Texas Students’ College Knowledge: Do High School Counselors Matter?
Michelle Bellessa Frost, Princeton University
This paper explores the association between Texas high school students’ interactions with high school guidance counselors and their knowledge of essential college admissions information. Using refined measures of counselor interaction and controls for other factors associated with both college knowledge and exposure to counselors, this paper extends previous work on if and how counselors influence students’ college decisions. Hierarchical logistic regression models using data from the Texas Higher Education Opportunity Project suggest three important findings. First, interaction with and exposure to guidance counselors is related to higher levels of student college knowledge. Second, when more students within a school have obtained college information from counselors, students in that school are more likely to hold college knowledge as well. Finally, counselors are particularly important sources of college information for minority, first generation college, lower achieving, and poorer students.