New Report Indicates That Many Public High School Students Lack Quality College Counseling

New Report Indicates That Many Public High School Students Lack Quality College Counseling


By Admissions Expert, Dr. Paul Lowe

In a previous PWM blog, “High School Guidance/Counselors/College Admissions: Big Caseloads and Little Time,” I discussed the challenging demands of high school guidance and college admissions. Since then, a new report has indicated that public high school students lack quality college counseling.

The Hechinger Report states that “many public high schools are scrambling to provide students with even basic information about college after years of belt tightening have drained them of counselors. As a result, “support is scant” for most students: “Counselors are overwhelmed and college guidance often doesn’t begin until late in junior year.”

The American School Counselor Association recommends a student-to-school counselor ratio of 250-to-1. The most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics indicates that most states are significantly higher ratio. The only states with lower rates are Wyoming (225), New Hampshire (220) and Vermont (225). These ratios demonstrate that guidance counselors are overwhelmed and do not have the time to provide adequate college counseling in an increasingly competitive college admissions environment where schools that were once thought of as safety schools are now competitive.

Year after year, my team and I discover that even in public high schools in “affluent” suburban areas, their guidance departments are overwhelmed. They not only spend the majority of their time on school activities unrelated to college admissions, but also are unable to provide personalized, one-to-one college admissions counseling to each student. In the Northeast, we have seen this trend in such counties as Fairfield (CT), Westchester (NY), Northern New Jersey, and Nassau (Long Island).

As a high-end college admissions expert, I approach college admissions as a non-formulaic, competitive sport.  It’s about WINNING the ultimate trophy – acceptance into your top choice college. After all, students are not taking all those APs, attempting to get perfect SAT scores, requesting seemingly perfect letters of recommendation, and getting A’s to lose! By definition, you don’t play a competitive sport to lose! Or, in the case of college admissions, settle into a “good fit” safety school.


 “Admissions is a competitive sport! Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Greenwich Admissions Advisors. Tel. (203) 542-7288, and founder affiliates: Ivy League Admissions Advisors and Private School Admissions Advisors of the Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network.

Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for families and students who are interested in applying to top private schools, Ivy League and highly selective colleges and combined BS/MD programs. Dr. Lowe also helps students gain admissions into their top choice private schools and colleges after they have been wait-listed and rejected. Dr. Lowe and his Greenwich Admissions Advisors team provide house-calls for families with extremely busy schedules who can’t come to their office.