Summer Checklist for High School Students

UTI Profile Image Universal Technical Institute May 16, 2019 ·

As a high school student, summer can be a valuable time to build your résumé and take steps that can put you on the path to preparing for a career after graduation.

Whether you’re getting ready to start your freshman year or are gearing up for senior year, there are things you can do now to prepare for your post-secondary journey and beyond. The earlier you start the planning process, the better!

Follow along as we share a complete summer checklist for high school students.

Make a List of Qualities You’re Looking for in a School

In order to pursue your dream career, you’ll probably need to take your education to the next level. This means you will need to pick a school!

When it comes to choosing a school, start by making a list of qualities you’re looking for. Are you interested in a certain type of program? Do you prefer to learn in a hands-on environment? Do you learn best in small class sizes? Are you looking to attend school close to home? These are just some of the many factors to consider.

Once you’ve compiled a list of qualities you want, it’s time to start your research. Create a running list of schools that meet your criteria then do a little bit of research on each one. Consider factors such as accreditation, how long the school has operated, what students are saying about it and graduation rate.

Gain Experience

Summer provides a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience in careers that might interest you. Not only will this experience give you an idea of what you might want to do after graduation but it can also help build your résumé and may give you an edge as you apply for schools.

To gain experience, consider applying for a summer job, internship or even attending a summer program like UTI’s Ignite. If you have an interest in the transportation industry, attending Ignite can give you the opportunity to earn credit toward your post-secondary technician training,1 gain valuable skills, make connections in the industry2 and more.

Get a Head Start on Your Post-Secondary Education

Did you know that you may be able to earn credit toward your post-secondary education before you even graduate high school? Attending a summer program can help ease the transition from high school to your post-secondary program. Getting a head start with a summer program can save time and give you confidence in your decision on where to attend school after you graduate.

For example, UTI’s Ignite program is designed to give students a sample of what it’s like to attend UTI. Ignite students train in the same facilities as our full-time students and use the same tools and technology — at no cost. Over the course of the 3-week program, students have the chance to train in automotive, motorcycle or collision repair technologies. Upon successful completion of the program, students interested in becoming an auto tech can receive credit toward their education if they choose to attend UTI after high school.

Tour Campuses

Before the busyness of the school year begins, schedule a few campus tours over your summer break. It’s one thing to read about a school online but another to visit the campus and experience it for yourself.

Taking a campus tour will allow you to determine whether you can picture yourself attending the school. It also can give you a chance to ask the tour guide any questions you might have. Plus, using your summer break to tour campuses will give you the opportunity to compare what each campus offers.   

Search for Scholarships

The cost of your education is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a school. As a high school student, it’s not too early to start searching for scholarships and learning about financial aid.

Depending on the school you attend, a variety of scholarship opportunities may be available to you. For example, UTI students can apply to various scholarships and grants in a few steps.3 Taking the time now to research scholarships for which you may be eligible can help make the process a breeze when the time comes to apply. You may also find more scholarship opportunities than you would if you leave it to the last minute!

Additionally, it can be beneficial to start learning about financial aid and familiarizing yourself with the application process, which starts with filling out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is an important form for helping fund a post-secondary education. Knowing how this process works can eliminate stress when it comes time to apply.

Think About Potential Careers

Last but certainly not least, summer is a great time to start thinking about potential careers. When you graduate, you will find there are a variety of career paths you can take. However, don’t let this overwhelm you. This time should be exciting!

Here are some questions to ask yourself when it comes to choosing a career:

  • What do you like to do? What are you passionate about?
  • Can you support yourself with a career that aligns with your passion?
  • Is the career path you’re considering in demand? Are there advancement opportunities?
  • What type of education or training will you need to prepare for your chosen career?

It’s possible that your career goals will change over time, and that’s alright! However, starting to think about potential career paths now may help set you up for success down the road. Plus, thinking about careers that might interest you can give you direction when it comes to applying for summer jobs or programs.

Summer provides a great opportunity for high school students to get ahead of the curve. This is an exciting time as you pursue your passion and make plans for the future!

Want to learn more about UTI’s Ignite program?  Visit today.

Summer Ignite participants must satisfy standard eligibility criteria prior to acceptance into UTI. 2UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. 3Financial aid and scholarships are available to those who qualify. Awards vary due to specific conditions, criteria and state. For important information about the educational debt, earnings and completion rates of students who attended this program, and to review the applicable Gainful Employment disclosure, visit

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