Our Impact: SEED’s College Transition & Success Team Aims to Freeze “Summer Melt”

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SEED schools may be out for the summer, but we are still hard at work supporting our graduates in completing their college enrollments and heading to a right fit college in the fall. In short, our College Transition & Success team is making sure that none of our students experience “summer melt.” 

Summer melt occurs when a student is accepted to a postsecondary institution but fails to complete enrollment or attend.

“Up to one third of all students who leave high school with plans to attend college never arrive at any college campus that fall. Summer melt tends to hit low-income students hardest, as well as students who are the first in their family to go to college.”U.S. Department of Education

Here are just a few strategies we are employing to help our newly minted SEED graduates get to college this fall.

-          Upon graduation, each SEED student is paired with a College Transition & Success (CTS) advisor. CTS advisors provide the intrusive advising and support that scholars need to persist through college—from acceptance to graduation.

-          Students work with their CTS advisors to execute all the details necessary to start college, including creating a plan to pay for the first semester. Students work with their advisors to complete financial aid documents, assess their college bills, and address any financial gaps. For some students, this means forwarding scholarship award letters in order to reduce the total bill; for others, it means choosing a more affordable college or university to attend.

-          In addition to figuring out how to pay tuition and making those first payments, students work with their CTS advisors to buy or rent books and supplies. They must also submit health forms and deposits for orientation and housing. Also, CTS advisors help students secure transportation to campus for move-in days.

-          Finally, students work with their advisors to submit their final high school transcripts, a requirement for all postsecondary institutions.

“In order to ensure that our students and families are informed and have all the resources they need to be successful in college, we work diligently with them over the summer,” said Joi Baker Jones, director of College Transition & Success.

If this sounds like a lot of work, it is! But summer isn’t only about paying bills and completing forms, it’s also the time when The SEED Foundation Scholarship recipients receive their awards. This August, 15 scholarship recipients from the class of 2019 will receive a total of $45,000 in awards for freshman year.

“Becoming a college freshman is a lot of work,” said Ms. Baker Jones, “but the careful planning is worth it. When we visit our graduates in the fall, we love to see them settling in and prepared for campus life.”