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Advisors Work to Freeze ‘Summer Melt,’ Get Students to College

JanicaRose Buensuceso had planned to leave Orange County and attend college at Cal State East Bay in Northern California. Then family and financial problems emerged in the weeks after she graduated from Los Amigos High School, making the move increasingly difficult.

As the summer wound down, the 17-year-old from Fountain Valley thought about skipping college for a year and working. But she also worried that if she got out of study habits, it would be hard to return and she might never finish college, she said.

She was at risk of becoming an extra statistic in what experts call “Summer Melt.” That term refers to the substantial, but often invisible, group of usually low-income students who intend to start college and even send deposits to enroll but are stymied by personal and financial issues in the weeks before classes begin. Their situation is made worse by their families’ lack of experience with college bureaucracy.