The SDP Summer Melt Handbook is a resource for education leaders interested in examining whether summer melt is occurring in their agency. The handbook not only serves to diagnose the phenomenon, but also helps leaders understand what they can do to address it.
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. Yet research has identified interventions that can have a significant impact on alleviating the summer melt phenomenon and increasing college enrollment rates. Moreover, it is possible to do so at a relatively low cost.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Using the SDP Summer Melt Handbook, you can:
- measure the magnitude of summer melt among your high school graduates,
- design a summer intervention customized to the needs and realities of your school community,
- learn about the extent of the summer melt phenomenon across several large education agencies, and
- gain insight into the positive impact of additional outreach and support for students during the post-high school summer.