An increasing number of jobs in Maine require education beyond high school. In order to meet the demands of Maine’s workforce, a high school diploma is not enough. Improved preparation for postsecondary education will increase the proportion of Maine students enrolling in college and completing their degrees.
FAFSA completion is a good indicator of college enrollment particularly for low-income students. Students from the lowest socioeconomic quintile who completed a FAFSA were 127% more likely to be enrolled in the fall following high school graduation than their counterparts without a FAFSA completion (Forbes.com/civicnation
Many students, particularly first-generation and low-income students, indicate that they will enroll in college the fall after high school graduation but do not show up on campus in the fall - this is often referred to as Summer Melt. In Maine approximately 20% of students melt, with higher rates at Maine's Community Colleges. The MELMAC Education Foundation
and Finance Authority of Maine
recognized this issue and partnered to provide a texting platform to schools to automate messages to their students over the summer. The program has been effective with engaging students, answering their questions and supporting them over the summer when they can often fall through the cracks.