ST. PAUL (June 27, 2013) — Summer melt is a phenomenon in which students’ college-going plans melt away over the summer before their first year. They earn admission to college, secure financial aid and may even enroll but don’t show up in the fall.
According to a Harvard study, low-income students in particular are susceptible to summer melt. They may begin to doubt they’ll be successful, fear taking on debt, feel overwhelmed by paperwork or need to work to support their family.
College Possible’s incoming college students have already dedicated themselves to ACT practice tests, college applications and scholarship essays over the past two years. After completing 320 hours of intensive preparation, they’re leaving nothing to chance. More than 500 students are attending Summer Bridge, four-hour sessions designed to make the transition from high school to college a smooth one.
“The lower a student’s family income is, the more likely it is that they will ‘melt,’” explains College Possible College Program Coordinator Nankya Senungi. “In order to prevent the melting of our incoming freshmen and prepare our students for the transition into college, we conduct Summer Bridge programming to make sure that students are prepared financially, academically and socially for the transition to college.”
After presentations from College Possible college coaches, students meet one-on-one with college-educated volunteers to walk through a summer enrollment checklist which includes completing entrance counseling for their loans, learning about their school’s web portal and finalizing housing plans. These sessions ease students’ nerves and allow them to focus on the most exciting challenges that come with college: choosing classes and making lifelong friends.
“I’m nervous about the classes and both nervous and excited about meeting my new roommate!” said Tsai Thao, an incoming student at Minnesota State University, Mankato. “I’m most excited about meeting new people, living in a different environment and seeing how it feels to be a college student!”
College Possible supports students through college graduation. Students are paired with college coaches who help them connect with existing resources on their campuses. Coaches also guide students in overcoming common obstacles to remaining enrolled such as renewing the FAFSA, balancing homework and social time and transferring schools. Overall, College Possible students are ten times more likely to earn a college degree than low-income students nationally.
College Possible is making college admission and success possible for low-income students through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support. According to a recent Harvard study, the program more than doubles a student’s chances of enrolling in college. www.CollegePossible.org