College Signing Day: The New Visions Way

“What does it mean to get a financial aid verification letter?” “What’s a placement exam?” “Wait, I have a college email address and they have been sending me information about registering for classes?!”

These are just a few  of the questions that graduating seniors may ask themselves in the months between college acceptance and the first day of class. To celebrate College Signing Day, we want to give students the resources needed so these last minute questions are avoided.

Between submitting immunization records, verifying financial aid documentation, attending orientation, paying tuition, and registering for classes, students have to navigate a number of complicated processes as they prepare  for the start of college. A misstep can result in a student starting classes already behind. According to research conducted by Ben Castleman and Lindsay Page, “one in five—and in some communities nearly one in two—low-income high school graduates who have college plans in place at graduation fail to actually matriculate in the year after high school—a phenomenon known as summer melt” (Summer Melt: Who’s at risk and why?)

In order to combat summer melt, New Visions has partnered with a number of community-based organizations and school support organizations (At Home in College, Bottom Line, College Bound Initiative, College Now, Goddard Riverside Community Center - Options, Graduate NYC!, iMentor, New Settlement Apartments, and the Urban Assembly) to develop a series of matriculation guides with specific tips for enrolling in more than 60 colleges throughout New York State. Each guide serves as a checklist, providing  students with links to school specific information on what’s needed to enroll successfully. The John Jay guide is a great example of available student resources. A complete listing of the guides can be found at NYCCollegeLine.org.

These guides though are just one component of New Visions’ College and Career Readiness initiatives, which focus on strengthening the capacity of schools' counseling teams.  The New Visions’ Community Engagement and College Readiness team support includes providing monthly professional development opportunities for counselors, 9 to 12 college culture building activities, and developing partnerships with colleges that provide college-credit courses and campus visits for New York City high school students.  As a result of these initiatives and the dedicated work of the New Visions and its partners, students are better prepared to start college on day one.

For more information, please visit our Road to College page.

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