Summer: the Time for College Apps

Michelle Gonzalez, Reporter/Photographer

One item colleges are always going to look for in competing applicants is what students do in their spare time outside school. Summer is one of the main seasons where students can do something to highlight their application.

Some of the activities that a student should consider before summer starts is taking a class in college either to get college credit or to make-up or get ahead in a course. Students can also apply for internships, apply for jobs, or even volunteer for community service hours. The minimum requirement in order to graduate is to do 10 hours of community service per year that you attend Venice High School.

Many students aren’t aware that doing extra hours of community service, for example 100 hours, can stand out in college applications. Colleges notice the time and effort you take from your personal life in order to help and serve the community. They prefer students who are busy almost all the time, not just people who stay home the whole summer doing nothing. Students can volunteer at libraries, schools or shelters where they can obtain community service hours. The only requirement is that it must be a non-profit organization.

Students can also look for internships online and get further details about it. Also depending on the internships, some may offer paid internships, meaning students can get paid while volunteering.

World Language and Global Studies Counselor Bonnie Roche-Blair suggests that scheduling an activity every summer from the beginning (9th grade) looks good in college applications.

“Have something to do each summer,” said Ms. Roche-Blair. “For example, one summer have a part-time job. The next summer volunteer and get your community service hours done. The following maybe go into an internship or travel.” She also said, “It’s good getting out of the house during the summer. Colleges look for what you have done in the summer like taking a class, volunteering, or working. It’s almost like it’s becoming an expectation. Also, taking classes helps keep the brain flowing by reading and analyzing.”

College Counselor Guy Cerda said that there are two-day programs (workshops) with UCLA during the summer that students can attend. They help assist with UC applications, UC personal-insight questions, UC extra-curricular activity sheets, CSU applications, CSU education opportunity applications and financial aid.

Students can register online at and must attend both days. The free workshops will be held on June 24 and 25 from 9am to 3:30pm, providing continental breakfast and lunch for the students.

“This is one of the best workshops a student can attend,” said Mr. Cerda.