Clinical Load Index (CLI)

Developed by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health (CCMH), with support from the International Association of Counseling Services, Inc. (IACS) and the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD), the CLI represents a reliable, comparable, and intuitive distribution of staffing levels that can be used to inform decisions about the resourcing of mental health services in colleges and universities. In brief, the CLI describes the relationship between the demand for and supply of mental health services in college and university counseling centers. The CLI helps to shift the question that institutions should be asking from, “How many staff should we have?” to “What services do we want to provide to our students?”

To learn more about the CLI, calculate your CLI, and compare your CLI to your peers, please visit the CLI App. Before using the CLI App, all users should understand the following concepts.  

  • Institutional Enrollment: The total number of students enrolled at the institution who are eligible for services.
  • Counseling Center Utilization: The total number of students with at least 1 attended appointment between July 1st and June 30th.
  • Counseling Center Clinical Capacity: The total number of contracted/expected clinical hours for a typical/busy week when the center is fully staffed (not including case management and psychiatric services).
  • Percent Utilization: The proportion (%) of enrolled/eligible students who scheduled at least 1 appointment in the counseling center between July 1st and June 30th.
  • Clinical Load Index (CLI) Score: The CLI score can be thought of as “clients per standardized counselor (per year)” or the “standardized caseload” for the counseling center. 


*To review your CLI data, please see simple instructions here.

2020-2021 CLI Shiny App
Request a 2020-2021 CLI Peer Report
2018-2019 CLI Shiny App
2017-2018 CLI Shiny App

2020-2021 Distribution

  • July 1, 2020- June 30, 2020 
  • 563 colleges and universities
  • Minimum: 12
  • Maximum: 314
  • Mean: 90
  • Median: 84
  • Standard Deviation: 43
  • Zones
    • Low: less than 48
    • Mid: 48 to 133
    • High: greater than 133

 2018-2019 Distribution

  • July 1, 2018- June 30, 2019 
  • 567 colleges and universities
  • Minimum: 30
  • Maximum: 310
  • Mean: 119
  • Median: 112
  • Standard Deviation: 47
  • Zones
    • Low: 30 to 72
    • Mid: 73 to 167
    • High: 168 to 310

2017-2018 Distribution


  • July 1, 2017- June 30, 2018
  • 432 colleges and universities
  • Minimum: 37
  • Maximum: 308
  • Mean: 118
  • Median: 114
  • Standard Deviation: 44