Summerfuel College Admissions Prep 101

Get the Edge You Need With Summerfuel’s College Admissions Prep Program

Here at Summerfuel, it is our mission to help the students of our programs achieve academic and personal growth. While we offer multiple programs to help achieve this goal, including our pre-college summer programs and our summer study abroad programs, one program in particular is geared specifically towards helping high school students excel during the college admissions process. Anyone who has applied for college can attest to the fact that the process can be rather nerve racking, however, we feel that our programs help to take some of the stress out of the process. Through these programs, students are given the tools they need to effectively tackle the SAT or ACT, compose a compelling college entrance essay, and navigate the often hectic waters of the college admission process. If these programs sound interesting to you, continue reading below to learn more.

See What Summerfuel Can Do For You

Summerfuel proudly offers three separate college admissions prep programs on the campuses of Columbia University, Tufts University, and UC Berkeley. These programs have been tailored to support sophomore and junior level high school students in every aspect of the college admissions process possible, and are designed to give them the tools they need to succeed. Below, we have listed the three main aspects of the college admissions process that these programs place focus on.

  • SAT Prep: Few tests are as revered and dreaded as the SAT. This standardized test can be the make or break factor for many students’ applications and, as a result, is a major focus of the Summerfuel college admissions prep program. During the program, students are provided 18 hours of classroom based instruction provided by the Princeton Review as well as three scored diagnostic tests. Over the years, we here at Summerfuel have found that students who have an in-depth exposure to the SAT before taking it are much more confident in their ability to master the test once the time comes. Our instructors help to guide students through the test sections with the goal of helping each and every one of our students perform their best when the actual test time is upon them. After the program ends, students are still able to access their Princeton Review account, enabling them to continue their SAT prep long after the course has ended. While SAT prep courses are offered at all of our program locations, ACT prep is only available through the Tufts and Berkeley programs. If you or your child are unsure as to which standardized test they should take, please contact us today and let our experts help you both make the decision that is most beneficial to your student’s particular college aspirations.
  • Essay Prep: Along with preparing our students for the SAT or ACT, all of our programs place a heavy emphasis on the ever important college entrance essay. Each program is designed to help students reflect upon their lives and use their personal experiences to craft an essay that is both professional and compelling. At Summerfuel, we feel that every one of our students, whether they believe it or not, has something to say about themselves that is not reflected by their high school grades and test scores. Every person has a story and our essay prep classes are built upon the goal of helping each student become a more confident, stronger writer. During the week long program, 16 hours are dedicated to instructing students on proper essay writing techniques, formulating a strong thesis, and expanding upon that thesis to formulate an engaging personal statement. Peer workshops, individual tutoring, and additional time to follow up with instructors outside of the classroom is provided to ensure that each student receives as much help and instruction possible.
  • College Counseling: Before the program begins, each student’s parents are asked to complete a questionnaire outlining their child’s particular interests and strengths, in addition to their own personal desires for their daughter or son. After this is completed and the student arrives to the program, a college counselor is assigned to each student to better formulate a plan to approach their personal college admissions process. Multiple factors will be considered by the college counselor including the student’s academic performance, input from both parents and students, standardized test scores, and any extracurricular activities in which the student excels. Through this process, students are encouraged to ask any and all questions that they may have in order to become better informed about the college admissions process.

If you are interested in learning more about Summerfuel’s college admissions prep programs, please contact us today or visit our website. At Summerfuel, we have years of experience helping high school students prepare for the college admissions process and we are confident that we can help you or your student succeed. Get in touch with us today and let us help you take your summer to the next level.

Lara’s College Admissions Experience

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As I began looking into summer programs, I found that I would benefit most from College Admissions Prep or CAP, since I was a rising senior who knew close to nothing about the college application process.

The CAP program website listed that I would come out with a polished personal resume, a completed college essay, a shortlist of my potential universities, as well as improved SAT scores.  I found that having the time to work on my SAT prep, including three diagnostics, with help from The Princeton Review, would help mitigate stress in my senior year.

The entire experience was very eye-opening for me.

Before coming to Summerfuel I was very nervous about the admissions process. Living in a dorm helped me to picture myself in a similar environment for college and made me more familiar with campus life.  The staff were all extremely welcoming and friendly, and by the end of the two weeks I felt very close to all of them and was very sad to leave.After leaving Summerfuel, I had completed my college resume and essay, and had a shortlist of over 15 potential schools. The guidance counselors were a great help, both individually and during the counseling sessions where we were able to ask any questions we had about the process. My college essay is ready to go, edited by the CAP English professor. The SAT prep program helped me increase my score by over 300 points, and the material we were taught was extremely beneficial to help me prepare for the test in my own time.

