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Great Lakes Makes Grants to Reverse Summer Melt among College-Bound Students

“Commit to College” Grants Awarded to Four Wisconsin Nonprofits

— When it comes to getting students to college, admission is only half the battle. According to Harvard researchers, up to two out of every five high school seniors who have been accepted to college fail to attend in the fall. During the summer, they lose the support network that has been working to help prepare them for college, and as a result struggle to overcome the inevitable obstacles that interfere with the realization of their college plans. This so-called “summer melt” occurs disproportionately among students from low-income households, students of color, and those planning to attend a two-year college.

Today, Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation announced the recipients of our new Commit to College grant, designed to help reverse this troubling trend. Four Wisconsin nonprofits were awarded a total of $115,000 to implement summer programming—such as coaching, workshops, and peer mentoring—to keep nearly 400 Wisconsin students from traditionally underserved backgrounds on the path to college.

Great Lakes will be also be supplementing the funding it provides to grant recipients with onsite staff and program support. “Our College Access Advising team will work in partnership with each grantee to provide these students with workshops and one-on-one advising to help them arrive at college prepared to succeed,” said Richard D. George, Great Lakes’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are looking forward to the impact these programs make in helping students follow through on their college plans.”

The following programs have been awarded 2014 Commit to College grants:

Boys & Girls Club of Dane County

Madison, Wis.

Intentional coaching, supportive communication, and workshops—covering financial literacy, financial aid, and navigating the academic system—will help participants prepare for college and reaffirm their self-concept as college students.


La Crosse Promise

La Crosse, Wis.

Personalized, helpful texts reminding students of important school deadlines, peer mentoring, campus visits, and funding to keep this existing student resource center staffed over the summer, will engage students and keep them on track for fall attendance.


United Community Center

Milwaukee, Wis.

Peer mentors, one-on-one advising, informational events, employment opportunities, campus visits, and a series of college readiness workshops will get students involved and keep them engaged in following through on their college goals.


YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, Inc.

Milwaukee, Wis.

Summer workshops, peer mentors, and an online network of advisors, teachers, and mentors will help students prepare to adjust socially and academically to college.


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