Helping High School Graduates Transition to College


by Lisa Thompson

Low-income Minnesota students graduating from high school this spring may be able to participate in a high school-to-college transition program. Held the summer between high school graduation and the fall term of college, the program helps students develop the skills and abilities necessary to succeed in college-level coursework.

 

Summer transition programs provide academic tutoring in areas where students need improvement and may also provide support services like:

 

  • academic, financial, or personal counseling
  • peer counseling or mentoring by college upperclassmen
  • program of study and career exploration
  • workshops on note taking, studying, time management, problem solving, and more

 

Eligible Students

The Summer Transition Grant program provides financial assistance to eligible students attending a transition program offered by participating Minnesota colleges. Students must:

 

  • demonstrate the need for remedial instruction by taking a college readiness test before beginning the summer program
  • have earned a high school diploma or a GED in the same calendar year that the summer transition program is offered
  • be enrolled in the fall term of college
  • be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens
  • be Minnesota residents

 

Students most likely to qualify for the grant are those eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

 

How to Apply

To apply for a Summer Transition Grant, students should contact the program at a participating Minnesota college for an application. Students are generally recruited from regional high schools through TRIO and other outreach efforts. All students must:

 

  1. Complete the application and return it to the Summer Transition Program administrator at the college offering the program. The application must be completed no later than 30 days after the start of the program.
     
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the financial aid year from which the Summer Transition Grant will be funded.

 

Students will be notified whether they are eligible to participate and, if so, about the size of their grant. The grant amount varies based on the cost of the summer transition program and the family's financial need.

 

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