I feel I know more about college life, dorms, the application process, and about the diversity of students at various institutions. The college tours helped me to narrow down my university choices, because I was able to experience firsthand what college environment would best fit my needs.

Summerfuel CAP was definitely a well-spent summer.

-Lara I.
CAP Tufts Alumnus

College Admissions: Your Activities Resume

Believe it or not, an Activities Resume can play a key role in your admissions portfolio.  If it is well written and has meaningful content, your resume will enable admissions officers to determine who you really are, and will help distinguish you from other applicants with similar academic accomplishments.  An Activities Resume can highlight your sense of responsibility and leadership skills.  Ideally, it will let an admissions officer know just what you can contribute to the institution as a whole.  Admissions officers are not just looking for undergraduates who can fare well in coursework.  They’re on the look out for their next distinguished alumnae!

Start Early

Creating a draft resume will help you to think about your strengths and your interests.  This is a good way to focus your direction when you’re a young high schooler.  It’s also an excellent way to reflect on your achievements and identify some topics for your admissions essays.

The Best Resumes Will

Convey constancy and (ideally) increasing involvement.

Be short (one page), succinct and clear.  Use common terms to refer to clubs.  ‘Literacy magazine’ is easier than ‘Pegasus’ for an admissions officer to quickly recognize.

List your most important activities first.  List according to activity, not grade, or year of participation.  This format is easier for admissions officers to follow.

Include your name and relevant identifying information at the top of the page.

Do NOT Include

  • Your GPA – it will be on your transcript.
  • Your standardized test scores – these will be reported separately.
  • Any courses that will appear on your transcript (even if you did ace AP Physics)

DO Include

  • Any honors or awards you have received since the 9th grade.
  • Participation in any competition at the state, national or international level.
  • Summer activities: camps, jobs, courses, travel, community service, volunteer work
  • Extra classes you have taken that do not appear on your transcript (arts coursework, local college courses, weekend or after school language programs, music lessons)
  • If you have done well in these classes and you have a transcript or report, definitely include it.  If you do not have the transcript, at least include the course names and associated grade.

For Best Results – Share

Plan to give a copy of your activities resume to anyone you have asked to write a letter of recommendation.  Your resume will give them a better understanding of who you are.  It will enable anyone who writes about you to write a more personal letter and it may even make it easier for them to write it.

Get Started Now

So, take some time now and start your own Activities Resume.  It’s just one piece of the admissions puzzle but it’s an important one and it should be an easy one for you to own.
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Making Summer Count

Classes are coming to a close for our Summerfuelers. Over the past two weeks, students have studied with Princeton Review tutors in over 18 hours of SAT or ACT prep as well as completed 3 diagnostic tests. Many students have seen significant jumps in their scores and we are proud of all that they have accomplished. Students are also walking away with polished and edited personal statements after working with our essay writing specialists, Nikki and Caitlin. In addition, each student has logged over 8 hours in Admissions workshops with our veteran college counselors as well as at least 2 personalized, individual meetings going over things like likely-target-reach schools, financial aid, and the general application process. Students have truly made their summer count and are ready to start their junior and senior years of high school strong.

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We also went on our final two college tours this week to the University of San Francisco and Stanford University.

USF is a medium-sized, private university affiliated with the Catholic Church. Students took a tour of their beautiful campus that had great views of the city. The motto at USF is “Change the World from Here” as the university has a strong social justice component – in fact, it has been on the Higher Ed Community Service Honor Roll for 8 years in a row. USF is also ranked in the Top 20 of entrepreneurial schools – about one third of students study something in the Business and Marketing fields. Our tour guides, both USF students, explained to us why they loved USF from the diversity to living in San Francisco to the strong Nursing program to caring faculty. As student interest went from our group, this was one of the most popular tours yet.

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During free time, some of the guys played soccer on the quad and some girls got manicures and pedicures with Sarah. There were also water gun and water balloon fights with everyone and a movie night at the local cinema – Finding Dory was a huge hit!

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Up next was Stanford. On Friday, Summerfuelers hopped on a bus to Palo Alto for a campus tour of one of the best universities in the world. Our tour guide, Lilly, did a great job giving us the history of Stanford and fun facts about the university. Students were in awe of the gorgeous campus as well as all of the opportunities available to students at Stanford. It was a great trip to round out our college tours!

