Staying On Track to Attend College This Fall

Our tips for avoiding summer melt include heading to campus, staying connected, utilizing texting services, remaining diligent, talking it out, and having family meetings.
A student playing on their tablet

The transition from high school to college can feel like it is full of obstacles and many unknowns. During this in-between-time after the college acceptance and before beginning the fall semester, it is understandable if your student is feeling a little overwhelmed with the idea of beginning college. In some cases, this can cause a student to become part of a college's summer melt.

Summer melt is the circumstance of students who have been accepted to college not ever showing up, in person or virtually, to begin the school year. The cause of summer melt can range, and includes students forgetting to complete financial aid requirements, failing to turn in important health documents, or missing orientation. Below are key steps both you and your child can take this summer (in no particular order) to make sure you are ready for college's day one!

  1. Head to campus. Summer melt can occur if your student has some doubts about his or her ability to be successful or even belong at college. Touring campus, meeting your student's advisor, and even buying campus gear at the bookstore are just a few ways to loosen up those doubts. If getting to campus isn't possible, even taking a virtual tour or exploring the college's website with your child can help him or her get more familiar with the school.
  2. Stay connected. Many college campuses utilize social media to share information and connect to incoming students. Finding groups on Facebook for your son or daughter's incoming class is a great way for him or her to make friends and get to know other students.
  3. Utilize texting services. Personalized reminder text messages such as Better Make Room's UpNext is a nice and convenient way to stay motivated as well as receive additional help navigating this process.
  4. Remain diligent. Your student should aim to always be in contact with the school for tasks such as checking paperwork, finalizing financial aid, registering for orientation sessions, and anything else that may arise. It is better to get those things out of the way than scramble when school starts to complete them.
  5. Talk it out. Knowing someone who has been through college can be a huge stress reliever. Having a mentor, teacher, peer, or even former high school counselor to act as support can ensure that your child shows up on his or her first day of college.
  6. Family meetings. Family meetings can be used to discuss what has been completed and what needs to be done to stay on track.

The summer months leading up to college are a critical time in a young person's life. It is important to remind your student that whatever comes his or her way, you will face it together and that your child is just that much closer to tapping into all that college can provide! As always, if you are a stressed-out parent or the parent of a stressed-out student and need an additional listening ear, our expert College Planning Team members are happy to chat. Call us at (800) 449- MEFA (6332).