Combating “Summer Melt” for 21st Century Scholars


MARION, INDIANA (NEWS) - With the school year wrapping up and lazy summer days approaching, education experts are trying to figure out how to battle a condition known as “summer melt.” One way is through an upcoming event from the Indiana Youth Institute on Saturday, June 13.

Summer melt happens when students who enroll in college in the spring never actually attend classes in the fall. Nationally, summer melt affects about 10 to 20-percent of eligible students. In Indiana,

More than three quarters of 12th grade students intend to go to a two- or four-year college in the first year out of high school. (Find available local county-level data at this link)
Two thirds of Indiana’s high school graduating class of 2012 went to college, according to the Indiana College Readiness Report.
In 2012, 78 percent of graduating 21st Century Scholars enrolled in college.

Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program was designed to help low-income students gain education beyond high school by providing a scholarship equal to four years of tuition at a public university in Indiana. But the scholarship does not always meet all a student’s needs.

The causes of summer melt can vary from unexpected financial challenges to a flood of paperwork that leaves families feeling overwhelmed. The lower a family’s income, the more likely a student is to “melt” away because he or she won’t have the necessary resources and support. Yet, most 21st century jobs require a degree, certificate or apprenticeship, locking these students out of jobs that can improve their socioeconomic status.

That’s why IYI is teaming up with Project Leadership, Ivy Tech Community College and the state’s 21st Century Scholars program to organize our “Summer Melt” event on Saturday, June 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ivy Tech Community College East Central at 261 Commerce Drive in Marion.

Students and their parents will get tips and practical steps to avoid common concerns that might lead to “summer melt.” They’ll hear from current students, professors and others with expertise for succeeding in college.

Students who are a part of the state’s 21st Century Scholars can register for the event by contacting Project Leadership, Inc. at 765-651-0650 or by email at [email protected]. Admission and lunch are free. The deadline to register is Friday, June 5.

This program is funded in part by a grant from USA Funds.