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Knowledge From the Field

Can I Get a Little Advice Here?: How an Overstretched High School Guidance System Is Undermining Students' College Aspirations

Published: March 2010

Publisher(s): Public Agenda

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

View Report (45 pages; 2.15MB; PDF)

Area of focus: Preparation for College


This study presents survey findings on the limitations of the public high school guidance system. It specifically focuses on how perfunctory guidance impacts studentsí choices on colleges, careers, and acquiring financial aid. The study also looks at the negative impact poor counseling has on disadvantaged students.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

=Advisors at higher education institutions got better ratings, although there was room for improvement in all areas of counseling

- Students who got perfunctory counseling were more likely to delay college and make more questionable higher education choices

- Surveyed young adults viewed high school counselors as less helpful than teachers

Geographic Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: College preparation; high school guidance; guidance counselors; disadvantaged students; minority students; college-ready

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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