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Summer Melt

This article is meant to provide you an overview of the educational phenomenon, Summer Melt. Use the information below to understand how important it is to support your mentee before enrolling into their post-secondary pathway.

Note: the information below is sourced from Harvard University's Strategic Data Project website.

What is Summer Melt?

Across the country, 10–40% of seemingly college-intending students, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, fail to enroll in college the fall after graduation. This phenomenon is known as summer melt.

College-intending students have completed key college-going steps, such as being accepted to college and applying for financial aid, and have concretely signaled their intention to enroll in college. A student has melted if he or she was college-intending, and yet still fails to transition successfully to college the fall after high school graduation.

Summer melt is a prevalent issue for education leaders because large shares of students are failing to bridge that gap between institutions.

What can I do to help combat Summer Melt in my mentee?

Check out the resources below to identify some next steps in your mentoring relationship:

Nine steps to making your college plans a reality: A tasklist to be completed over the summer before fall enrollment.

Sample outreach checklist: Includes six quesion to ask all college-intending students.

Sample assessment meeting checklist: Includes guidelines for the financial aid award letter discussion.

Sample intake form: A simple yes/no checklist to assess where your mentee is in their progress.

NPR Hidden Brain Episode: Why Aren't Students Showing Up For College?