Community college students who enroll in summer courses are more likely to graduate, but most do not attend during the summer. The Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) project uses insights from behavioral science to encourage more students to enroll in summer. This brief presents EASE’s Phase I findings.

For many low-income community college students, the road to graduation is challenging: Only 13 percent of entering students graduate within two years, and only 24 percent graduate within three. However, research has shown that students who enroll in summer courses are more likely to persist and graduate. Summer enrollees have the opportunity to earn credits and make progress toward a degree. The summer term also bridges the gap between the fall and spring semesters — a time of transition when many students drop out of college. Despite these benefits, most college students do not attend during the summer. How can postsecondary institutions encourage more students to enroll in summer courses? If more students do enroll, will they experience improved academic outcomes?