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Tips for Philadelphia's High School Students: Make the Most of Summer

posted Jun 11, 2014, 6:39 AM by Dawn Levi   [ updated Jun 19, 2014, 6:43 AM ]
 College Information for HS families, Philadelphia Futures The Path to College Starts Here

Step Up to College Summer Updates and Tips

June 2014

As the school year comes to a close, the Step Up to College Guide offers tips on college preparation and planning for students in grades 9-12 and their families, whether they are just beginning the journey to college or graduating from high school: 

Distribute your school's remaining copies of the Guide to students in all grades for their use over the summer. 

Connect with Step Up to College over the summer on Facebook, on Twitterand through your cell phone
The 25th Anniversary Edition of
Step Up to College will be available in October 2014!


Tips for Philadelphia's High School Students:

Make the Most of Summer


1. Explore Enrichment Programs and Pre-College Summer Programs

Many colleges and universities offer summer programs for high school students to build academic skills, have fun, and experience a college campus. Some local programs:

Community College of PhiladelphiaDrexel UniversityTemple University and

University of Pennsylvania


2. Visit Colleges and Universities

It is never too early to begin visiting campuses by taking a campus tour or an online virtual tour. To help determine which colleges are a good fit academically, socially and financially, students can use the Step Up to College Guide Questions for a College Visit on Workbook page WB10.


3. Research Campus Weekend Visits and Fly-In Programs

Many colleges and universities host visits for high school students, usually juniors, and help with travel expenses. Students can inquire at schools of interest and check College Greenlight's list of Fly-In Programs: www.collegegreenlight.com/blog/2014-college-fly-in-programs/.


4. Learn about Required Standardized Tests and Test Preparation

Most colleges and universities require standardized test scores. Students should explore these options and research test preparation.

The PSAT/NMSQT and SAT: https://sat.collegeboard.org/home

The PLAN and ACT: www.actstudent.org/


5. Enroll in Challenging Courses, Participate in Activities, and Find a Job or Internship

Students should make sure they are enrolled in college-prep courses and are active in clubs, teams or community service to build a strong college application. Having a job or internship also enhances an application.


6. Keep Reading

Students can join The Free Library of Philadelphia's Online Summer Reading Challenge to build skills and win prizes for tracking their reading: http://libwww.freelibrary.org/summerreading/.


7. For Juniors: Begin the College Application and Essay

Students should research admissions options--early, regular and rolling--by reading the Step Up to College Guide pages 20-21. Juniors should begin compiling components for their college applications, such as a resume and recommendations. See the Step Up to College Guide page 22 and Workbook pages WB12-13 for help with the application essay.


8. For Seniors: Planning the Transition to College

Transitioning to college is an exciting, busy time! Students should contact their college's financial aid office with any questions on a financial aid award letter or bills and to ensure documentation for any loans, grants and scholarships is up-to-date. Creating a budget for college and learning about campus resources, such as advising and academic support services, will help students prepare for campus life. See the Step Up to College Guide pages 32-34 for tips on transitioning to college. 


Philadelphia Futures Programs, Services and Resources



Recruiting rising freshmen and sophomores through the summer!

Philadelphia Futures is recruiting students in the Classes of 2017 and 2018 in Philadelphia's public high schools for its comprehensive college access and success program. Students receive the individualized support, resources and opportunities they need to be admitted to and succeed in college. Contact Tim Jerome at 215-790-1666 x416 ortimjerome@philadelphiafutures.org


College Connection

Recruiting the Class of 2016! Apply by June 13, 2014!

College Connection provides services and resources for students attending Philadelphia's public, public charter and parochial high schools who have a demonstrated academic foundation. College Connection helps students navigate the college admissions process, transition to college and earn their degrees. Contact Joaquim Hamilton at 215-790-1666 x413 orjoaquimhamilton@philadelphiafutures.org

Ellis Trust for Girls    
Applications for public and public charter high school students still available for summer enrichment programs!
Girls attending a Philadelphia high school and living in a single-parent home may be eligible for financial resources to help prepare for academic success. Applications are available for 2014-2015 school-related expenses and summer enrichment programs for current 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th graders. Applications can be downloaded at www.ellistrust.org. For a list of possible programs and activities, see http://ellistrust.org/assets/Recommended_Enrichment%20Programs_Category.pdf

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From: The School District of Philadelphia Counselors Email
Sumbited by Jay Cohen