US PSE institutions work to avoid "summer melt"

July 9, 2014

US universities are developing new strategies to deal with “summer melt,” the time in the summer when high school graduates no longer have access to their previous schools’ resources, but have not been integrated into a new campus community. “You get the acceptance letter and start the celebration. They don’t realize all the other steps,” said Shauna Cunningham, a high school guidance counsellor in St Louis. As many as 20% of recent high school students in some major US cities abandon their PSE plans in the summer after graduation; the rate climbs to as high as 40% for prospective community college students. Some school districts use text messages as a low-cost option to keep students on track and ensure that they take the necessary steps to begin studies in the fall. Other school districts offer drop-in counselling centres that guide students through a maze of financial aid applications, housing contracts, and other enrolment obligations.Victoria Times Colonist (AP)