“Summer melt” is the phenomenon occurring widely throughout the United States, in which high school graduates intending to attend college change their plans and fail to enroll by the time the fall semester begins. This trend affects an estimated 10-20% of graduates nationwide (U.S. Department of Education) and ultimately limits the economic growth of many cities. EdjAnalytics and a K-12 public school system in Kentucky partnered to address the issue of summer melt within their district. The vision of the partnership was to predict which students were most likely to experience summer melt, to identify the reasons behind those predictions and to combat the issue of summer melt within the community.
The school system provided data from all four years of high school students graduating between 2014 and 2016. In total, 15,500 students were analyzed. Of the approximately 14,000 students who indicated an intent to attend college, 33% melted. Data analyzed included demographics, socio-economic factors associated with home zip codes, attendance and suspension records, course grades and standardized test scores. College intent was determined from the Senior Transition Survey and college enrollment was defined using National Student Clearinghouse records.