PACAC Pacer Summer 2012 : Page 1

The Pacer Summer 2012 | Issue 146 My PACAC Story What’s Inside Preventing Summer Melt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Preventing Summer Melt for the Class of 2016 Michelle O’Donnell, Mount St. Mary’s University Congratulations! May 1 has passed, and your enrollment goals are (hopefully) met for another year! It’s such a relaxing feeling to see May 1 come and go because that means another admission cycle has come to end. Say good-bye to traveling and reading applications for a few months. Your summer is here, and it’s time to enjoy a slower pace. At the same time that we in Admission are taking a sigh of relief, some families of high school seniors are still thinking about their college decision (even those who have already paid their deposit): Did we make the right choice? What if Suzie doesn’t like it? What if Jimmy wants to come home every weekend? When is orientation? And then there’s the most common question: Can we really afford this? This year, students took a longer amount of time to consider their financial aid options and make their college decision. We in Admission usually see a flurry of deposits right around May 1, but it seems that this year, students waited until the last possible moment to make Even with this “official” announcement from the students, we all know that many will change their minds over the summer for a variety of reasons. Maybe they’ve realized that they’re not ready to go away from home yet, or maybe the tuition bills over the summer gave families a financial reality check…. their selection. Social media pages were busy on the night of April 30 as students finally made their college decision “official” by announcing their college choice online and changing their school status on their profile pages. 2011-2012 Executive Committee . . . . . . . . . . 2 PACAC Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Executive Committee Slate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Funding Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Secondary View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Communication Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Community College News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 R .each Y .our F .ull P .otential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Data Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Secondary School News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 In Retrospect: From Candy to Chatting . . . . 14 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Pacer Postings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 continued on page 11 www.PACAC.org Summer 2012 | Issue 146 A

Preventing Summer Melt

Michelle O’Donnell,

Pacer Preventing Summer Melt for the Class of 2016 <br /> <br /> Michelle O’Donnell, Mount St. Mary’s University<br /> <br /> Congratulations! May 1 has passed, and your enrollment goals are (hopefully) met for another year! It’s such a relaxing feeling to see May 1 come and go because that means another admission cycle has come to end. Say goodbye to traveling and reading applications for a few months. Your summer is here, and it’s time to enjoy a slower pace.<br /> <br /> At the same time that we in Admission are taking a sigh of relief, some families of high school seniors are still thinking about their college decision (even those who have already paid their deposit): Did we make the right choice? What if Suzie doesn’t like it? What if Jimmy wants to come home every weekend? When is orientation? And then there’s the most common question: Can we really afford this?<br /> <br /> This year, students took a longer amount of time to consider their financial aid options and make their college decision. We in Admission usually see a flurry of deposits right around May 1, but it seems that this year, students waited until the last possible moment to make their selection. Social media pages were busy on the night of April 30 as students finally made their college decision “official” by announcing their college choice online and changing their school status on their profile pages.<br /> <br /> Even with this “official” announcement from the students, we all know that many will change their minds over the summer for a variety of reasons. Maybe they’ve realized that they’re not ready to go away from home yet, or maybe the tuition bills over the summer gave families a financial reality check….<br /> <br /> There are many reasons why students withdraw (or “melt”) from our freshman enrollment each summer. What can we in Admission do to prevent this summer melt?<br /> <br /> Some schools take action and to try to decrease the summer melt. For instance, at Mount St. Mary’s University, we schedule two orientation sessions in the summer: one in June and another in August. We do this so that students have an opportunity to meet each other in June and then keep in touch over the summer. We also believe that this helps the students feel more connected to one another and the Mount campus before Move-In Day in August.<br /> <br /> Other schools, like Saint Joseph’s University, enhance their Communications plan to keep in touch with the new freshmen over the summer. Saint Joseph’s coordinates a variety of summer communication actions including a New Hawks postcard to new freshmen and transfer students, a letter from the Deans to deposited students about language and math testing, and an email to a “New Hawks” website with items to complete over the summer. Students who deposit late are also sent a packet of information about their next steps.<br /> <br /> Last summer, Syracuse University created personalized welcome videos for students in the New house Schools of Public Communications. The videos featured two of their notable alumni, included a welcome message to the school’s newest students, and were personalized with a greeting containing the student’s first name. This video achieved two goals: 1) It kept the students in touch with Syracuse University during the summer, helping the new freshmen feel more connected to the school, and 2) It promoted two success stories from graduates (the alumni were the co-founder of Foursquare and an MSNBC anchor), thus addressing any worries about return on investment of a Syracuse degree.<br /> <br /> Are these good ideas to be taking back to your office this summer? I hope so! We work hard all year to meet enrollment goals, and we want to keep as many of those students enrolled as possible through the summer. These examples might give you some new approaches to help prevent summer melt at your university. With a few simple actions, your Admissions Office can reassure any families who start to reconsider their college choice that they have made the right decision. Enjoy your summer, and may your summer melt be slow these next few months!

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