Working Paper: The Forgotten Summer

This working paper is now published at:

For more information please contact the lead authors: Ben Castleman at [email protected] or Lindsay Page at [email protected]


Full Title: The Forgotten Summer: Does the Offer of College Counseling After High School Mitigate Summer Melt Among College-Intending, Low-Income High School Graduates?

Full Abstract: Despite decades of policy intervention to increase college entry and success among low-income students, considerable gaps by socioeconomic status remain. To date, policymakers have overlooked the summer after high school as an important time period in students’ transition to college, yet recent research documents high rates of summer “melt” among college-intending high school graduates. We report on two randomized trials investigating efforts to mitigate summer melt. Offering college-intending graduates 2-3 hours of summer support increased enrollment by three percentage points overall, and by eight to twelve percentage points among low-income students, at a cost of $100 - $200 per student. Further, summer support has lasting impacts on persistence several semesters into college.

CEPWC Working Paper Series No. 15. September 2013.