The College Admissions ‘Melt’ Down : The Indicator from Planet Money

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(Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

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 too many students. The Hechinger Report’s Jon Marcus explains why “melt” has been so much harder to figure out in recent years.

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