What Should You Be Doing With Your Summer?

As the 2014-2015 school year comes to a close, many of you may be wondering what you should be doing with your time this summer? We have asked Admission Counselors from across the country to tell you exactly what they want to see from applicants when they read college applications.




“We want students who are engaged! Work, research, or volunteer; any of these activities will help you better know what you want to study and what kind of college will be right for you.” 
– Josh Ferchau, Knox College, Galesburg, IL
” Throughout the summer we want students to feel empowered by the college search, rather than daunted by it. We want them to be ACTIVE: researching programs, visiting campuses, reaching out to colleges with questions (before the application deadlines!) and starting to look at the financial aid and scholarship process.
We especially want students to be well oriented with what makes a competitive applicant for our specific programs. We try to be very clear about how we have a holistic, selective, competitive process and we want to explain what that means to anyone who might not understand.
Since our admissions staff doesn’t meet with students, we really encourage students to visit campus and come for information sessions and tours. After the information session, students have the chance to ask counselors questions. Since our admission staff do not meet with students, this is really the only way to have face-to-face interaction with a counselor.”
– Hayley Schueneman, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
“The students who are the strongest applicants and be most prepared for college life all have one thing in common: They are involved. Do something this summer that you’re passionate about, but also do something that gives back to your community.” 
– Faith Ritchie, Arizona State University, AZ
So, what will you be doing this summer to stay involved? We have compiled a list of fantastic summer programs, both near and far, to broaden your horizons and expand on your interests. We will be updated this list as we hear about new opportunities, so make sure to check back for updates!


Summer Programs 2015

  • NatureBridge Summer Field Research – Multiple locations
  • http://www.naturebridge.org/summerfieldresearch
    • For teens with a passion for exploration, science, and adventure. Create their own ecological research project while hiking or backpacking through spectacular wilderness.
      • Session 1 Yosemite – June 28th – July 11
      • Session 1 Shenandoah – June 29 – July 3
      • Session 1 Olympic – July 5 – July 17
      • Session 2 Yosemite – July 26 – August 8
      • Session 2 Shenandoah – August 3 – August 7
    • Financial available for those who qualify


  • Summer at Georgetown University – Washington, D.C.
  • http://scs.georgetown.edu/departments/21/summer-programs-for-high-school-students/
    • Institutes focused on a particular area of student that will provide hands-on learning experiences.
    • Fundamental courses which will allow students to delve deeper into individual interests.
    • The College Preparatory Program: learning valuable test-taking skills, college-level writing skills and experience university life.
    • Summer Honors Intensive: a rigorous five-week program designed specifically for highly motivated students interested in earing up to 12 college credits.





  • University of Oregon Summer Session – Eugene, OR
  • http://uosummer.uoregon.edu/ University of Oregon Summer Session
    • High school students are invited to attend exciting and rewarding camps during the summer. Precollege students are also welcome to explore on-campus summer courses. These are great opportunities to explore your interests or take a class for fun!