How One Austin Student Dealt With ‘Summer Melt’

Erika Carbajal’s dream school seemed out of reach at the beginning of summer.

By Kate McGeeSeptember 9, 2015 8:00 am

Colleges across Texas are back in the swing after the lazy days of summer. But many of the recent Texas high school graduates who planned to attend — didn’t make it to the first day of classes. It doesn’t just happen in Texas. It’s a national phenomenon known as “Summer Melt.”

Many of the students are the first in their families to even think about getting a degree and most come from low-income families.

KUT Austin’s Kate McGee spent the summer tracking students after they graduated from high school and prepared for college.

When Erika Carbajal graduated from Ann Richard’s School for Young Women Leaders this spring, she thought she was going to Austin Community College in the fall. She didn’t get enough financial aid from the other schools she applied to and decided to wait another year before enrolling in a four-year school.

Statistically, Erika has a higher chance of making it to sophomore year if she attends a four-year college versus a two-year college.

Erika’s months between high school and college ended much differently than she anticipated.

Listen to how Erika’s summer went in the player above.