Rising high school juniors and seniors who plan to apply to competitive colleges will want to leverage the summer months to get a head start on the college application process. If this describes you, and you are wondering what types of work you can do in advance of your senior fall, you have come to the right place! Here, we’ll outline how to leverage the three months of free (or at least, free-er) time you have between June and August by visiting a few of the schools that you are considering applying to in the fall.

The Quick Answer

The short answer, then, to the question in this article’s title is: No, the summer after your junior year of high school is certainly not too early to visit schools. In fact, many students will have already begun to visit schools over winter or spring break of their junior year. That said, do not worry if summer is upon you and you have not yet gone on any college visits. You have plenty of time in the coming months and throughout the application season to do so.

The best way to use the summer travel time wisely is to visit schools that you are seriously considering applying to during the EA/ED cycle. These schools’ applications will most likely be due by the end of October or in early November, and thus you will want to begin writing their applications as soon as possible. If you can decide from a visit that you definitely are or are not interested in attending, you can make your decision on where to apply as early as possible and avoid stressing over deadlines.

Another way to approach your summertime itinerary is to make plans to visit schools that are far away from your home and thus would be difficult to visit during the school year over a weekend. Whatever you decide, you should check out two of our previous blog posts about visiting schools. Click here for a checklist you should follow to make the most of your campus visit and position yourself well as a serious applicant. Afterwards, read here for a list of more fun—but equally as important—things to do while you are visiting, to make sure that you pay attention to important details that some students might miss.

What Else Can I Do?

You may want to make use of the summertime to add experiences to your resume in addition to visiting schools. Many students will study abroad or pursue a myriad of other summer activities (which we’ve compiled into useful, explanatory lists here and here).

As you are planning the summer months following your junior year of high school, remember also that there are other things that you can do to get yourself organized and well-prepared to apply to colleges. While visiting prospective colleges is important, you can also get a head start on writing your personal statement.

Regardless of how you decide to make use of your summer months, be sure that you do use them to your utmost advantage. We must be honest: the college application process is a lengthy and potentially hefty undertaking. The students who do best are those who plan ahead.

Lily Calcagnini

Lily Calcagnini

Lily is a History and Literature concentrator at Harvard University who is doing her darnedest to write a thesis about all of her favorite things at once: fashion, contemporary culture, art journalism, and Europe. A passionate learner, she cares deeply about helping high school students navigate the process of college admissions, whether it be through private essay tutoring or sharing advice on the CollegeVine blog.
Lily Calcagnini