Most high schools don’t have enough college counselors

Posted on July 2nd, 2015

During high school, a good counselor can make all the difference in helping a student apply to college, particular if the student is low-income or is the first person in their family to go to college.

But recent studies have shown that there’s a huge shortage in the number of high school counselors needed to adequately help students find schools, apply, and prepare for college, which leads to students and families making uninformed about college and how to pay for it.

Lack of personal attention for students

According to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), a public school counselor in the U.S. now has an average caseload of 471 students.

And the average in the state of California is even worse: 826 students to every one counselor as of 2012-13.

It’s nearly impossible to give 471 (or 826) students the adequate time and attention needed to help them search for colleges, find a good fit and most importantly, figure out how to afford it.

Many low-income students, especially, view college as a luxury they can’t afford and shouldn’t bother trying to.

And it’s no surprise, given that the average cost for tuition and fees for one year at a private college is now $31,231, according to the College Board.

Students lack adequate information about college

Without guidance about the financial aid process, how to find and apply for scholarships, and how to maximize their financial aid package, many students and families end up taking on a lot of student debt to pay for college, or simply don’t apply at all–a costly mistake in an economy where a college degree has become a necessity.

As Timothy Pratt writes in an article for Time,

The result is an overtaxed system in which many students either never go to college, go to institutions that are the wrong for them, or never learn about financial aid for which they may qualify.

Counseling is crucial for college-bound students

As college and financial aid counselors, we strive to help fill the gap students and families in most high schools face due to a lack of available counselors and information about applying and paying for college.

Like many counselors, we often work with high schools to deliver unbiased information to families about the financial aid and college application process. Because college is such an important (and expensive) investment, it’s crucial for college-bound students and families to be armed with as much information as possible about getting into college and paying for it.

Unlike most high school counselors, we meet with students and families regularly to assess their needs and goals, evaluate how much they can afford to pay for college, and help them maximize their financial aid package to make college more affordable.

Working with a college financial aid counselor

We realize that personalized attention is a rarity in today’s world of school budget cuts and overtaxed guidance counselors, and outside help is necessary to help families make the best college decision for them–both personally and financially.

If you want to learn how we can help you and your family apply for college and financial aid, give our counselors a call toll-free at 1-888-234-3907 or contact us using this form.

Category: Choosing a College

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