Editor’s Note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in December 2015.
US high schools must devote more time to college counseling if they want to “see the fruit of other investments,” according to one education researcher.
In a 2015 column, New America staffer Abigail Swisher makes the case that students need both rigorous curriculum and personalized guidance to achieve their postsecondary plans.
“If we want to recreate the American high school as a place where all students have the resources for success in college and career, we need to reinvent the role of counselors,” Swisher writes, citing data from NACAC and other education associations. “This could mean reducing the caseload or number of responsibilities each counselor has, or it might mean moving to an entirely different model of support.”
“A recent study showed that students who met with a school counselor to talk about financial aid or college were three times more likely to attend college and they were nearly seven times more likely to apply for financial aid,” Obama said, referencing a NACAC report released last month. “Our school counselors are truly among the heroes of the Reach Higher story.”
“The counseling initiatives are far from the biggest-ticket items in states’ budgets,” she writes. “But they’re a significant sign of a renewed commitment to school counseling, which took particularly heavy hits in layoffs driven by the Great Recession eight years ago.”
Students who meet one-on-one with a school counselor are significantly more likely to attend college and apply for federal financial aid, according to a new study released today by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).
The findings, culled from nationally representative data, are the first to demonstrate that school counselors have a positive impact on student outcomes that is both quantifiable and statistically significant.
NACAC’s latest research report — How Can High School Counseling Shape Students’ Postsecondary Attendance? — shows that 12th graders who talked about their future plans with a school counselor were:
6.8 times more likely to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
3.2 times more likely to attend college.
Two times more likely to attend a bachelor’s degree program.