Can My Daughter Change her College Plans in August?

Question: My daughter recently attended orientation at the university she had planned to attend but decided that she didn't fit in there at all. So we contacted another university that had accepted her in the spring (but she turned down) to ask if they might still have room for her, and they said yes! So what is my daughter's obligation to the first college? Since she's already been to orientation, does she still have to go?

College officials always expect a certain amount of “summer melt." That's the term they use for students who submit their intention to enroll but then change their minds in June, July, or August. Your daughter should notify her university promptly if she is definitely not attending, but she should to get the commitment from the second school in writing before proceeding with the withdrawal. If you are expecting financial aid and/or housing from the second school, you need to get those commitments in writing, too (email is fine), before she cuts her ties with the first college.

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