Skip to main content

Evidence-based Practice: Enhanced college advising


Advising that engages students in the college application and enrollment process, providing hands-on assistance through each step, has had a positive impact on college enrollment. Advising providers may include traditional counselors; they may also include educators, school-based administrators, school staff (such as paraprofessionals), and third-party providers (such as nonprofit program staff or AmeriCorps volunteers). There are somewhat varying models for advising programs with proven impacts, but the WWC recommends that students who want to attend a two- or four-year institution receive guidance in preparing for and taking college admissions tests; searching for a college that matches their qualifications, interests, and goals; and completing college applications. Students should receive one-on-one assistance with college applications (and financial aid applications, as noted above) to ensure they submit quality applications that are complete and on time. To expose students to the college environment and help them select a college, advising programs should coordinate college visits. Some programs also assist students in the transition to college. For example, OneGoal works with students for three years, including one year after high school graduation.  Bottom Line, which has been proven effective in improving both college enrollment and degree completion, provides advising support for up to six years after high school.


The framework's recommendations are based on syntheses of existing research. Please see the framework report for a list of works cited.

This website was funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.