Support for School Counselors

Support for School Counselors 

The Issue 

School counselors play an essential role in helping students prepare and plan for postsecondary education. 

A NACAC report  found that students who meet one-on-one with a school counselor are 6.8 times more likely to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), 3.2 times more likely to attend college, and 2 times more likely to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program. 

Unfortunately, too many students lack access to a school counselor who has the time and support needed to adequately advise each student. 

The Solution 

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and NACAC recommend a student-to-counselor ratio of 250:1. 

In the 2018-19 academic year, the national average ratio was 430:1 — nearly double the recommended ratio. 

The lower the student-to-counselor ratio, the more likely it is that school counselors will be able to spend an appropriate amount of time working with each student to create and follow a plan for postsecondary success. This time is especially crucial for under-served students, many of whom may be the first in their families to pursue a postsecondary education. 

Download our school counselor fact sheet. 

The Bottom Line 

School counselors are important resources for helping students to identify college options, navigate the application process, and explore financial aid. 

Take action now in support of school counselors! Send a NACAC Action Alert message to your Congressional representatives. 

NACAC members and other college admission counseling professionals have a compelling interest in ensuring the safety of their students, as well as their own safety. When students are worried about mortal danger, they cannot focus on their academic responsibilities, a task which should be their primary objective at school.

NACAC offers school counselors these resources to help shape school safety policies:

Research Brief on School Counselors and School Safety

School Safety Policy Recommendations

NACAC In Action 

This issue is a policy priority for NACAC. On behalf of the membership, the association recently took the following actions to advocate for major policy changes in support of school counselors and college advising.