As Would-Be Students ?Melt,? Colleges Try To Keep Cool

Sharon Rieger's picture

It happens every summer. A high-school student accepts a college’s offer of admission and gets excited about attending school in the fall.

But when fall rolls around, the student learns — sometimes too late — that he or she won’t be able to attend because they haven’t filled out or supplied all the necessary paperwork.

Colleges call the phenomenon the “summer melt,” and it poses challenges for schools and students alike.

Bsed on her 32 years in higher education, Perry Wilson, director of admissions at Florence’s Francis Marion University, said schools face a melt percentage of about 10 percent — that is, one in 10 students tell a college or university they plan in the fall but end up not enrolling.

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