in the fall. This will give you plenty of time to get feedback from teachers, mentors, or college admissions advisors and make any necessary revisions to ensure your essay is as polished as possible.

Here are some topics you can consider:

  1. How you have overcome a challenge or difficulty in your life and what it has taught you.
  2. What unique perspectives and experiences you can bring to the college campus.
  3. Your passions and interests outside of academics.
  4. How participating in extracurricular activities has shaped who you are.

Stuck in writer's block? Don't worry! At AdmitYogi, we have a database of over 5,000 successful essays that got into schools like Harvard, Stanford, and MIT. You can filter and sort through to find the essay of your twin at your dream school. Get started today, and get one profile unlock (which can have up to 100 essays) for free, on us!

Teacher writing a letter of recommendation

Ask for Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation can greatly enhance your application by providing an outside perspective to your academic achievements. Be sure to select recommenders who know you well, such as teachers, counselors, or mentors. Provide them with guidance by sharing your resume or list of accomplishments. Discuss your college and career goals so that they can tailor their letter to speak to these ambitions. Also, set deadlines and follow up with your recommenders to ensure they submit their letters on time.


The key to maximizing your summer break for college applications is to start early, remain focused, and stay organized. It may seem like a lot of work, but taking time to research colleges, write a compelling essay, and garner strong letters of recommendation, will make your application stand out. Finally, don't forget to take breaks to recharge your batteries. With the right mindset and dedication, your summer break can be extremely productive and enjoyable. Happy application season!

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Molly Smith

Yale (+6 colleges)

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Sean Yoon

Stanford (+10 colleges)

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Arjan Kohli

Yale (+15 colleges)

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