Racial Prejudice and High School Guidance Counselors

A new study by researchers at Drexel University in Philadelphia and sponsored by the National Commission for Cooperative Education in Boston finds that guidance counselors steer black students to community colleges more so than white students with similar academic records and family resources.

A survey was mailed to 20,000 high school counselors across the nation. The guidance counselors were asked for their recommendations for 16 hypothetical students of different races, genders, academic records, and family income levels. The results showed that middle-class black students were more likely to be funneled toward community colleges than their white peers with similar academic records and family income levels. The guidance counselors also tended to recommend that white students with poor academic records from high-income families go to community colleges. But blacks with poor academic records who came from high-income families were counseled not to go to college at all.