A guide to what college rankings don't tell you.

High School Counselor Info

Counselors are the backbone of student success in high school, college, and beyond. A dedicated and passionate counselor can alter a student’s life and prepare him or her for future achievements inside and outside of the classroom.

ACTA understands that many school counselors serve several hundred students and that it’s hard to identify the best resources to help guide students through the college selection process. What Will They Learn?® is designed to help counselors connect motivated students with colleges and universities that offer challenging and coherent general education programs. At most universities, the core curriculum makes up about one-third of a student’s academic program. Whether students graduate with the skills employers demand above all—the capacity for critical analysis, oral and written communication skills, intercultural fluency, etc.—is often determined by the rigor of a school’s core curriculum.

The new What Will They Learn?® website also provides counselors with information to help students and parents answer many other important questions that arise during the college search. Which universities offer a high-quality education at reasonable price? Are universities graduating most of their students in four years? Does the university offer well-designed programs designed to foster academic excellence?

ACTA understands that families often have questions about the value of liberal arts majors in the 21st century. We encourage you to direct students and parents to our What Employers Say page. This page provides information about the competencies that are in highest demand in the 21st century labor market, and it includes testimony from successful CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business leaders about how their own experience in the liberal arts shaped their careers and prepared them for important leadership roles.

The Numbers Tell the Story page provides an at-a-glance overview of the data from our most recent What Will They Learn? publication. One-third of colleges and universities earned a failing grade, but there are also several colleges that boast strong curricula, high graduation rates, and reasonable tuition rates.

The Knowledge Crisis page details an astonishing knowledge gap in the core arts and science disciplines. ACTA’s research over the years has deepened our concern that an overall deterioration of general education programs has contributed not only to increasing employer dissatisfaction with college graduates’ career readiness, but also to the ongoing decline in civic competency and civility in the public square.

The FAQ page will help answer many of the remaining questions you and your students may have.

Other Resources contains links to important information about academic freedom, viewpoint diversity, admissions exams, student loans, and student debt.

What Will They Learn?® is committed to helping high school counselors, and we are always looking for more ways to assist you and your students.


Experience What Will They Learn?®


Request your own copy of What Will They Learn?®
We encourage high school counselors to use this site during their meetings with college-bound students. If you would like a physical copy of our latest edition, please email wwtl@GoACTA.org and mention that you are a school counselor. Our team will send you a complimentary copy. You may also download a full PDF copy of our report.


Interested in What Will They Learn?® visiting your school?
Let us host a session at your school about the benefits of What Will They Learn?® and demonstrate to your staff or students how to use this resource. We offer presentations during school hours and are willing to attend your school’s college night. We can also work with your team to setup a Skype video or an online recording for interested schools. If you are interested in working with a What Will They Learn?® representative, please contact wwtl@GoACTA.org


Visit us at your state counselor conference!
You can find What Will They Learn?® at many statewide school counselor conferences throughout the country. Visit our booth for more materials and resources or attend one of our sessions for additional information.

We will be at the following upcoming conferences:

   Southern Association of Independent Schools -- Atlanta, Georgia, October 17 -18, 2021

Are you a counselor at a college or a part of the admissions department?
While this page is designed for high school counselors, we also work with college administrators and marketing departments to help publicize A-rated schools. In the past, we have assisted in the development of local and national advertisements. For more information, please contact us at wwtl@GoACTA.org.


Counselor Toolkit

Liberal arts flyerOur Liberal Arts Success flyer highlights the skills employers are looking for in recent graduates.

About What Will They Learn flyerOur What Will They Learn?® flyer introduces important topics to discuss during the college search process. 

Ad flyerOur office poster invites students to visit WhatWillTheyLearn.com.

What Counselors Are Saying

“I’ve found the WWTL Guide to be extremely helpful as I counsel my students to look for colleges that respect them as serious learners… My students and their parents appreciate being able to quickly glean which colleges are providing a meaningful education.”

—Becky Priest
College Counselor, The Cambridge School