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Chapter 4: College Counseling in Secondary Schools

Access to college information and counseling in school is a significant benefit to students in the college application process. For many students, particularly those in public schools, college counseling is limited at best. Counselors are few in number, often have large student caseloads, and have additional constraints on the amount of time they can dedicate to college counseling.

Student-to-Counselor Ratio: According to US Department of Education data, in 2013-14 each public school counselor (including elementary and secondary) was responsible for 476 students, on average.

Time Spent Counseling for College: On average, public school counselors spent 22 percent of their time on postsecondary counseling in 2014, while their private school counterparts spent 55 percent of their time on college counseling.

College Counseling Staff: In 2014, 30 percent of public schools reported employing at least one counselor (full- or part-time) whose exclusive responsibility was to provide college counseling, compared to 73 percent of private schools.

Counselor Professional Development: Thirty-seven percent of high schools reported that counselors responsible for postsecondary counseling were required to participate in related professional development. However, only 41 percent of schools with this requirement paid all costs associated with the professional development; 43 percent paid some costs.​​​​​

Read Chapter 4 or download the State of College Admission report for more information. 

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