Though counseling is one commonly pursued intervention to improve college enrollment and completion for disadvantaged students, there is relatively little causal evidence on its efficacy. We study the impact of intensive college counseling provided to college-seeking, low income
students by a Massachusetts program that admits applicants partly on the basis of a minimum GPA requirement. We utilize a regression discontinuity design comparing students just above and below this threshold and find that counseling successfully shifts enrollment toward four-year colleges encouraged by the program, which are largely public and substantially less expensive than alternatives students would otherwise choose. Counseling appears to improve persistence
through the third year of college, with particularly large impacts on female students and those who speak English at home. The evidence suggests potential for intensive college counseling to improve degree completion rates for disadvantaged students.