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 2014-15 each public school counselor (including elementary and secondary) was responsible for 482 students, on average.

College Counseling Staff: In 2016, 28 percent of public schools reported employing at least one counselor (full- or part-time) whose exclusive responsibility was to provide college counseling, compared to 49 percent of private schools.

College Counseling Activities: On average, public counselors spent 20 percent of their time on postsecondary counseling in 2016, while their private school counterparts spent 31 percent of their time on college counseling.

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

Explore the 2017 State of College Admission

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NACAC Research

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This report, developed by NACAC & Hobsons, highlights promising state- and school-level practices using individual learning plans (ILPs) to prepare students for success beyond high school.

Career Paths for Admission Officers: A Survey Report

This report presents the results of a survey of NACAC admission professionals, offering insightful observations on their career experiences and advice to others to advance in the profession.

Use of Predictive Validity Studies to Inform Admission Practices

This report sheds new light on the important role predictive validity research can play in informing admission practices.