Posted on July 6, 2021
Categories: college & career, high school graduation, Senior Exit and Follow-Up, surveys

Research finds that many high school graduates who intend to enroll in post-secondary education do not follow through with their intentions following the summer after graduation. This brief summarizes findings from a study of the “summer melt” rates of the cohort of college-intending 2020 School District of Philadelphia (SDP) high school seniors.

Key findings:

  • The summer melt rate is the percentage of college-intending seniors who do not enroll in college their first fall after graduation. The summer melt rate for college-intending 2020 SDP high school seniors was 36.2%, which was higher than the summer melt rate for 2019 SDP high school seniors (31.5%).
  • Male students, Black/African American students, Hispanic/Latinx students, English Learners, students receiving special education services, and students with economically disadvantaged status had higher summer melt rates than their peers but all subgroups’ summer melt rates increased from 2019.
  • Positive experiences with adults and school counselors are associated with lower summer melt rates.

Use the button to download the nine-page brief.

Please note that this brief was revised in July 2021. The term “guidance counselor” was changed to “school counselor” except in student responses.