Lost in the debate over college for all in this country is that large numbers of students who have been accepted at college never actually enroll (“Why so many poor kids who get into college don’t end up enrolling,” voc.com, Aug. 3). Although this so-called “summer melt” affects students from low-income families the most, it also is seen among students from more affluent backgrounds.
One explanation is that high school counselors have not done their job by fully explaining the steps needed once acceptance is offered. I’m referring now to the various financial forms that have to be completed. Unless students have parents who can pay the full cost or are sophisticated enough to understand what is entailed when student loans are involved, many students are simply overwhelmed and never show up for enrollment.
There is much truth to that explanation, but I don’t think it is the entire story. Community colleges provide the kind of guidance such students can turn to. Moreover, community colleges are a financial bargain, which means that most students don’t have to saddle themselves with onerous debt to earn a degree or certificate. I don’t understand why students do not take advantage of these services. They don’t need their parents to guide them when counselors exist for this very purpose.
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