Education

Finding Affordable Paths To-and-Through College

Many college-intending students, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, encounter a range of personal and financial obstacles during their post-high school summer that can lead them to change or even abandon their college plans. This phenomenon, known as “Summer Melt,” affects 20% of low-income college-intending young people from urban school districts nationwide—up to 40% for prospective community college students. uAspire has been a leading force in the effort to combat Summer Melt. Through our Summer College Connect program, uAspire stays in touch with our advisees with a series of timely text messages spread throughout the summer following high school graduation. Core elements of the program involve aiding students to understand their financial aid packages and payment options, discussing college costs with students and parents, connecting students with campus resources, and reviewing summer deadlines. While sent through an automated texting platform called Signal Vine, messages are customized to each student’s intended college and provide personalized information, due dates, and web links for important college enrollment tasks, e.g. registering for orientation. The messages also provide the option of requesting 1-on-1 assistance from a uAspire advisor, a critical support to students during the summer months when most school-based services are closed. . With the support of the Miami Foundation's Accelerator Grant, we would like to scale our Summer College Connect Program to provide support to more students in Miami.

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Idea No. 35