High School Counselor Week

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


September 26, 2019

Big Picture

2019 Survey of Admissions Leaders: The Pressure Grows
Inside Higher Ed – September 23, 2019
Results of Inside Higher Ed’s survey of admissions officers, including summary of findings and link to full survey report

Opinion: Ethical College Admissions: Declaration of Independents
Inside Higher Ed – September 23, 2019
There will be a pall over this year’s NACAC conference as the association and the profession prepare for an uncertain future. NACAC is reeling from a DOJ investigation, and the admissions scandal has raised questions about whether the scandal was an anomaly.

Opinion: Another Round of Chaos in College Admissions
Inside Higher Ed – September 23, 2019
In their latest solution in search of a problem, the Justice Department is picking on NACAC and their Code of Ethics and Professional Practice that has, over the years, brought at least some order to a very stressful process for students and their parents.

Varsity Blues Scandal Has High School Students Worried About College Admissions
Education Week – September 23, 2019
A survey released Monday finds deep wells of skepticism about whether they’ll get a fair shot from admissions offices.

Columns and Blogs

Aunt Becky and Company Didn’t Hurt Anybody? Baloney.
Post – September 25, 2019
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D
More nuances in the Early Admissions Programs
Tribune News Service – September 25, 2019
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 

The ‘extracurricular’ question lives on
Post – September 25, 2019
The Explorations Blog with Nancy Griesemer


‘My guidance counselor didn’t do any of this’: How school counselors’ roles have evolved
Boston Globe – September 18, 2019
Once focused largely on helping students prepare for college and careers, counselors have seen their portfolios expand to encompass a host of new responsibilities for students’ social and emotional well-being.

Who helps the caregiver? Penn counselor’s suicide highlights how experts aren’t immune from struggles
USA Today – September 21, 2019
College counseling directors nationwide say they can face a struggle to seek help and support amid mounting pressures in their jobs.

Removing Barriers In The College Application Process
Forbes – September 20, 2019
It is officially college application season and thousands of schools across the country are hosting American College Application Campaign events to support students through the college application process.

It’s never too early to start when preparing for college
Grand Island Independent – September 19, 2019
Nebraska school counselors discuss early post-high-school planning, including college visits by high school freshman.


Everything Parents Need to Know About Cyberbullying
A Secure Life – Fall 2019
The best way to protect your kids from cyberbullying is to encourage behaviors that help them avoid it altogether. Try adopting some of these strategies to keep your kids as safe as possible.

Preparing for college helps families to talk about value
Star Tribune (MN) – September 21, 2019
It is approaching the high season for college visits for prospective students, and parents tagging along need to understand that they probably have a different role in the college search than they once thought

What to do if your child is worried about the absurdly high cost of college
Fast Company Magazine – September 20, 2019
College is ridiculously expensive. Your child has every right to be worried, so don’t brush it off.


What to know before submitting FAFSA applications
Good Morning Washington – September 19, 2019
The first day to apply for need-based college grants through FAFSA is October 1, and the sooner students submit their application, the better. Jordan Kanarek of Collegewise offered a helpful guide for anyone preparing financial aid forms.

Admissions Process & Strategy

You are the Best You: Tips for Authentic Applications
ACCIS AdmitAll Blog – September 20, 2019
Admissions officers say that the best applicants are those whose personality shines through.

College Bound: Check This List Before You Hit Send
Montclair Local (NJ) – September 22, 2019
A former reader in Princeton University’s admissions office shares her top tips for reviewing your college application.

What college applicants get wrong
The Columbian – September 22, 2019
Avoid these mistakes, say admissions staff members

Nine-Video Series “College Admission 101” on YouTube
Yahoo! Finance – September 17, 2019
The Princeton Review, which this year helped half of the nation’s three million college-bound students navigate the higher-ed research and application processes, recently added a free resource to its array of admission and financial aid information tools for students and parents.

Career & Technical Education

Career and Technical H.S. Grads Have More Initial Earning Power, Study Says
UConn Today – September 23, 2019
Males who graduate from career and technical high schools in Connecticut earn more than their peers in the years immediately following graduation, according to a new study by the University of Connecticut.

Put engaging vocational programs in place
The Gainesville Sun – September 20, 2019
It is time to return to basics and provide students with various ways to take care of themselves and their families.

