Harvard University

Summer Melt Handbook

Posted on April 17, 2017

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.

http://sdp.cepr.harvard.edu/summer-melt-handbook


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