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We can’t believe the program is coming to an end! This has been a great group and they have made lasting friendships. Everyone is excited to hang out tonight all together one last time during our final celebration. On the agenda is a pizza party, root beer and coke floats, and a Karaoke and dance party with a DJ.

 

 

 

 

A Day in the Life…

So, parents and friends of CAP Berkeley 2016, what exactly do Summerfuelers do in their free time? In between studying, essay writing, and college prep, students are often found…

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Rockin’ their new Cal gear

Singing loud for all to hear

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Taking selfies

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Playing Pokemon Go – gotta catch’em all!

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Having dance parties

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…and dance parties

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Playing 4 square

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…and other fun games

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Going on Target and Walgreens excursions (Isis would like her mother to know she is keeping up with her hygiene)

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Taking more selfies

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Showing off their unique talents (like Go, Sophia, and Carol playing the piano!)

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Exploring Berkeley’s campus and going into town

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And, of course, beachin’

 

….honorable mention goes to late night Froyo runs (we love our ice cream and yogurt here at CAP Berkeley).

Weekend Update

CAP Berkeley Summerfuelers had a jam-packed weekend with excursions to San Francisco, essay writing workshops, and college counseling sessions. On Saturday, students shopped in Union Square and explored Fisherman’s Wharf, one of the most famous waterfront communities and a tourist hotspot.

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Students returned to the city once again on Sunday for an adventure in Chinatown.  Fun fact: San Francisco Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest in North America. Go and Steve even enjoyed dim sum in the oldest dim sum restaurant in the U.S., Hang Ah Tea Room. Other students went to a restaurant that had floating sushi boats or checked out a fortune cookie factory where you could write your own fortunes.

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Carol, Sophia, Alex, and Matteo pose outside Dragon Gate, the landmark gateway arch marking the entrance to Chinatown. This gate is the only authentic Chinatown Gate in North America.

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These two photos were taken by Giulia, she has a great eye for capturing the beauty around her.

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Summerfuelers walked away with lots of souvenirs from our weekend excursions and fun memories. Everyone turned in pretty early Sunday night in preparation for the second diagnostic SAT bright and early Monday morning. Students will take one final version of the test on Friday and will be able to see their scores from all three tests in order to look for improvement and where to focus any future studying.

What we’re looking forward to:
-Visiting the University of San Francisco on Wednesday and Stanford on Thursday.
-The final celebration on Friday night — a group of students are on the planning committee and we can’t wait to see what they come up with!

Happy Birthday, Carol!

Highlights from the day:

Carol turned 17!

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Jackie and Ariel joined Sarah (RA) and Amani (Director) on a hike with beautiful views of Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco.

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The College Admissions Workshop this evening was really helpful for students because they had a chance to do a mock reading of applications. Each student viewed three applications and decided which one would hypothetically be accepted into the university. Summerfuel’s college counselors both have experience working in Admissions or reading applications. Roseanna is a current reader for UC Berkeley, so students received valuable insight on what admissions officers are looking for and how they can put their best selves forward in their applications. To celebrate a job well done, a group of students went to a local ice cream shop after for milkshakes and ice cream sandwiches with fresh baked cookies. Yum!

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PS. HI ALEX’S PARENTS! She’s back on the grid :)IMG_0809

Santa Cruzin’

Yesterday was an exciting day as we visited the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. UC Santa Cruz is a large, public research university that is a part of the UC system. Summerfuelers learned a great deal about what it takes to be admitted and other fun facts from an admissions officer during an information session.
-In the 2014-15 Times Higher Education world rankings, UC Santa Cruz was ranked first in research influence as measured by the number of times its faculty’s published work is cited by scholars around the world.
-UCSC has phenomenal programs and esteemed faculty in engineering, biology, feminist studies … and many more, with 66 majors, 38 minors, and 52 concentrations available.
-There are ten residential colleges that students have a chance to join, each with a theme and dining options.
-Over 70% of undergraduate students are involved with research. Since there are significantly more undergraduate students than graduate students, UCSC faculty relies on undergraduate students to assist in conducting and publishing research.
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The UCSC campus is huge, over 2,000 acres, and looks out over the beautiful Monterey Bay. Many students could not believe it was a university’s campus because, at times, it felt like we were in the middle of a national park as we walked through the redwood forests.  Everyone appreciated becoming a Banana Slug for the day and a couple of students are excited to submit a UCSC application in the future.

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After our tour, we hopped back on the bus and headed over to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for a fun evening riding roller coasters, eating fair food novelties, shopping, and walking on the beach. Students really enjoyed this time to decompress, relax, and enjoy themselves.

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