Journal article Open Access
Every year high school graduates in the United States gain admission to an institution of higher education and plan to enroll at that institution the fall immediately after high school, but, over the summer months, a certain percentage of those students end up not enrolling as they fail to navigate the transition and complete the necessary steps to enroll. This phenomenon is referred to as summer melt. This qualitative research inquiry considered the perceptions of student affairs professionals at institutions of higher education who work closely with new, incoming college students. Through the phenomenological approach, the researcher explored the perceptions of fifteen student affairs professionals with regard to the impact of summer melt and the strategies and tactics used to mitigate it. Several conclusions and implications emerged from the inquiry: adverse impact on students and institutions, need to enhance communication on enrollment processes, and importance of intrinsic connections.