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Summer Melt Program Empowers Students Transitioning to College

As the academic year has come to an end, many high school graduates are preparing to embark on their next journey: college. Yet, for a significant number of these students, the transition from high school to college can be daunting, marked by uncertainty and challenges. To address this issue head-on, Aligned Impact Muscatine County (AIM) and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach (ISU Extension) have partnered with Muscatine Community School District and West Liberty School District to offer a Summer Melt Mentorship Program again this year to help ease the student’s transition into higher education.

The Summer Melt Program is designed to provide support and guidance to recent high school graduates during the critical summer months leading up to their first semester in college. Through one-on-one mentoring sessions and informational resources, participants will receive comprehensive assistance in navigating the difficulties of college enrollment, financial aid, academic planning, career exploration, and more. 

“Summer melt involves supporting students during the summer by providing the guidance and assistance they need to navigate the college process. Having someone to help with their questions and concerns helps students feel at ease, ensuring they are ready and encouraged to start their first day of college,” says Jesenia Pesina, AIM’s Student Success Facilitator.

In 2023, the Summer Melt Program helped 19 students receive $15,175 in aid: almost $10,000 in Pell Grants and over $5,000 in Last Dollar Scholarships.  Over 68% of those students were first-generation college students.

Summer Melt Program participants will be paired with a dedicated mentor who will provide personalized guidance and support throughout the summer months, addressing their individual needs and concerns.  These services are offered in person and online. Spanish-speaking mentors are available for the students and their families.

The Summer Melt Program reinforces the commitment to helping students from diverse backgrounds and ensuring equitable access to higher education opportunities. By addressing the challenges associated with the summer melt phenomenon, AIM, ISU, WLSD, and MCSD aim to affirm college retention rates and foster academic success among participating students.

For more information about the Summer Melt Program and how to enroll, please visit or call or text Jesenia at 563-265-1552.