Summer Proposals
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By Monica Triplett

Finding the right college or university is one of the most important tasks in a young person’s life, and Monica is eager to apply her knowledge and skills toward helping TTL clients to identify schools that will best meet their interests and goals. [Read More About Author]

Top- tier colleges and universities are inundated with applications from highly qualified candidates, so it takes more than a 4.0 GPA and 1600 SATs to gain admission to a school. How can a candidate make himself or herself stand out in a strong applicant pool? One way is for candidates to demonstrate their unique qualities through participation in extracurricular and summer activities.   This the basis for the third part of TTL’s Three Circle Philosophy.         

One of the outstanding services that TTL can provide to its clients is a summer proposal.  The proposal is a document written by an educational consultant for each unique client.  The purpose of the proposal is to address an academic, standardized testing, extracurricular goal or a combination thereof.  The proposal is developed in consultation with the student and the student’s family, and it contains multiple suggestions. The proposal can contain suggestions for activities in the student’s immediate vicinity or in another part of the country. The proposal may contain a week-long activity or one that lasts the majority of the summer.  The proposal will, of course, honor the family’s preferences for location and budget.    

While a summer proposal is designed to meet a student’s specific goals, overall planning follows a stepladder approach. That is, suggested activities are guided by the student’s grade level. For rising freshmen, the target goal is to explore interests; for sophomores, it is to build a foundation. The goal for rising juniors is to highlight their passions, and for rising seniors, it is a culminating experience.  A summer proposal might include suggestions as fundamental as SAT preparation or as significant as a signature project. Students may decide to enroll in a summer class to advance further in their high school curriculum, participate in an educational program, work or volunteer in a community organization with a signature project. A signature project is one that is related to the student’s interest and addresses a social issue.  Thus, a summer activity may help an undecided student develop an interest or allow the student who has defined interests to explore them further.        

Some proposed summer programs are very competitive and have a detailed application process. A student may be required to submit a personal statement and teacher recommendations.  Such programs may have application deadlines five or six months in advance of when the activity will begin.  A TTL consultant can assist a student with the application process.

Participating in a summer program can enhance a student’s leadership skills and broaden their knowledge about career choices. Residential programs can provide a student with a sense of what it is like to live in a college dormitory. The impact of the summer program may be felt long beyond the length of the actual program as students may return to their high school in the fall with a renewed enthusiasm for their studies.  A student’s experience in a summer program may even be used as the subject of their college application essay.  Thus, through carefully selected summer activities, TTL clients can demonstrate to colleges and universities their enthusiasm for learning and unique talents.