Median Caseload per School Counselor, by High School Type, 2009

Data from the High School Longitudinal Study (HSLS:09) that began in 2009 and followed 23,000 students in the United States through high school, college, and the workforce, provides us with important information on high school counseling.

As illustrated below, half of all high school counselors provide services to 250 students or less, and half more than 250. Major differences exist between counselors at public and private schools where the former have much higher case loads. For instance, 15 percent of public counselors had caseloads above 450 students compared to only 1 percent at private schools. In total, 35 percent of public counselors had caseloads above 350 students compared to just 2 percent at privates. Conversely, while 39 percent of public school counselors had caseloads of 250 students or less, 89 percent of private school counselors had a similar case load.

SOURCE: Radford, A. W., and Ifill, N. (2015). Preparing Students for College: What High Schools Are Doing and How Their Actions Influence Ninth Graders’ College Attitudes, Aspirations and Plans. Washington, DC: National Association for College Admission Counseling. ( Uses data from High School Longitudinal Study of 2009, Base Year Survey Restricted Use File, US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.

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