A new report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling looks at the challenges high school counselors face in advising international students on their college choices and argues that counselors need more training to better address the needs of the growing pool of international students at U.S. high schools.
The report, based on interviews with 20 counselors, found that the counselors have challenges navigating language and cultural barriers, especially in cases in which international students enroll in American high schools with limited English proficiency, and generally feel less comfortable advising international students than domestic students about the college admission process.
It also found that high school counselors are unsure of how to collaborate with third-party agents. Three-quarters of the counselors who were interviewed, and 90 percent of those at private high schools, said their international students work with third-party agents who are typically based overseas and hired by the students and their families. None of the schools involved in the study had a written policy guiding collaboration between high school counselors and third-party agents. Counselors said navigating this issue "can be challenging... largely because agents can sometimes provide inaccurate information or unsound advice to students."