It’s summer!! It’s finally heating up in most places and you might feel like your melting. However ”summer melt” means something very different for colleges. Each year, colleges require students to submit an enrollment deposit to enroll as freshmen in the fall (usually by May 1, but this year June 1 for some colleges). After that deposit deadline passes, colleges count up the number of deposits they have and decide whether they need more students to fill their freshman class. If so, this may lead them to admit students who are on their waitlist. Those newly admitted students probably sent deposits to other colleges but now those students tell the other colleges they are no longer going to attend. So that college has an empty seat and so on and so forth. That’s summer melt for colleges – students who had originally sent their deposit deciding later not to enroll causing the college to fall short of their freshman class goals.
The pandemic has created anxiety of all kinds including for enrollment managers. Predictions of students deferring college enrollment or staying closer to home has admission directors eyeing their waitlists. Counselors are anticipating students may hear from more colleges about waitlists and other offers even late into the summer.
What does summer melt mean for you? Well, it means that if you were on the waitlist at a school you might get admitted. And although unlikely, it’s possible that you could get a revised financial aid package from a school that admitted you. This may cause you to rethink your enrollment choice. However, unless it’s an admission offer from your dream college or a truly unbeatable scholarship award, you are probably better off to stick with your original deposit. You spent a lot of time weighing your options when you made that initial decision. Don’t second guess yourself unless there is a very compelling reason! Stick with what your gut tells you and look forward to freshman year with excitement.