Racial Makeup of High School Guidance Counselors

High school guidance counselors play a major role in a student’s decision as to whether or not to apply to college. For those students who do plan on college, high school counselors often have a major influence on a student’s decision as to the institutions that should be considered.

The annual report State of College Admission, from the National Association for College Admission Counseling, finds that 7.3 percent of high school guidance counselors in the United States are African Americans. In the South, blacks are 15.5 percent of the counselors. About 9 percent of all counselors in the Middle Atlantic and Midwestern states are black.

Black guidance counselors are more common in high schools with large numbers of poor students. At high schools where more than 75 percent of all students qualify for federal programs for free or reduced price lunches, 27 percent of all guidance counselors are black. Yet in these schools, many of which are predominantly black or Hispanic, more than two thirds of all guidance counselors are white.