this study was performed with the following objectives: to identify the existence of students counselling and orientation services; to characterize the services and programs offered; to verify the professional composition of the service staff. forms were distributed to the universities, asking questions about the presence and characteristics of the counselling services. of the 121 forms distributed to the universities, 61 were returned. eighty percent of these declare to have such services, being more frequent in the communitary-type institutions. in 75% of the services, a school psychologist is available, and they offer several types of programs to the students. the alternative treatments to the problems of the students in this institutions where there is no counselling services or where the school psychologist is not available were also discussed. the importance of a counselling service is recognized by the institutions that do not have one.