In an Uncertain Summer, Colleges Try to Control Enrollment 'Melt'

In an Uncertain Summer, Colleges Try to Control Enrollment 'Melt' 1

Wabash College

To keep incoming freshmen engaged over the summer, Wabash College asked them to send in pictures of themselves wearing a college T-shirt. Philip Robin, of Hazelwood, Mo., was one of the students who participated.

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close In an Uncertain Summer, Colleges Try to Control Enrollment 'Melt' 1

Wabash College

To keep incoming freshmen engaged over the summer, Wabash College asked them to send in pictures of themselves wearing a college T-shirt. Philip Robin, of Hazelwood, Mo., was one of the students who participated.

In the summer, what's true of Popsicles is also true of freshman classes: A little melt is fine, but too much can cause a real mess.

Each year, admissions officers know that a small percentage of admitted applicants who sent deposits will not show up. The phenomenon, known as "summer melt," has many causes. Students might change their plans because they suddenly get off their first-choice college's waiting list—or because they opt to spend a year caring for penguins in