Meeting one-on-one with a school counselor to discuss college admission or financial aid, tripling the chance they will attend college, doubling the chance that they will attend a four-year college, and increasing by nearly seven times the likelihood that they will apply for financial aid, according to a study published late last month.
Using a federal database that follows 23,000 students who were in 9th grade in 2009, the National Association for College Admission Counseling calculated how likely students were to attend college four years later, and to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, after meeting with a counselor to discuss those issues.
Students who met with counselors to talk about financial aid were 6.8 times more likely to submit the FAFSA than those who didn’t have those meetings. Students who met individually with a counselor to talk about financial aid or college were twice as likely to attend a bachelor’s-degree program after finishing high school. Their odds of attending any college were tripled. The analysis did not examine the role students’ motivation might play in seeking out counselors or being likely to apply for financial aid or attend college.
A version of this article appeared in the December 14, 2016 edition of Education Week as College Counseling