Don’t let your first generation college-bound student fall victim to the “summer melt”

Help for families of first generation college studentsAccording to the National Summer Learning Association, “Without summer counseling and support, one-third of first generation college attenders fall victim to the “summer melt” and fail to enroll in the fall, even after being accepted.”

In general, first-generation students enroll (and graduate) at lower rates than other students. In fact, Just 11% of low-income students who are the first in their family to attend college will earn their college degree.

How to stop the summer melt and keep your first generation student in college?

Some obstacles are just so much “red tape,” but they can still intimidate first generation students and their families who are unfamiliar with the process. Here are some tips for parents:

  • Develop a relationship with the high school guidance counselor (the earlier, the better). These counselors know the ropes and can direct you and your student to resources, information, and assistance that will make the process move forward much more smoothly. Counselors are busy people, however, so search for answers yourself, first.
  • Help your student make a Master List. There are many, many forms and deadlines associated with college attendance. From FAFSA to dorm assignments, loans to meal plans. And, it can feel overwhelming! A Master List, organized by deadline date for everything will ensure your student has all of his i’s dotted and t’s crossed when he arrives on campus.
  • Go straight to the source with financial questions. According to a recent Huffington Post article, “You may call the school if you have a question on financial aid or anything to do with costs, but that’s where you should retire your dialing finger…” (meaning you should never call to complain about a grade, or explain a test score.)
  • Remind him that he earned this! Many first generation students and students from low-income families struggle with imposter syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience). This is a real psychological pattern in which people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud.”

About Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, Inc. in Delaware

Back to Basics offers 1-on-1 tutoring in 60+ subjects, professional development, translating and interpreting in 21 languages, speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavior specialists, reading specialists, paras, ELL services, homebound services, RTI support, psycho-educational testing and test prep. Plus, Back to Basics Private School is Delaware’s only Department of Education approved 1-on-1 Private School for K-12. We also offer summer school and educational summer camps, original credit and credit recovery, along with unique enrichment options such as music, art and photography. Click Here to learn about summer camps, summer school, original credit and enrichment options!

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