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


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.

Amateur Night at The Apollo!

This week we took a trip to the Apollo Theater for Amateur Night! Aspiring musicians, singers, rappers and spoken word artists tried their best to please the crowd with their talent. Summerfuelers cheered and jeered as they decided who stayed and who got booted off stage. Students had a blast watching performers show off their talent and compete for a chance to move on to semi-finals!

Yale University Campus Tour!

Next Stop:New Haven, Connecticut! Yesterday our students had the great opportunity of visiting the gorgeous campus of Yale University! Our campus tours were filled with learning about all of the great programs this Ivy League school has to offer along with much information on the admissions process and how to get into such a prestigious institution! Summerfuel was sure not to miss the official bookstore so that all of our students had the chance to grab some Yale gear before enjoying some free time exploring the very picturesque town of New Haven. We ended our excursion by laying out on the campus lawns while enjoying the oh-so declicious pizza from the the oldest pizzeria in all of the U.S., Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana!  Check out the photos below: IMG_1321 IMG_1322 IMG_1325 IMG_1328 IMG_1330 IMG_1336 IMG_1340 IMG_1346 IMG_1347 IMG_1350 IMG_1353 IMG_1370 IMG_1371

Central Park/ The Met Outing

Today 3 Summerfuelers decided to go to Museum Mile while the rest of the group went out to SoHo. Museum Mile is home to the Metropolitan Museum, and the girls had a blast viewing the many different exhibits. After the museum they had a chance to visit Central Park before hopping on the bus to head back to campus.

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Outing at Chelsea Pier!

Yesterday we took a short trip to the West Side of Manhattan to see what Chelsea Pier has to offer. On the way, students spotted their favorite gelato spot, Amorimo! After enjoying their authentic, flavorful, flower-shaped gelato cones, Summerfuelers made their way to Bowlmor Bowling Alley for a quick game before heading back to campus for afternoon classes.IMG_4114 IMG_4129 IMG_4131 IMG_4138 IMG_4141

Independence Day in New York City!

Students spent their first day of Summerfuel celebrating the Fourth of July at Brooklyn Bridge Park! Summerfuelers explored the park, played games, and danced the day away with their new friends.  The night ended with fireworks lighting up the night sky!