Summer melt is the phenomenon in which students who have been accepted into college fail to enroll or attend college in the fall. Research shows that 8 to 40 percent of students who had planned to attend college never make it to campus, with a higher percentage of those students coming from low-income backgrounds.
To address summer melt, College Possible Omaha hired a team of four AmeriCorps members who had served as college access and success coaches during the 2021–2022 academic year. As experienced service members, these coaches helped students address issues like incomplete applications and unexpected expenses that might have become an obstacle to fall enrollment. Two coaches reached out to recent high school graduates enrolling as first-year college students, while the other two focused on rising college sophomores to ensure they persisted to their second year.
There are several tasks that students must complete over the summer and having a coach work alongside them can reduce the possibility of missing a step or falling behind. The team ensured that students were fully registered for classes, accepted their financial aid packages, and put down their security deposits. They also made sure students had a transportation plan to get to college and a place to live on campus.
Summer transition is important because students who are either beginning their college career or persisting to their second year know that through this program they will have access to resources before classes even begin, which can be really encouraging,” says Emilio Piña, an AmeriCorps member and transition coach.
The Summer Transition Program was made possible in part by a sponsorship from Cox Communications, the largest private telecom company in America. Cox’s charitable giving is focused primarily on youth and education, with diversity as a core value. College Possible thanks Cox Communications for its generous support and leadership in strengthening the social, economic, and educational infrastructure of our community.