Addressing Summer Melt

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 14:52

Laura Winter

Making the transition from high school to college is not easy. It's not uncommon for high school students who at graduation intend to enroll in postsecondary education have their plans go astray. The reasons for this "summer melt" vary, but include late realization that their financial aid package is insufficient to meet their need, incomplete paperwork, missed deadlines, or a lack of social/emotional support from family and friends. 

Last summer, St. Louis Graduates coordinated a community effort to address summer melt by opening a "pop-up" counseling center in the Delmar Loop. The High School to College Center operated daily from June 1 to August 18 providing free college counseling and financial aid advice to students seeking a little bit of extra help as they prepared for college. 

A new case study, Community Efforts to Curb Summer Melt: A Pilot Program Case Study, documents the creation and operation of the High School to College Center. The case study, developed with support from Citi, celebrates the accomplishments, which include serving more than twice as many students as initially anticipated, and highlights the lessons learned.

Planning for a 2014 High School to College Center are underway.