For some students, spring break means fun (or wild) times in tropical locations like Florida or Cancun. But spring break can involve more than just fun in the sun. Consider doing one (or several) of these things that will impress college admission officers or help you earn money to pay for college.
1. Visit college campuses. Taking a road trip to visit several college campuses could be fun and it helps you demonstrate your interest in colleges you’re considering. Contact the college ahead of time to schedule a campus tour. (If possible, try to avoid going during the college’s spring break so you can get a feel for campus while students are there.)
2. Volunteer. Have you been meaning to volunteer at your local food pantry or senior center, but just haven’t found the time between studying, extracurricular activities and socializing? Look for opportunities to volunteer and boost your college admissions resume. Some schools or churches may even offer week-long mission trips or alternative spring breaks that you could participate in—so you get to travel and make a difference.
3. Prep for the ACT or SAT. Many high school students take the ACT or SAT during the spring of their junior year. Use your spring break to take an ACT or SAT prep course, study the test prep book your mom bought you or do practice test questions from the exam’s website. And don’t forget to register to take your college entrance exam!
4. Work ahead. It’s always a bummer when teachers give homework to complete during spring break, but make sure you do your homework. It’ll help you keep your grades up. If you have a big project due soon, you could even work ahead to help ease the stress later on once classes and extracurriculars are back in session.
5. Do a job shadow. A job shadow is a great way to find out more about careers and college majors you’re interested in. Find a professional (perhaps a family friend, an acquaintance of your teacher, etc.) who will let you shadow him or her at work during the day. It may help you determine if the major you’re considering is right for you.
6. Apply for scholarships. Spring break is a great time to look for college scholarships and write scholarship essays. Even if you’re a freshman or sophomore, you can start looking for scholarship essay or video contests to participate in.
7. Work, work, work. If you have a part-time job, tell your boss you’ll have more hours free to work during spring break. He or she may be able to give you extra hours, so you can earn more cash to help you pay for college. If you don’t have a part-time job, ask your parents, neighbors or other adults you know if they have any jobs they’ll pay you to do—perhaps mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, babysitting or helping with spring gardening.
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