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This Special Report topic page archives all of the Hechinger Report's coverage of the guidance gap and how school counselors are key to leveling the playing field. 

"Counselors are key to helping students navigate school, apply to college and map out careers, but there’s a critical shortage of them in our nation’s schools. We look at how the school counseling crisis is affecting kids."

The Troubling Student-to-Counselor Ratio That Doesn't Add Up

“Nationwide, public school counselors are overworked and under-resourced. The average student-to-school-counselor ratio is 482-to-1-nearly double the 250-to-1 ratio recommended by the American School Counselor Association.”

Education Week, August 2018

Counseling Boosts Completion Rates

“Intensive college counseling provided to college-seeking, low-income students shifts their enrollment toward four-year colleges that are both relatively inexpensive and have better graduation rates than other institutions, according to a research paper published last week...”

Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 2, 2018

The Growing College Graduation Gap

“There are surely multiple reasons that the college-graduation gap is growing. For one thing, neighborhoods have become more economically segregated, which probably increases gaps in the quality of K-12 schools — and, by extension, academic preparation.”

The New York Times, Mar. 25, 2018

Study: College completion gap between rich, poor widens

“The gap in bachelor-degree attainment between the nation's richest and poorest students by age 24 has doubled during the last four decades, according to a report released Tuesday.”

Chicago Tribune, Feb. 3, 2015

The Undervaluing of School Counselors

“Thankfully, leaders in the education community are increasingly recognizing the pivotal role of the school counselor in the lives of students, particularly low-income and first-generation ones who might not have any other adult in their lives who applied to and attended college.”

The Atlantic, September 2016

How to Level the College Playing Field

“...according to the latest figures, the average national ratio of high school students to counselors runs as high as 482 to 1. We must make it possible for high schools to hire, train and deploy enough guidance counselors, or we will have proved that we are not taking this issue seriously.”

The New York Times, Apr. 7, 2018

Let’s make it easier for
low-income students to apply for financial aid

“For low-income students, getting into college isn’t enough. Colleges where students are offered admission are not choices if they cannot afford to go. The most significant hurdles in the process ... are generally not visible in the public conversation about the college admissions process”

Boston Globe, Mar. 24, 2016

These Students Have Been Accepted to College, But Will They Show Up This Fall?

“Up to 40 percent of low-income students who are accepted to college in the spring never make it to the first day of class in the fall. They’re stymied by tuition sticker shock, Kafkaesque paperwork requirements and a quiet, corrosive feeling that they don’t belong.”

WNYC SchoolBook, Aug. 14, 2015

Peer-to-Peer Networks Increase College Attainment

“Research and practice support the theory that the essential element of a robust college-going culture is a humming peer-to-peer network. When engaged, students can drive achievement not just for themselves individually but for all their classmates..”

Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 27, 2017

500 High School Students Per Counselor

“While small private schools can often afford to provide their students with tremendous hand-holding, large public high schools across the country struggle with staggering ratios of students to guidance counselors. Nationally, that ratio is nearly 500 to 1, a proportion experts say has remained virtually unchanged for more than 10 years.”

The New York Times, Jan. 2, 2018

More Than Half Of Latinos Surveyed Say Applying To College Wasn't Discussed With Them

“In California, where Latino kids make up the majority of public schools, the ratio of students to counselors is about 650 to 1. The national ratio is even worse. Andrade says even if you could reach every first-gen Latino student to say, apply to college, that's not enough.”

NPR, Nov. 17, 2017

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