To Halt Summer Melt, CAC Launches Virtual Advising In Missouri

High school graduation is no doubt one of the most exciting times in a teen’s life. Many have already begun next steps toward adulthood, applying to trade school, community college or four-year university. However, a large number of students who plan on a postsecondary education never make it to campus in the fall. College-bound students, especially low-income and first-generation students of whom many are expected to take on summer jobs to help with family bills, do not complete financial aid forms, submit key documents, or register for orientation, thus missing hard deadlines and therefore forfeiting the opportunity to attend college.

This phenomenon is known as summer melt. It’s estimated that in a normal year a staggering one-third of college-bound students never make it to classes in the fall. In the wake of the current global pandemic and the resulting uncertainty facing higher education, summer melt is of even greater concern this year.

Matt Newlin, Ed.D., director of rural initiatives with College Advising Corps

To combat this summer melt, College Advising Corps and its partner the University of Missouri recently launched free text-based advising for the Class of 2020 throughout the summer months—an extension of the in-school advising services provided throughout the academic school year. College-bound students receive text reminders on financial aid award packages, FAFSA verification, registration for classes, academic support resources, registering for orientation, and much more.

“Finally, there’s a solid reason to be on your phone this summer,” shared St. Louis, Missouri, resident Matt Newlin, Ed.D., director of rural initiatives with College Advising Corps. “Our research shows that when a student meets with a College Advising Corps adviser, he or she is 30 percent more likely to apply to college and 24 percent more likely to be accepted to college. Our advising services are complimentary and designed to help students navigate the hurdles no other graduating class in recent history has had to face.”

Trained advisers are available to students and their families via text, phone, and virtual meetings throughout June, July, and August. Supported high schools include Cape Central High School, Marshfield High School, Lebanon High School, Poplar Bluff High School, Sikeston High School, and Warrenton High School.

The summer College Advising Corps team can be reached at summeradvising@advisingcorps.org. For more information about College Advising Corps and its mission to ensure every student gets the opportunity to enter and complete postsecondary education, please visit collegeadvisingcorps.org. For more information on Missouri’s summer college advising program, visit https://sites.google.com/view/summer-college-advising/home.