College Admissions, Student Enrollment, Melt : Planet Money : The Indicator from Planet Money What is "melt" and why are college admissions departments sweating over it this year?

The College Admissions 'Melt' Down

The College Admissions 'Melt' Down

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1041011021/1041012975" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle vi/MediaNews Group via Getty Images
(Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)
MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle vi/MediaNews Group via Getty Images

Every year aspiring undergrads have to make a monumental decision of where they want to go to college. At the same time, colleges and universities have to predict how many of their prospective students, who've accepted a place and paid their deposit, will actually show up. It's a calculation colleges call "melt" and it can help them figure out everything from how many professors to hire to how many dorm rooms to build.

On today's show, we visit the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where the school has found itself with more students than it expected. The Hechinger Report's Jon Marcus explains why "melt" has been so much harder to figure out in recent years.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Newsletter.

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, PocketCasts and NPR One.