Nearly Sixty Percent of High School Seniors Wish They Received More Help With College Search From Guidance Counselors, Says WiseChoice Survey

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A survey, conducted this past month by WiseChoice found that 56 percent of students were not satisfied with the help provided by their school’s guidance counselor during their college search and application process. Sixty-five percent of students surveyed agree that money is a huge factor in their final decision about where to attend college and 36 percent say they’ve had to lower their expectations about college because of their family’s financial situation.

A recent nationwide survey of 1,175 high school seniors confirmed the pervasive opinion that many of our nation’s high school guidance counselors are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of students under their care. The survey, conducted this past month by WiseChoice— the comprehensive, online college guidance solution that matches students with schools that meet their personality, learning style, budget, preferences and interests — found that 56 percent of students were not satisfied with the help provided by their school’s guidance counselor during their college search and application process. Additionally, only 34 percent reported getting all they help they needed.

“We believe that guidance counselors play a vital role in the lives of high school students, but because of the sheer number of students at most high schools, they are charged with a daunting task,” said WiseChoice founder and President Richard Taylor. “WiseChoice does not aim to be a substitute for guidance counselors. But, with the current ratio of 315 students per one counselor,* it is our aim to help bridge the gap between school counseling sessions by providing students and parents with much-needed resources they deserve. Our ultimate goal is the same: to find a college where the student will thrive.”

Another area of concern for high school seniors is the financial aspects associated with attending college. Sixty-five percent of students surveyed agree that money is a huge factor in their final decision about where to attend college and 36 percent say they’ve had to lower their expectations about college because of their family’s financial situation.

“The harsh reality for most students is that they must base their ultimate decision about college on money, but WiseChoice is uniquely qualified to help parents and students figure out how to pay for college, identify scholarships and financial aid, and develop a payment plan,” says Taylor. “WiseChoice can provide personalized estimates of how much students may receive in financial aid — including scholarships and grants — from a specific school before they even apply.”

Additional findings from the WiseChoice Survey:

  • 26 percent of respondents spent more than 150 hours on their college search and application process
  • 53 percent of students started researching colleges during their junior year or the summer before junior year
  • 43 percent said that Top 10 Lists and college ranking reports played no role in their college search
  • 83 percent of students said that they and their parents agree on what college to attend; 89 percent say they will get the final say, not their parents.

About WiseChoice

Launched in October, 2009, WiseChoice (http://www.WiseChoice.com) is the most comprehensive online college guidance solution currently available and features expert advice, scholarship information, personalized financial aid scenarios, school statistics, academic outlook and reviews by more than 100,000 surveyed college students. By matching students with the “best-fit” college options across all facets, WiseChoice aims to help students have a successful college experience both in and out of the classroom.

*National Center for Educational Statistics

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Lydia Voles

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