Getting accepted into college is a huge accomplishment. Unfortunately, even after being accepted, students still have quite a bit of work to do before they can actually begin studying at their new school. There are forms to be filled out and arrangements to be made, and sometimes students can become discouraged. Luckily, there are resources that future college attendees can utilize to stay motivated. It’s important not to lose momentum over the summer months.
Avoid Summer Melt
Summer melt is a phrase that is often used to describe what happens when students end up not attending college despite having been accepted. According to research done by Lindsay Page, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, 10 to 40 percent of students fall victim to the summer melt phenomenon.
There are many reasons why summer melt may occur. Between the time a student is accepted into college and the start of the fall semester, there is a lot of work to be done. Students often feel overwhelmed by tasks like signing up for orientation, submitting financial aid applications and completing all the necessary paperwork. Finding housing, buying books and stepping out of your comfort zone can feel like insurmountable obstacles.
It’s important to remember that while this transition to higher education is a big life moment, you don’t have to do it alone. There are countless resources available to students to make the whole process easier.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Many students are under the impression that pre-college support ends once the admission letter is in hand. That is simply not the case.
“Once students have formally been accepted at a college/university if something is unclear ask questions,” says Takeila Hall, Regional Representative at College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC). “One of the first points of contact to get help can be the school counselor at their high school. If the question is best answered by the college/university, students can also contact the respective office on campus. Students should use their resources by reviewing the documentation sent by the college/university to see if a phone number, email address, or campus link is provided.”
The only bad question is the one not asked. It’s important for students to not be shy and reach out for help when they need it.
“Sometimes students underestimate the power of asking for help. Remember the golden rule, if you are struggling through something, chances are others are too and just haven’t had the courage to ask for help yet,” says April Query, Regional Marketing Representative at CFNC. “Talk to your parents, teachers, school counselors, and coaches. This process is confusing, but there are folks around who can help. Also remember to touch base with college staff – admissions and financial aid offices get lots of questions every day; I’m sure there is not a question they haven’t heard before! They want to help students –we all want you to be successful and are happy to provide assistance and answer questions to support you as you get ready for this exciting next step.”
The transition to college may seem overwhelming at the moment, but through the utilization of resources and proper preparation, higher education is within reach for students who have been accepted to college. Fight off the summer melt by asking questions and seeking help. For more information on how to plan, apply and pay for college, visit CFNC.org.