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Melting ice cream cone that depicts summer, melt Dash students appearing to be ready for college, but never attend

Seniors, congratulations on completing high school! Your focus may be on summer fun, but as one phase of your life ends, a new and exciting chapter awaits.  If you plan to attend college in the fall, avoid a phenomenon known as Summer Melt. This term describes a situation when a student has taken all of the steps to prepare for college, yet they fail to attend in the fall following their high school graduation. There are many reasons students “melt” during the summer months, but here are five ways to successfully transition to college.

  • Set up your student portal. Most colleges will provide admitted students with login information to create their student portal. This information typically arrives with your acceptance letter. Contact the college’s admissions office if you haven’t received a username and password yet. The student portal is your communication hub with the college. Any notifications, to-dos, financial aid offers, etc., will be posted to your student portal. Get in the habit of logging into your portal several times a week throughout the summer so you stay on top of any communications/requests from the college and address them right away.
  • Attend New Student Orientation. Orientation is usually held during the summer to familiarize students with the college. You’ll learn about clubs and organizations, campus traditions, register for fall classes, turn in important documents, and meet students who will be joining you on campus in the fall. If you haven’t registered to attend orientation, do that ASAP!
  • Get your Financial Aid in Order. Review your financial aid offer from the college to see if there is enough to cover your educational expenses for the academic year. If not, continue to apply for scholarships and consider taking out student and parent PLUS loans. However, borrow only what you need, as student and parent PLUS loans must be repaid. If you haven’t already submitted your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you still have time! This blog will help you gain insight into what the FAFSA is all about. Remember, EducationQuest can assist you with your FAFSA – and our services are completely FREE!
  • Secure living arrangements. If your college offers campus housing, submit your forms and any required deposits immediately. Some colleges have limited housing, so don’t delay! If campus housing isn’t an option, contact the college for housing suggestions, search online, inquire with realtors, or live at home if you attend college in your hometown.
  • Communication is vital.  Stay in touch with your high school counselor. Many counselors create a text or Facebook group or provide their contact information should you need to get ahold of them during the summer. You can also contact your college’s Admissions or Financial Aid departments to address some of your questions or concerns.

Navigating your path to college can be overwhelming, but with the proper guidance and resources, you can make it happen. Stay organized, and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Your college dreams are within reach, and EducationQuest is here to support you every step of the way.

By Jacquie Butler