Panel Paper: Summer Link: A Counseling Intervention to Address the Transition From High School to College

Saturday, November 10, 2012 : 9:10 AM
Carroll (Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Lindsay Daugherty, Center for Education Policy Research

While college enrollment rates have grown over the past 25 years, enrollment rates for low-income students continue to lag behind those of students from wealthier families (Baum et al, 2010).  Recent studies have shown that summer melt has a significant impact on enrollment rates as students with demonstrated intentions to enroll in college don’t end up following through with their plans (Castleman et al., 2012; Castleman & Page, 2012).  Summer melt is a particularly common problem for low-income minority students (Castleman & Page, 2011).  Counseling interventions to provide outreach and counseling to college intending students have shown the potential to have a significant impact on summer melt.  This study evaluates the impact of an intervention in a large urban district in the Southwest that provided two hours of outreach and counseling to students who reported that they planned to attend college and had applied and been accepted to at least one college.  Difference-in-difference analysis was used to identify the effect of the program.  Results indicate that the intervention increased enrollment rates by approximately 9 to 11 percentage points.  The program’s impact was greatest for four-year college intending students who had completed financial aid forms, finished college entrance exams, and been accepted to a four-year college.  In addition to examining student outcomes, I discuss the importance of various implementation decisions and their implications for the success of summer interventions.