Straight Talk Bob McDonnell

Now that summer is in full swing, remember to stay motivated in your college planning activities before the school year starts up again. Here are some ways to stay on top of your college to-do list and have some summertime fun. Remember anything you do that reflects service, leadership or being a part of a group can be added to your list of activities on you resume.

1. Do community service work. Pick up litter in a park, work in a shelter serving food, or contact someone to find out where they would need help that the whole family could get involved in.

2. Visit the elderly in homes; make cards for them and fresh cookies.

3. Visit colleges. Summer visits can be very enjoyable when added to a family trip. Make sure to contact the admissions department to see if they can meet with you. It will help the admissions representative put a face with your name when you decide to apply. Also, stop into the financial aid department to ask any questions you have about funding and scholarships.

4. If you are heading off to college this year or transferring schools, you may want to connect with your new roommate before the school year begins. If you live close enough, try to meet up.

You will be creating fond memories, keeping focused, and also enjoying the summer.

Bob McDonnell is executive director of Arizona College Planners, L.L.C., a member of the College Planning Network, the National Association of College Funding Advisors and the National Association of College Acceptance Counselors. For questions, email

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