Did you miss a deadline? You're not alone! Between 10 and 40% of college-intending students experience summer melt. In other words, they accept a college offer, but then don't make it to campus in the fall, often because of missed deadlines.
You may have missed a step, but don't let that stop you from pursuing your dreams. Instead, follow these steps to get back on track.
If you've already been accepted to a college you want to attend, see if there's a way to make it work. Call your college's financial admissions, financial aid, or academic advising office, and explain the situation. Ask if there's anything you can do to still meet the requirement. The college accepted you, so they will find a way to make it work if they can.
Take a class at a community college, and transfer
Most community colleges are open access, and their application deadlines tend to be much closer to the start of classes. Tuition at community colleges also tends to be a lot lower than four year institutions, so if you've missed a financial aid deadline, you may be able to pay for a class at community college while you wait to reapply for financial aid.
Just be sure to talk to an academic advisor to make sure that you take classes that will transfer to the college you intend to graduate from eventually.
Make the Most of Your Gap Year or Semester
Taking time off from school can actually be a blessing in disguise. If you work for a semester, you can not only save money for college, but also use the time to explore your interests, strengths, and goals. When you do start college, you will know yourself better. The more you know about what you want from college, the more you will get out of it.
You can also view this semester or year as an opportunity to improve your application and resume. By taking time off from school, you have the time to work, take classes, or retake tests. You may want to ask yourself the following questions:
- Can I take on additional responsibilities at work?
- Can I take coursework online or at a community college?
- Can I take placement tests or start knocking out any remedial coursework requirements?
- Can I retake the SAT/ACT to improve my score?
Take it as a Growth Experience
It's easy to get down about yourself when you're doing something as big as going to college. Instead, take a breath and take a moment to watch John Legend talking about why failure is part of success.