High School Counselor Week

Weekly stories, facts, trends, and other information from around the country


May 23, 2024

Big Picture

‘It’s cool to be in school’: Educators stress the importance of attendance
K-12 Dive – May 17, 2024
On Wednesday, federal, state and local education leaders gathered at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building near the White House for an Every Day Counts Summit to encourage families, community organizations, local elected officials, businesses, faith leaders, pediatricians and others to spread the word about the importance of school attendance. Everyone in the community plays a role in combating chronic absenteeism, participants at a White House-sponsored event said.

Does School Choice ‘Work’?
Education Week – May 21, 2024
It’s more complicated than either side acknowledges

Over Half of States Sue to Block Biden Title IX Rule Protecting LGBTQ+ Students
The 74 – May 21, 2024
Twenty-six GOP-led states are suing the Biden administration over changes to Title IX aiming to protect LGBTQ+ students from discrimination in schools. The revised rule, which will go into effect on Aug. 1, requires schools ‘to take prompt and effective action when notified of conduct that reasonably may constitute sex discrimination in their education programs or activities.’

Columns and Blogs

Before You Go to College
Post – May 22, 2024
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D.

Find the Free Money — Merit Scholarship Money Makes Cents!
Post – May 22, 2024
College Advice & Timely Tips with Lee Bierer


Corporal Punishment in Schools Still Legal in Many States
NEA Today – May 20, 2024
Proponents of corporal punishment argue that inflicting pain upon a child acts as a deterrent for misbehavior and helps instill discipline. However, research clearly shows that schools that have utilized physical forms of discipline have not been as successful at correcting unwanted behavior as schools that do not use corporal punishment. Studies also have shown that students who are victims of corporal punishment are more likely to exhibit aggression, anxiety, and depression. And corporal punishment has significant negative effects on students’ overall mental wellbeing and can lead to serious physical injury. In 2003, the Society for Adolescent Medicine estimated that between 10,000 and 20,000 students require medical attention as a result of school corporal punishment each year.

Corps of ‘near-peers’ to help schools address youth mental health struggles
K-12 Dive – May 20, 2024
The Youth Mental Health Corps is a public-private collaboration between founding partners and other organizations. Hundreds of corps members will be deployed to schools and community organizations in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota and Texas beginning in September 2024. Seven other states — California, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Utah — intend to launch their own corps in fall 2025. The near-peer navigators are high school graduates ages 18-24 who will be trained to recognize signs of mental distress and help students access support for anxiety, depression, loneliness, traumatic stress and more. The program also aspires to increase the number of trained mental health professionals. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, speaking at the corps’ kickoff event May 16, said, ‘This is an example of what the private sector can do…in collaboration with other forces to actually help not only get young people greater access to mental health care, but inspire a new generation of people to become mental health providers.’


I taught college for almost a decade, and I want parents to stop forcing their kids into college. There are other options.
Business Insider – May 21, 2024
During my nine years of teaching college composition classes, I experienced a familiar student-teacher conversation on repeat. Students would confess to me — usually when we had a one-on-one about their plummeting grade — what was really going on. The overwhelming and overriding culprit of my students’ college failures was their parents. They had attempted to express to their parents that they didn’t want to go to college. Their reasons were diverse. I wish I could have said to each of these parents that their child had other options…

Signs of Grief in Children and How To Help Them Cope
Parents – May 16, 2024
Kids grieve differently than adults, so it’s important to know how to recognize the signs that they are grieving and what you can do to help them cope. When a child is grieving, you might not even recognize it as grief. But just because it doesn’t look like the grief you’re familiar with, doesn’t mean their grief is any less real.

Admissions Process & Strategy

Still unsure about college? It’s not too late to apply for scholarships or even school.
USA Today – May 19, 2024
Education experts want students and families to know, that it isn’t too late to get scholarships or even apply to a school to attend this fall. Students have access to 1.7 million private scholarships and fellowships whose total value tops $7.4 billion Some take as few as two minutes to complete, with a chance to win as much as $25,000. Scholarships are also gifts and don’t have to be repaid. NACAC lists schools that are still accepting applications. And Niche allows students to be considered for immediate acceptance at 91 schools across 30 states through its Direct Admissions program through Aug. 1 for the 2024-25 school year.

