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Exploring the Student-to-Advisor Ratio

Learn about what the average student-to-advisor ratio is, what it should be, and how improving this process enables students to progress.

What is the Student-to-Advisor Ratio?

A student-to-advisor ratio is the number of students assigned to an academic advisor. Having a manageable student-to-advisor ratio is vital to a student’s academic success and a program’s retention rate. The ratio determines how much help is available to prospective students who need valuable support to succeed in their program.

What is the Optimal Student-to-Advisor Ratio?

There’s no exact figure for this question. However, according to some experts, an ideal ratio would be up to 300 students per advisor. This ensures that advisors are not stretched too thin and students have the academic and personal support they need to succeed.

How Does a Lower Student-to-Advisor Ratio Help Students?

The lower the ratio is, the easier it will be for advisors to foster a personal connection with their students to help keep them on track for academic and professional success. By lowering the caseload, advisors can develop individualized plans with each of their students and address personal circumstances that may be hindering their college experience.

What to Consider About the Student-to-Advisor Ratio

The proper advisor-to-student ratios for higher education are not all the same. Advisor caseloads vary based on several factors, including the type of institution and the nature of the academic program. To identify a proper student-to-advisor ratio, you have to define what “proper” advising entails in your program.

Every institution will manage advising responsibilities differently, so you’ll have to determine how you want your program to manage incoming and current students. For institutions with higher advisor-to-student ratios, advisors must have the right tools and processes in place to support assigned students based on their level of need.

What Do Academic Advisors Actually Do?

Academic advisors are the first point of contact for students who have questions, or concerns, or need someone to discuss their four-year plan with. More specifically, they:

  • Approve a student’s academic major.
  • Clarify program and graduation requirements.
  • Assist students in their career plans.
  • Help students identify the proper resources based on their needs.
  • Provide accurate information based on questions and concerns.

Improve Student-to-Advisor Ratio with EAB

Navigate360, EAB’s higher ed CRM, enables advisors to support their entire student caseload efficiently and effectively, giving students the support they need when they need it. Boost your advising efficiency with EAB’s Navigate360. Start your discovery with our proactive caseload management blog.