Summer: A time for rest and relaxation, to re-energize after the long winter season, and enjoy the long, sunny days.

If you’re in enrollment management, the idea of those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer might sound like a dream. As you know, the summer months are still a busy time in admissions—it’s when we do everything we can to hold onto our hard-earned classes and ensure that deposited students matriculate and begin classes in the fall.

The biggest threat: summer melt, a.k.a., when students change their minds prior to the first day of classes. Sometimes students have specific reasons for changing course: financial barriers, lack of resources being provided to them, or choosing a different major not offered at your institution. Other times, it’s a bit more ambiguous, which makes it challenging to find creative ways to limit summer melt. Either way, admissions offers must pull out all the stops to prevent as much melt as possible.

Need help finding a place to start? Here are five anti-melt tactics you can implement to continue connecting with incoming students all summer long. The goal of these different approaches is to help ensure a smooth transition to campus in the fall and include the personal touch that so many students need.

1: Personalized Check-ins

By now, many incoming students have formed relationships with their admissions counselors. From getting them excited about attending your school, to holding their hands through the application process, these counselors have become a trusted guide throughout students’ late high school years. It’s important to continue that relationship over the summer and for counselors to help facilitate the transition to campus in the fall. By continuing communication between the student and counselor with phone calls, texting, or other personalized outreach, the student will feel supported and connected to the school. Ideas for discussion topics include following up on housing applications, health and immunization paperwork, and making a registration appointment with their academic advisor.

2: Figuring Out Finances

Without a doubt, finances are one of the most important factors influencing a student’s ability to attend college. Providing clear information to help students and their families understand their financial aid and tuition payment information will help them know what next steps need to be taken. As a start, try connecting students to their individual contacts in the financial aid and business offices so they’ll know who to go to with questions.

3: Connect Students to Students

There are a lot of opportunities to connect students with each other through different social media platforms. Encourage students to join a “‘Class of” group online, where they can get to know each other. Create an Instagram account that encourages students to share what they’re planning to study and why they’re excited about attending your school. You might also want to consider hosting a social event on campus to bring students together and invite current student representatives from select clubs and organizations. The incoming students can sign up to get involved with a campus group when they arrive in the fall. These bonding opportunities will help get your incoming students excited about their future on your campus.

4: Stay in Contact With Parents

While much of your focus is on the student, it’s also important to recognize the transition this experience brings for the families. Make sure that parents and guardians know who their contacts are on campus, and provide them with tailored information about the transition to school, and how their student will be supported so they’ll feel included in the experience and confident that their student belongs on your campus. You may even want to administer a survey to parents so that the student services team can follow up with answers to any questions that arise.

5: Keep It Personalized

Continue sending personalized emails and other messages to incoming students. Try including a video message welcoming them to campus and letting them know you are looking forward to seeing them soon. Share information on upcoming events for the fall semester to help students get excited about getting involved in activities. Invite them to connect with their academic advisor or career services to get them thinking about their futures. We know personalization is key for keeping students engaged, and it will help to reinforce that they’ve made a good decision to attend your institution.

Ultimately, the goal of any anti-melt tactic is to create long-lasting connections for incoming students on your campus. If students feel supported throughout this process, connected to the campus, and excited about what’s to come, then they will likely be there this fall. Summer is an opportunity to show your incoming students that they are already a part of your campus community and that their future with you is the right choice. It’s important to remember that until these students are on your campus this fall, there’s always a chance their plans can change. Take the necessary steps to make sure you’re doing everything possible to keep these students engaged and excited, and you’ll be able to welcome them to campus this fall.

If you’re looking for additional ideas to address summer melt or other pain points you’re currently facing, please reach out to us. Our experienced strategy team would love the opportunity to help you succeed in diminishing summer melt.