April 22 2021

Do your campus partners have an understanding of melt and that losing students between committing in the spring and the start of classes in the fall is a real challenge for admissions offices across the country?

Each year, 10 to 20 percent of students who made an enrollment deposit in the spring “melt” over the summer. If you are like most enrollment leaders, you are hyper focused on yielding the fall class and turning up the emphasis on "anti-melt" strategies in this extended recruitment season. 

Having a clearer understanding of what factors go into prospective students' last transition from admittance to matriculation can provide colleges with the information necessary for better communication with students and their parents, inform key enrollment partners outside the admissions office of the critical role they play, and help all involved in the student recruitment process understand important factors about college choice decisions—and in real time, decrease melt. Admitted student research, along with admitted student parent research, can be the foundation for understanding why students selected their college of choice and capitalizing on what practices can enhance your admissions results.

Here are a few tips to MINIMIZE Melt:

  • While you are welcoming new admits and guiding them through next steps, keep already deposited students top of mind. Admitted student research shows that communication is key and losing touch means "out of sight, out of mind" for many admitted students and their families. 
  • Integrate data from admitted student and admitted student parent research to enhance first, and lasting, positive impressions of your institution.
  • Focus on the value proposition to address concerns and lift up the most critical factors in college search and decision-making. Shifting the focus from cost to value builds stronger connections and confidence and reinforces their good decision to attend your institution.  
Having the right data guides strategies for minimizing melt and attracting and retaining more prospective students through the enrollment funnel.

For example, our Admitted Student Research indicates the following factors are most important to students in making their final decision:
  • Overall impression of the college
  • Faculty interest in students’ educational needs
  • A safe, friendly campus 

This slide is an excerpt from the 2020 Admitted Student Research Highlights.

“Credo's Admitted Student and Admitted Student Parent Research lifted up several opportunities for our team. We were better informed about messaging for students and parents and the campus partnerships we needed to improve, as well as actions we could take to improve the campus guest experience in the future.”

- 2020 ASR Cohort Participant  


Unusual Times call for updated questions

Did your research adjust to the uncertainty of the recent enrollment cycles? Did your results? Did your outcomes and stories? Our 2020 Admitted Student and Admitted Student Parent Research surveys included COVID-19 impact questions.

Our data revealed top concerns for the fall and empowered admissions teams to implement strategies with parents and students. They were better able to balance the positive value proposition and outcomes their institution offers to offset legitimate concerns and prepare families with information in their college decision-making process.

ToP Covid-Impact Concerns from Admitted Student PARENT Research

  • Paying for college
  • Connecting with other admitted students
  • Academic advising / class scheduling
  • Sanitation of campus facilities
Though 9 out of 10 parents agree or strongly agree that college is a good investment, fewer parents, 7 out of 10, have a similar agreement level that the education will provide their student with employment sufficient to repay educational loans. 

This slide is an excerpt from the 2020 Admitted Student Parent Research Highlights. Please download the full report below.

How institutions translate value proposition into data and results matters! In presenting the highlights and balancing the potential obstacles for families, admitted student and admitted student parent research prepares your admissions team, and entire campus, with the right data to welcome students and enhance their sense of belonging at their new college or university home. Having the right research is the first building block to matching the most meaningful message to each segment of your constituent audiences.

How usable is your data?

Reflection Questions

  1. How recent is our admitted student research?
  2. Do we also integrate admitted student parent data?
  3. How do we lift up the transformational value of the college?
  4. Is the financial aid and scholarship information our institution shares accessible and easy to understand?
  5. What communication plan or clear next steps does our admissions team offer admitted students and families in the enrollment process? 
  6. What opportunities are we providing to connect admitted and deposited students with future classmates through registration and orientation activities? 

Are you looking for more admissions resources? Check out our latest downloads:

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