Former NACAC President Offers Strategies to Prevent Summer Melt


Nearly one-third of college-bound high school graduates don’t arrive at any college campus the following fall.

This pervasive problem is known as summer melt and Patrick O’Connor, a former NACAC president and current school counselor ambassador fellow at the US Department of Education, has some advice for combating it.

“As tempting as it is to look at graduation as the end of a school counselor’s work with a class, the exact opposite is true, especially for students heading to college,” O’Connor wrote for Homeroom— the official blog of the US Department of Education.

He offered up a few steps counselors, parents, and other members of a student’s support system could take, including texting, weekly meetings, and campus visits.

“Working together as a team throughout the college selection process—from the junior year, all the way to the fall of the student’s first year on a college campus—parents, counselors and siblings who are there to support and help the student every step of the way can make a world of difference,” O’Connor wrote.

Read the full DOE blog post here.

Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at

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