It’s almost August and the summer is starting to wind down. Students around the country are getting ready to head to college soon - except for the 500,000 college-intending high school graduates who melted away from the college-going process over the summer.
College is so close to being a reality for these students, and yet they won’t be on campus this fall because of a phenomenon called “Summer Melt.” There are a variety of reasons Summer Melt can happen: College is expensive. Starting a new school is scary. Forms are confusing. There are too many options to choose from. Deadlines come and go. With all of these barriers to college access, it sometimes seems easier to give up than to try untangling the overwhelming web of information.
Fortunately, recent research is shedding some light on effective interventions for reducing Summer Melt, and it turns out that text messaging is a really great way to “nudge” students to check tasks off their college to-do lists. Something as simple as a “Hey! Just a reminder that your FAFSA form is due on Tuesday” text can be the difference between attending and not attending college.
These text nudges can go a long way - such as improving matriculation by 11% and first year persistence by 20%. So not only are students actually making it to college, they’re staying there. Staying on top of everything is difficult sometimes, but with the right support, students can finish their summers knowing that college is just around the corner.