High School Guidance Counselor Recommendations: The Role of Student Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Academic Performance


Frank Linnehan, Drexel University, 101 N. 33rd Street Academic Building, Philadelphia, PA 19104. E-mail: linnehf@drexel.edu


This study explored the relation between student characteristics and counselor recommendations. Based on a sample of 1,713 students, the results indicate that counselors recommended community colleges to students from lower socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds more strongly than to students from higher SES backgrounds and recommended 4-year institutions more to students from higher SES backgrounds than to students from lower SES backgrounds. White counselors were more likely to recommend admission-related activities toward 2-year colleges to White than to Black students. In addition, for upper-class students, recommendations toward community college were stronger for Whites with low academic performance than for Blacks with low performance; the reverse was true for upper-class students with strong academic performance. Areas for future research are identified.