As COVID-19 draws deeper into summer plans, graduated high school seniors across the country are re-evaluating decisions for the Fall. Education Week recently published an article, entitled, “’Summer Melt’ Could Be a Flood as Seniors Shift College Plans”, explaining how Summer Melt, the annual drop out in newly admitted students between the time when they’re accepted and when classes begin, is anticipated to be even greater this year.
Highlighting three core issues to address, the Class of 2020 is facing some difficult decisions including health, financial aid, and the possibility of remote learning.
In the wake of a global pandemic, many students worry about the idea of traveling to a new city and living in a dorm come August. Cultivate encourages students to express their concerns with family members and work to understand each student’s personal capabilities and levels of comfort during such a volatile time. Being honest and open with your admissions officer or advisor at your intended college is also encouraged. Find out what measures they are taking as an institution to put your mind at ease.
Financial aid for many students is often an important factor in deciding what university to attend. During this time, for many students, that need has only become greater. For some, when a school’s financial aid offer does not provide enough support in this unprecedented time, reaching out to the office of financial aid for an updated consideration is possible. Cultivate encourages students to reflect on what the best decision is for themselves, to feel empowered to ask for additional aid, and to always be honest about your family’s financial situation and how that may affect your ability to attend your intended college.
The prospect of continuing distanced learning into the Fall is also on many incoming students’ minds. For some, online learning is incompatible with their learning style, and for others, it comes more naturally. Regardless of each students’ abilities, the top priority is identifying what will suit their needs in challenging times. This decision can vary from continuing with the plan to attend their chosen institution, altering plans to stay in-state or closer to home, taking a gap year and more. The best decision for students is dependent on personal circumstances, abilities, and comfort. Cultivate encourages students to check with admission offices to ensure that they are aware of any consequences/effects of taking a gap year or gaining credits at another institution prior to making a final decision.
Cultivate recommends using the Cultivate core mindsets when making these large decisions in the near future: Open-mindedness to value the perspectives of others to help inform understanding of our challenges; Expression to share personal ideas on the situation to build transparency and collaborative processes.; Resilience, to take valuable lessons out of an incredibly challenging time and use these new experiences to learn and grow.

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Click here to read the full Education Week article.