SATs … check. College applications … check. Final exams … check. Graduation caps … in the air! With high school graduation upon us, it is important to take a moment to commend the Class of 2016 for their accomplishments. They’ve all spent the past four years learning and working toward their high school diplomas, and many have also successfully navigated the complex system that is the college admissions process to earn those precious acceptance letters!
But while it seems like all of the obstacles are behind these college-bound students, research has shown that several barriers to college entry still exist during the summer months. “Summer melt” describes the phenomenon wherein high school graduates who intended to enroll in universities fail to matriculate in the fall. Two professors, Lindsay C. Page (University of Pittsburgh) and Benjamin L. Castleman (University of Virginia), have conducted extensive studies on this subject and found that across different places in the U.S., between 10 percent and 40 percent of college-intending students “melt” during the summer months and don’t enroll in the fall as planned.