Summer Melt

Summer Melt Supporting Low-Income Students Through the Transition to College

Benjamin L. Castleman and Lindsay C. Page
paper, 208 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-741-5
Price: $32.00

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Pub. Date: October 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-743-9

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Under increasing pressure to raise graduation rates and ensure that students leave high school college- and career-ready, many school and district leaders may believe that, when students graduate with college acceptances in hand, their work is done. But as Benjamin L. Castleman and Lindsay C. Page show, summer can be a time of significant attrition among college-intending seniors—especially those from low-income families. Anywhere from 10 to 40 percent of students presumed to be headed to college fail to matriculate at any postsecondary institution in the fall following high school.


Summer Melt addresses an urgent national issue. These practical strategies for increasing college enrollment among underrepresented students will affect the lives of thousands of young people across the country. — Teresa A. Sullivan, president, University of Virginia

Benjamin L. Castleman and Lindsay C. Page take a hard look at the all-important transition from high school graduation to college enrollment, and highlight the critical need for support—especially for first-generation college students—when navigating the final steps during the summer. — Kim Cook, executive director, National College Access Network

Summer Melt is an outstanding example of how rigorous academic research can make the world a better place. Benjamin L. Castleman and Lindsay C. Page don’t just identify a stunning problem; they come up with and test solutions so that policy makers and education leaders have an evidence-based path to helping more low-income youth succeed in college. The official report for the White House College Opportunity Summit relied heavily on the research described in this book. — Gene Sperling, national economic advisor and director of the National Economic Council for President Obama (2011–2014) and President Clinton (1996–2000)

By using the strategies discussed in Summer Melt, we have helped many of our students fulfill their aspirations of attending college. All K–12 leaders should read this book! — Robert M. Avossa, superintendent, Fulton County Schools, Georgia

In an era where a college education has become a critical necessity for economic success and well-being in life, Summer Melt will be appreciated by all those who seek to help our most disadvantaged students have a life that they want and a life better than the one they grew up with. — Janice A. Dole, Teachers College Record

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About the Authors

Benjamin L. Castleman is an assistant professor of education and public policy at the University of Virginia. His work applies insights from behavioral economics to help students and their families navigate complex educational decisions, and focuses primarily on improving college access and success for low-income and first-generation college students.

Lindsay C. Page is an assistant professor of education and a research scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Her work focuses on quantitative methods and their application to questions regarding the effectiveness of educational policies and programs across the preschool to postsecondary spectrum.

Table of Contents

Blog Post: "Where Have All the Graduates Gone?"

Interview with Author

Author Podcast on NPR-WBGH

E-book available through online booksellers

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