College Counselor Shortage? Not With College Coach

college guidance counselor and high school senior discussing applications

The following guest post comes from Ian Brook Fisher, College Coach admissions expert and former senior admissions officer at Reed College.

For nearly a decade, the ratio of college counselors to high school students has been about 1-to-500. While this number might be staggering to parents and students, it's not surprising to those of us who have spent our careers in education. It's a tough, and sometimes thankless, job. Like a flashlight during a power outage, high school counselors tend to go unnoticed until you really need one. Unfortunately, there are precious few college counselors to go around, leaving many students and parents in the dark when it comes time to apply to college.

The Problem: A College Counselor Shortage

College Coach was conceived, in part, to fill the information gap perpetuated by the counselor shortage in public schools. There simply aren't enough hours in a day for a skeleton crew of guidance counselors to help hundreds of seniors create course schedules, identify best-fit colleges, write (and rewrite, and rewrite) essays, and strategize standardized tests. That doesn't include coordinating application materials, writing a recommendation for each senior, and counseling for underclassmen. Public school guidance counselors are also tasked with monitoring and maintaining the health and wellness of hundreds of teenagers. That's a very, very full plate. When parents don't have enough access to high school counselors, they turn elsewhere for answers. The internet opens up a black hole of misinformation, concern, and all-consuming stress that can affect their child's chances of admission and the parent's well-being and focus at work.

Applying Our Solution

That's where we come in. I've had countless conversations with families about selecting standardized tests, writing personal statements, asking for recommendations, and meeting application deadlines. In just a 45-minute counseling session, I give a family action items that will put them on the path to success. It's amazing to feel the stress lifting as we wrap up and they read back the to-do list we've created together.

In many cases, I also refer parents to our finance educators. Counselor shortage or no, there are very few high school counselors who have worked in financial aid offices at colleges and universities across the country. Having access to that kind of perspective is unique to College Coach, and makes our team of educators a powerful resource even to parents of students in private schools, who enjoy a more favorable student-to-counselor ratio. The expertise of your child's counselor likely provides you with excellent support, but with thousands of colleges to choose from and endless financial questions to answer, who wouldn't want a second opinion?

Between our finance team and over 20 admissions professionals with an incredible combined resume, we make up the biggest, most experienced college counseling office in the country and our expertise is available on demand, by phone or email or internet, to all employees at companies who enjoy our services. That makes the odds look a whole lot better.