The promise of career and technical education
Brookings Institution – September 20, 2019
In the transition away from No Child Left Behind, there has been a resurgence of interest in CTE. Nevertheless, there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of CTE as an alternative pathway for K-12 students.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

How to Get the Scholarships You Need to Avoid Debt
College Info Geek – September 4, 2019
The key to winning scholarships is to apply for them (and apply for the right ones). Here are our top tips for getting scholarships, no matter your resume or GPA.

Commentary: Need financial aid for college? Beware of this option.
San Diego Union Tribune – September 19, 2019
Income share agreements not without risk

4 ways to cover college costs if financial aid isn’t enough
ABC News – September 19, 2019
For 61% of students, college costs more than they expected, according to a recent survey

Navient memo raises questions about its student loan servicing practices
Washington Post – September 19, 2019
While consumer advocates view the documents as damning evidence of Navient placing profits over people, some higher education experts say they show the company following the law.

Technology & Tools

What Will They Learn? A guide to what college rankings don’t tell you.
ACTA – September 2019
Designed to help counselors connect students with colleges and universities that offer challenging and coherent general education programs, including resources to help students and parents answer other questions that arise during the college search.

Scholly app helps connect students with scholarships
WFMZ-TV Allentown PA – September 23, 2019
There are thousands of scholarships available and a little-known app called Scholly can help you find even those odd scholarships few people realize exist.

America Achieves Releases a Free Career Exploration Course to Prepare Students for Life After High School
America Achieves Press Release – September 10, 2019
Quest for Success is an innovative course to help students learn about and plan for careers of the future. Counselors may be interested in using and customizing the Individual Graduation Plan unit among others.

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Inside The Admissions Office

Seven Emails Better Left Unsent
Tulane University Admission Blog
September 24, 2019

There are seven kinds of emails that admission officers around the country generally bemoan. As a service to you, the applicant, and to us admission officers, here are a few tips on emails that you should not send, or at least be very wary of sending.

Teen Health

October is National Bullying Prevention Month
PACER.org – September 10, 2019
PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center shares tips, ideas, and numerous free resources to help spread awareness and take action against bullying

Five Ways to Manage Your Back-to-School Mental Health
Mental Health First Aid USA – September 24, 2019
Use these tips from Mental Health America to manage your mental health as you go back to school this fall.


2019-2020 ACT Counselor’s Guide available for download
ACT.org – Fall 2019
As a counselor, you’re incredibly busy, so we want to make understanding and using our tools as simple as possible. Use this guide as a resource to share with your students

More Students Are Taking the SAT Than Ever Before
Inside Higher Ed – September 24, 2019
Despite a record number of colleges and universities dropping the entrance exam requirement, an increase in states that let students take the test for free and during class hours fueled the growth.


Increasing accessibility: Navigating campus with disabilities and how improvements are made
The Red & Black (UGA) – September 19, 2019
“I can’t even really explain the onslaught of emotion that came over me when I realized that this woman had moved the class back to where she had been told it was inaccessible for a student,” Burrell said. “I felt so embarrassed and guilty, like it was somehow my fault.”

Student Athletes

Don’t Get Caught in a College Athlete Recruiting Scam!
WHNT AL – September 22, 2019
Of the nearly 8 million students participating in high school athletics, only 495,000 will compete at NCAA schools. Unfortunately, scammers con these students and their families out of thousands of dollars annually.

High school gamers are scoring college scholarships. But can esports make varsity?
NBC News – September 19, 2019
Guidance counselor Kris Miller learned that several colleges were looking for gamers to recruit. “I thought we’d be negligent if we didn’t start an esports team at the high school,” he said. “If colleges are offering scholarships, our kids should be competing for them.”

College Visits

Saving Money, and Your Sanity, on College Visits (Hint: Resist the Swag)
New York Times – September 20, 2019
Most counselors suggest visiting a mix of college types, like an urban college, a large public university and a small liberal arts campus, and starting near home…

Student Voices

Freshmen deserve the whole truth: college can be hard
The Daily Texan – September 19, 2019
Jennifer Beck is a freshman at UT Austin
It is crucial for those with current or future college freshmen in their lives to address potential struggles — not just the fun. It’s also important to destigmatize asking for help during the transition from high school to college.

Taking the ACT? I have tips!
Yakima Herald – September 22, 2019
Jessica McDonald, is a senior at Zillah High School, Zillah, WA
Hey, hey, fellow students! Who among you needs some pointers about taking your ACT test?