Summer Melt Part 1

Congratulations, class of 2024 graduates! Now that you’ve graduated from high school and have committed to attending a college, university, or career certification program, let’s talk about some success strategies.   

This month, Take Stock in College will cover the transition time between high school and college, called ‘Summer Melt.’   Summer Melt is the phenomenon by which students who were once motivated and accepted to college “melt” away during the summer between the end of high school and the beginning of college. Students succumb to summer melt because they need more guidance once accepted to a college. Often, students feel overwhelmed or need more motivation and support during this time to prepare for college in the Fall.  

More work is needed from the students following high school graduation to be fully ready for their first day of college. Here are some items you should be aware of. Think of this as a guide to ensure you get to the first day of classes! 

College, University, or Career Certification Program Selection 

You have selected the college, university, or career certification program you want to attend, but more work is needed. The next step is to do the following: 

  • Submit your final high school transcript to the institution you are attending. 
  • Schedule an orientation and ensure you pay the fee needed. 
  • Select your classes. You can do this once you have done your orientation. 
  • Check your college emails often since this is how your college will communicate with you about any holds or issues with your FAFSA. 


  • Have a plan to get to college if you are moving away from home. Will your parents drive you, or will you bring a car to campus? Remember, you will need a parking decal if you bring a vehicle to campus. 
  • If commuting locally, how will you get to classes? Have a transportation plan and budget in place. 

College Finances  

  • Are you attending a summer bridge program or attending college during Summer 2024? Ensure that your FAFSA for the 2023-2024 school year is completed. The FAFSA can help you secure PELL Grants for the summer, if you qualify. 
  • In addition, ensure that your FAFSA for the 2024-2025 School year is processed and error-free. 
  • Do a college budget (  
  • Ensure you have placed a deposit for your housing (if applicable). 
  • Give your Florida Prepaid Account # number to the cashier’s office. 
  • Review your college portal often to make sure there are no holds! Some common errors are not supplying your Florida Proof of Residency, not sending your high school transcript, FAFSA errors, being selected for FAFSA Verification, or an unfinished FAFSA. Make sure you question any discrepancies and get clarification. 
  • Ensure that all scholarships awarded are listed in the Financial Aid section of your student portal each semester! 
  • Learn and understand how to manage your scholarships and college finances. 
  • If you are considering student loans, realize this money must be paid back. It’s important to understand how loans are applied to your student account.  
    • Direct Subsidized Loans: You won’t be charged interest while you’re enrolled in school or during your six-month grace period, which starts upon graduation.  
    • Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Interest starts accumulating from the date of your first loan disbursement (when you receive the funds from your school). 
    • Do not take out Parent Plus loans. 
      • They are private loans and require the parent to be a co-signer.  
      • The student and the parent are responsible for repaying the loan. 
      • For Direct PLUS Loans, commonly referred to as a parent PLUS loan, first disbursed on or after July 1, 2023, and before July 1, 2024, the interest rate is 8.05%. This is a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. 
      • Additionally, there is a loan fee on all Direct PLUS Loans. 

There’s a lot to learn as you start the next phase of your education journey, but don’t get overwhelmed because the Take Stock in College team is here to help. Check back in July for more information to avoid the Summer Melt and make your transition from high school graduate to college scholar a successful one.