Tips for crafting an effective summer melt plan: Opinion

Shelly Gehrke (Emporia State University) shares a framework for creating a plan to address the recruitment challenge of summer melt: the loss of incoming students over the course of the summer. A successful melt plan, Gehrke writes, is one that involves the entire campus in the engagement process; draws on multiple communication tools such as monthly newsletters, social media communications, and mailed materials; and consistently and strategically provides important information like deadlines to incoming students. The plan should help cultivate excitement and a sense of belonging among incoming students with the ultimate goal of a lower summer melt rate. “With a declining number of students choosing higher education after high school, colleges and universities must be more strategic and engaged with new, incoming students to keep them from melting away,” concludes Gehrke.

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