MA Early College Community of Practice

in partnership with

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Send a shout out to your EC grads!

Despite student, family, and staff ‘s best intentions, some recent high school graduates planning to go immediately to college never arrive in August. This year, given the challenges of COVID, there is a real possibility that this phenomenon, often referred to as “summer melt”, will impact an even larger percentage of students, particularly those students most often already underrepresented in higher education. We are brainstorming ways in which Early College can help mitigate this situation.

On this page, we’ve included additional information as a resource for you as we work together to “Bridge the Gap” to college! 

If you have ideas that have worked for you or resources to share that you have found helpful in keeping students going after high school graduation, please contact Kelly Kennedy so they can be added to this page. 

Summer Melt Can Create a Gap

Ideas to "Bridge the Gap"

“Summer Melt” refers to prospective college students’ motivation to attend college “melting” away during the summer between the end of high school and beginning of college. This phenomenon is especially prevalent in low-income minority communities, where students who qualify for college and in some cases even register for classes ultimately end up not attending college because they lack resources, support, guidance, and encouragement. (definition taken from Wikipedia)

  • Set up a phone tree among staff to call recent EC
    grads and share messages of support for their upcoming college transition.
  • Create, or encourage a former student to create, an EC alumni Facebook or Instagram page to keep peers connected as they their start college journey.
  • Use text messaging software to engage students at scale with personalized content.
  • Hold an EC orientation or welcome for students from partner high schools at the partner college.
  • Host a last minute “Q&A” for EC families on the FA packages they received.

What does research say?

A Trickle or a Torrent? Understanding the Extent of Summer “Melt” Among College-Intending High-School Graduates –  According to this study by researchers Benjamin Castleman and Lindsay Page published in the Social Science Quarterly, 10 to 20 percent of students who enroll in college do not end up attending in the fall.