Summer melt overview
Did you know that between 10 and 40% of students who plan to go to college still don't make it to campus in the fall — even if they've been accepted and paid their deposits? This phenomenon is called "Summer Melt," and first generation college students are particularly vulnerable to it.
Summer melt happens for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it takes a lot of work to enroll and attend college, and lots of that work needs to be done over the summer - at exactly the time when students usually lose the support of their high school guidance counselors.
Take FAFSA verification, for example. More than a quarter of students who qualify for federal financial aid are asked to verify their financial information the summer before college. Of those students, approximately 90,000 of them never provide the verification information, rendering themselves ineligible for aid, and unlikely to attend.
Stopping Summer Melt: Making a Plan
Even after a student is accepted, getting to college is not easy! Each college is different, but in each case, there are many steps to take, forms to submit, and deadlines to meet.
You can help your mentee make it to college by familiarizing yourself the details of your mentee’s particular program. In some cases, you will not be able to find the deadline until after your mentee has taken a particular step.
To aid in your research, open the iMentor Summer Melt Matriculation Plan here. Then:
- Most colleges have an "admitted students" section of their website, with a checklist of key tasks for students. Go to your mentee’s college website and find the section for admitted students. Skim for deadlines and requirements.
- Fill in the scavenger hunt chart with the key information from your mentee's college website to make a plan. If any of the topics on the list didn't come up in your search of the college's website, try to find more information about it.