Debt-Free College Is More Important Than a Flashy Piece of Paper
The Daily Courier (PA) – May 21, 2024
It’s important to help kids keep perspective and show them how to look past the brightly colored fliers and focus on what’s most important: getting a degree that’s debt-free. This goes against generations of cultural conditioning, which encourages spending whatever it takes to get the most prestigious four-year degree you can find. But as billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban said last year, ‘Every college has strong programs that can educate you,’ and ‘Nothing will hinder your ability to use your college education (more) than debt’ because ‘debt pushes you to take a job that pays your loans rather than picking a job you love.’

How Your Hometown Could Affect Your College Prospects
U.S. News & World Report – May 21, 2024
In the wake of the 2023 U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the use of race in college admissions, geography plays a greater role in applicant diversity. State funding incentivizes public schools to admit more in-state applicants. Applicants may stand out more when applying to highly selective schools outside their region.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

College Scholarships for Lesser-Known Sports
U.S. News & World Report – May 15, 2024
At the institutional level, there are financial restrictions for non-NCAA sports. However, students can search for scholarships from third-party sources, such as nonprofits or local organizations. ‘There are some colleges that will have some scholarships for non-NCAA sports that are at the club level that maybe an alum has donated money to…’

States Requiring FAFSA for High School Seniors
U.S. News & World Report – May 22, 2024
To boost FAFSA completion rates and encourage college enrollment, the following states currently require all public high school seniors to submit the FAFSA in order to graduate, according to the National College Attainment Network:

Career & Technical Education

Certificates A Growing Trend At North Dakota Colleges
The 74 – May 15, 2024
Out of the 210 academic programs that came through the North Dakota University System office and were approved by the State Board of Higher Education, 142 out of those were certificate programs. While the number of graduates from North Dakota colleges and universities has declined almost 6% in the past five years, the number of program completions is down only about 3%, with some students completing multiple degrees or certificates.

How community colleges kept students engaged during and after the pandemic
The Conversation – May 20, 2024
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it prompted enrollment drops at community and technical colleges. But it also spurred the schools to innovate in an effort to better serve students who might otherwise fall through the cracks.

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24 Scholarships for 2024

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Organize Senior Merit Awards

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GradBetter Simplifies Aggregating Senior Merit Awards
If you’re a HS counselor that organizes senior merit awards for marketing purposes, GradBetter simplifies this and incentivizes families by providing free award feedback, unlike Google sheets. (Create HS landing page)

Teen Health

Building mindfulness skills into curricula can help keep students focused
K-12 Dive – May 15, 2024
Deep breathing techniques and adding transition times between classes are among strategies students can use to ease anxieties, one expert says.

LISTEN: Teens want therapy. Are they getting it?
Chalkbeat – May 22, 2024
This week’s P.S. Weekly podcast looks at teen mental health, zooming in on one mother and daughter’s opposing views on therapy, and zooming out to look at New York City’s ambitious new effort to expand free mental health care to teens across the five boroughs.


ACT/SAT Scores: Importance and strategies for success
WBRC (AL) – May 22, 2024
College admissions can be a confusing landscape, particularly when it comes to standardized testing. Are the ACT and SAT still important? The answer, according to Shaan Patel, founder of PREPexpert.com, is yes. Beyond admissions, strong ACT/SAT scores can be a gateway to significant financial aid. Billions of dollars in scholarships are awarded based on grades and test scores. Students who choose not to take the tests may be automatically ineligible for this scholarship money.

What’s next for the test-optional movement?
Higher Ed Dive – May 20, 2024
At the heart of the matter is whether test-optional policies actually help even the college admissions playing field for students who are part of racially, economically and geographically underrepresented populations. Standardized testing critics say such requirements give wealthy students who pay for pricey test prep and tutoring an advantage during the admissions processes. However, some college leaders are now finding that test-optional policies are harming their disadvantaged applicants — a contention disputed by several advocates and experts on the issue, who stand by their belief that the movement will continue.