A new report examines why students who are accepted to college in the spring never show up for classes in the fall.
The phenomenon is known as summer melt, and it describes how students who get accepted to college in the spring change their minds over the summer. It’s a problem for all students, but research shows summer melt is especially a problem for those from low-income families — not surprisingly, since financial issues are often at the root of why students don’t end up attending.
Why do college-bound students change their minds? According to Hechinger, a national news organization focused on education, they’re often taken aback when they start to realize how much college will cost, are dissuaded by paperwork or start to grow worried that they won’t fit in.
Washington public universities were not immediately able to provide numbers for how many admitted students don’t end up going to college in this state.
The Hechinger story tracks the experiences of a New York City program that aids low-income students who are about to go to college. The program trains students already in college to help their peers sort financial aid options, help with paperwork and give positive feedback about the step they’re about to take.