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Don’t let “summer melt” you away from college plans

The phenomenon known as “summer melt” is when students (up to 1 out of 3) graduate from high school with plans to attend college and never make it there. The National College Attainment Network (NCAN) defines it as “the phenomenon of college-intending students who have applied to, been accepted by, and made a deposit to a college or university, but fail to matriculate to that college (or any other) in the fall following their high school graduation.” Kind of like the summer “melted” any plans they had for college! This could be due to many factors, including a students’ doubts about being successful in college and lack of daily high school counselor support after graduation.

But LEAP is here to tell you there are things you can manage now to ensure you will arrive at college in the fall! According to the U.S. Department of Education, here are a list of things you can do over the summer to avoid summer melt.

1. Open all mail you get from the college – Snail mail is tedious to go through and read, but it’s important. Read all information on all pages,  you don’t want to miss an opportunity!

2. Check email accounts – This is the best way colleges communicate with students. Check your email between jobs and beach trips – at least three times per day so you don’t miss anything.

3. Look for the checklist – Most colleges send out a checklist of things you need to do over the summer. Print it out, pin it to your wall, bulletin board or refrigerator – anywhere you and your parents can see it. If you don’t get a list, here is one from the College Board.

4. Ask questions! – Colleges are equipped to answer any and every question you may have about admissions and everything in between!

While this time can be a little nerve-wracking and scary for most, it’s also one of the most exciting times of your life and you do NOT have to navigate it alonme. Look to your family and trusted friends, college counselors, admissions offices and financial aid offices for help.

It’s the beginning of the rest of your life!

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