Combating Summer Melt: 5 Steps to Ensure you Start College on Time

After spending hours of time preparing college admissions essays, stressing over the ACT and signing up for all those hard AP classes, you have finally been accepted to your dream college. Job well done. Time to check out and enjoy your summer, right? Wrong! Summer melt is a phrase used to describe students who are accepted into and intend to enroll in college, but instead for one reason or another, fail to start classes at their college of choice in the fall. Don’t let your college dream be jeopardized simply because you forgot to follow through on a few simple items.


So how can we make sure that you do not fall into that melty category? Here are 5 steps to take to ensure that you are all set to start college this fall.

  • 1. Request your high school transcripts.

Make sure and request that an official copy of your high school transcripts is sent to the Admission & Records office at your college. Keep an unofficial copy with you so that you can reference it if you need to.


  • 2. Attend your college orientation.

The new student orientation at your school is designed specifically to help ensure you are all set to attend your college. Plus, you have a chance to meet other new students and get more familiar with your college campus. Usually they try to tie in fun social opportunities too, so why wouldn’t you want to attend?! Do not miss out on this great opportunity to start your college career off right!


  • 3. Take your placement tests.

Many colleges require you to take placement tests for math and English. Find out if it is required at your school and how to sign up! Also, be sure to bring a photo ID with you when you take the tests. College staff usually need to check it to ensure that you are the person actually taking the tests, instead of a brilliant fill-in.


  • 4. Check your email regularly.

This might sound silly, but you need to check your email at least (bare minimum!!!) once a week during the summer. The financial aid office could be trying to contact you because they need you to fill out one last form. Information on how to purchase a parking permit could be coming your way. Deadlines for housing deposits and other information could be waiting in your inbox. Don’t miss out on this important information simply because you forgot to check your email!


  • 5. Register for your classes.

Oh, you mean I have to sign-up for classes in order to attend? Yes! So, don’t forget to register for your classes. Some colleges require you to set up an appointment with the counseling department prior to registering, some do their registration during orientation, while others allow you to register online. Find out what your school requires and make sure to pay attention to deadlines!



Follow these steps for a stress free summer, and ensure that you are all ready to start college on time in the fall. Don’t be another student who falls into the summer melt phenomenon!


Also, remember that if you run into any questions or complications throughout these final steps, your College OPTIONS Advisors are available all summer to help. Visit to set up an appointment today.