I read an article today listing the 5 states with the greatest increases in college tuition. It stated that the average cost of tuition (plus the assorted battery of fees) for in-state students was $9,428 dollars last year (2011-2012). If you were an out-of-state student your bill would have topped $22,000. Note that this is simply the tuition cost - room and board will increase that figure even more.
Tuition wasn't always that bad though. The 2011-2012 figures are an increase of 16.8% from the year prior, and a whopping 101.7% increase from 5 years ago.
I won't go into why this is happening, as no one really knows for sure, but the implications are staggering. For parents who are hoping to help their students with the tuition cost, it puts an excessive burden on them. They will need to start saving far earlier than they may have originally anticipated, and there is a definite possibility they won't be able to help out as much as anticipated.
For students without that type...
I believe that students should have some time off from their studies in the summer, and get a little bit of time to 'recharge.' However, that time of year can also be very helpful for working on improving critical reading skills. Reading is a subject that tends to get pushed to the back of the priority list when studying these days, however it plays a big role - even in things like math and science. The better your reading skills are, the easier it will be for you to understand and interpret what a question is actually asking of you.
So for the summer, what I like to do is get a feel for what time of book(s) my student enjoys and has read in the past. At that point I'll help them pick out a novel to start on as soon as school is out. Unlike a book required for English class though, there are no book reports or tests on it, as I just want the student to read for the sheer pleasure of it. If they happen to finish it before the fall, I'll help them choose another, but if not that...