Posted on April 26, 2022
Categories: college & career, high school graduation, Senior Exit and Follow-Up, surveys

Research has found that many high school graduates who intend to enroll in post-secondary education do not follow through with their intentions. This pattern, found among 10-40% of high school graduates nationally, is known as summer melt.

This brief summarizes findings from a study of the summer melt rates of the 2021 cohort of college-intending School District of Philadelphia (SDP) high school seniors.

Key findings include:

  • Overall, the summer melt rate for SDP 12th graders in 2020-21 was 35.9%, nearly identical to the summer melt rate for 2019-20 SDP 12th graders (36.2%). These rates are higher than pre-pandemic rates (31.5% for 2018-19 SDP 12th graders).
  • As in previous years, male students, students who identify as Black/African American or Hispanic/Latinx, students receiving special education services, and students designated as economically disadvantaged had higher summer melt rates than their peers.
  • Positive experiences with adults and school counselors in high school continue to be associated with lower summer melt rates.