Is your student bored this summer? Here are two college prep tasks that can keep them busy:

1. Start working on application essays. This year’s Common Application prompts are available here. If they’re rising seniors, they’re going to be working on this in a few months anyway; why not get a head start now when things aren’t as busy? If they’re younger, scroll down to the bottom of the blog post to see how the prompts have evolved over the last few years (some, but not a lot) to help your student understand that they’re going to be writing about something pretty similar on their future application.

2. Take an SAT or ACT prep class. Boosting test scores is your best short-term bet for increasing merit aid awards, so investing in a prep class will be time and money well spent.