Volunteer Summer Activities Process

Your summer activities should reinforce your student theme and support an overall college application strategy. Summer activities should be interesting for you and ideally should demonstrate your passion and long-term commitment to those activities. Your summer activities should enhance your qualifications for college admission.

Below is a condensed list of recommended steps for choosing summer activities.

1. Decide if you want to spend summer months working a job or internship, volunteering, or furthering your academics. Keep in mind it is possible to do more than one activity; for instance, you could work a day job and take an evening community college class. For ideas, explore the list of possible activities.

2. Ideally, your summer activities should reflect meaningful and long-term involvement in things you are passionate about. Don’t choose activities based on what you think colleges and universities are looking for.

3. If possible, summer jobs and internships should be related to the subject you intend to major in at college. For example, if you’re interested in journalism, try to work for a local newspaper or community magazine. Research possible summer jobs and internships in April-May and secure a position before high school is over for the summer. The best jobs and internships are filled early, so don’t wait until summer to complete research and conduct interviews for available positions.

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4. Volunteer activities should be associated with organizations or groups of people you truly want to help. Ideally, volunteer activities will be related to the subject you intend to major in at college. For example, if you’re interested in medicine, become a student volunteer at a local hospital, or if you want to become a teacher, volunteer at a learning center in your community. Talk with parents, community leaders, and high school counselors for ideas; online search engines are also available.

5. Academic programs include taking a course at a community college, taking an advanced credit course at your high school, or participating in a summer enrichment program at a college or university. Register for summer enrichment programs in December-February; register for community college and high school courses in May.