“Summer melt,” or “deposit melt,” is an annual experience for colleges and universities. A number—as many as one-third—of students who have been accepted, enrolled, and are expected to attend instead decide not to, even after putting down a deposit. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this situation, with many families and their college-bound students facing economic uncertainty because of shifts in employment status and income.
We are currently in the final couple of months of the recruitment cycle for Fall 2021. There is evidence to suggest that students have applied to more colleges and universities than in previous cycles. Newspaper accounts referenced individual high school students applying to as many 15 different schools. Your institution’s increase in applications may be misleading, however, and your current deposits could evaporate quickly.
Consider the following to reduce the likelihood of your deposited students not enrolling.
1. Make absolutely sure that all of your deposited students have financial aid award letters. I am always surprised at the number of college administrators who assume that deposits from students without financial aid packages are secure. During this time when many families are facing economic challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demonstration of affordability is critical in turning deposited students into enrolled students.
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