High School Counselor Week

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


April 13, 2023

Big Picture

Despite recent cases, youth violence declining
News Nation – April 10, 2023
Children are committing fewer violent crimes than they were a decade ago, but increasingly, they’re victims of violent offenses. The decades-long decline in violent crime arrests involving youth has outpaced that of adults, according to the DOJ. Although juvenile violent crime arrests are down, the number of youth homicide victims recently saw its largest one-year increase since at least 1980. Adults are often behind the scenes orchestrating events such as gang activity and/or abuse at home. Children also have less autonomy over the care they receive, she said. Youth might need their parents’ consent to receive certain medical or mental health care, and so end up being unable to receive that help.

Tracking the Attack on Critical Race Theory in Education
U.S. News & World Report – April 11, 2023
Efforts to ban critical race theory have been put forth in all but one state – and many threaten schools with a loss of funds. The topic is so pervasive that researchers at the UCLA School of Law Critical Race Studies Program have created a new database to track attempts by local and state government to outlaw the teaching of the theory, which holds, among other things, that racism is not just expressed on an individual level, but rather is deeply embedded in the nation’s laws and policies.

Columns and Blogs

Community Colleges and “Completion”
Post – April 12, 2023
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D.

Wait-list Fundamentals
Post – April 12, 2023
College Advice & Timely Tips with Lee Bierer


Clash over parents’ and students’ rights at hearing about school counselor rules
Portland Press Herald (ME) – April 6, 2023
Lawmakers heard conflicting testimony Thursday from dozens of parents, educators and counselors about what has become a controversial issue in Maine and across the country: how to balance the rights of parents to know what happens in school with the rights of students who confide personal information to school counselors. If adopted, a proposed Maine DOE rule would make it clear that school counselors should not be required to divulge information from student counseling sessions to parents ‘consistent with the professional obligations of the counselor or social worker,’ except in cases of imminent danger to the child or others. Some parental rights advocates want the Legislature to block the rule, but others argued that students need to be able to have adults they can confide in, and sometimes need to do so without worrying about the reaction of their parents.

Texas Child Mental Health Consortium might receive a huge bump in funding by state lawmakers
Texas Standard – April 11, 2023
The Consortium is a partnership of 12 medical schools that pool resources and expertise to provide mental health care for K-12 students. It works on expanding access to child mental health resources, and is a solution some think could become a model for other states nationwide. Part of the program, the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT), is a major resource that allows school counselors to refer students to a virtual therapist or psychiatrist in the network. Those mental health professionals can provide crisis care or a handful of initial sessions before referring a student to a long-term provider in the community. The program is free to schools and families, and there is no verification of insurance necessary. The goal of additional funding is to make TCHATT available to all school districts.

Admissions Process & Strategy

How to prepare for National College Decision Day on May 1
My Central Jersey – April 2, 2023
May 1 is a momentous day for college-bound students. It’s National College Decision Day, the deadline for college applicants to confirm their enrollment for the upcoming fall semester. Typically, high school seniors apply to a gamut of schools, spreading their applications out among perceived ‘stretch,’ ‘target,’ and ‘safety’ schools. By March they will have heard back from most of these colleges, letting them know whether they have been accepted. Now, the ball is in the student’s court…

How direct admission is changing the process of applying for college
The Conversation – April 11, 2023
In direct admission, soon-to-be high school graduates can be accepted into a college or university without having to submit an application. This often happens during a student’s senior year of high school, but some colleges make these offers during junior year. Direct admission is one of several strategies colleges and universities use to make it easier for high school graduates to go to college. They are also hoping it can help reverse a trend of declining higher education enrollment in the U.S.


Test Prep Tips: What to know about the ACT and SAT tests, and how to get your best score on both
ABC 7 Chicago – April 8, 2023
Right now, many high school students are hard at work studying for the ACT. The next round of testing is April 15, which is still enough time to get some last-minute studying in. David Blobaum, director of outreach at the National Test Prep Association, speaks about the differences between the two tests, and shared some last minute tools to score big on both.


Your child didn’t get into their first choice for college. Now what?
Yahoo! Finance – April 7, 2023
’Tis the season for viral college acceptance videos. You know, the ones that feature stressed-out high school seniors staring at their email and scanning quickly for news about whether they’ve been accepted or rejected into their top choice. While the videos are good-natured in theory, and getting into one’s top pick is certainly cause for celebration, such videos can be a major source of anxiety for teens who were rejected from their favorite school. To help teens navigate what can be an anxiety-riddled time in their life, cognitive scientist Sian Beilock has four tips for parents and caregivers:

How To Help Your Student Decide Between Colleges
Forbes – April 11, 2023
As the May 1 deadline for college decisions looms, it is imperative to prioritize helping your student make decisions about their future. Yet, as a parent, it can be challenging to help your student weigh their options while allowing them to have autonomy in the process. Ultimately, this is the first major decision they will make for their future, and you should seek to guide them in considering the possibilities with care and thoughtfulness while respecting their goals and dreams.

Career & Technical Education

How Career Prep Programs Went From ‘Dumping Ground’ to Top Priority
Education Week – April 10, 2023
Showing how it’s become a near-universal priority, 42 states have signed the Common Career Technical Core, a commitment to expand CTE programs and make them more rigorous, according to AdvanceCTE, a nonprofit advocacy group. And CTE programs have earned more bipartisan support over the past decade. Meanwhile, more Americans now think it’s more important for schools to prepare students for careers than for college, a change that’s become particularly pronounced in just the last few years.

No dead ends’: Students are finding alternatives to a 4-year degree
6 News Albany (NY) – April 11, 2023
For those students who decide to skip college altogether, what are the alternatives? The Employment and Training Administration, also known as ETA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Labor, provides guidance and training to set up for a successful future with alternatives to college. They administer, fund and oversee a number of training and vocational programs that are designed to provide pathways to a desired career.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Largest Source of Free Money for College Can’t Keep Up
NerdWallet – April 11, 2023
Many years ago, one federal grant could cover all tuition and fees for the most at-need college students. And though the rise in the cost of college has slowed considerably in the past decade, the Pell Grant’s impact has dwindled to a fraction of what it once was. Over the past 20 years, the price of attending the most affordable colleges has risen 64% after adjusting for inflation. The maximum Pell Grant has risen just 6%.

The 5 Numbers on a Financial Aid Letter That Tell You How Much a College Actually Costs
Money – April 10, 2023
Financial aid letters list all the types and amounts of aid a college is offering to help a student pay for college. But they are packed with unfamiliar terms, making it a challenge for families to understand their out-of-pocket expenses. There’s also no uniform way that colleges are legally required to share financial aid information, so comparing one college’s costs against another can be difficult.

The FAFSA is getting a makeover later this year—here’s what’s changing
CNBC – April 1, 2023
If you’ve ever filled out the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) before, you’re probably familiar with the stress, confusion and possible tears that often come with it. Hopefully, future students won’t feel your pain. The Department of Education (ED) is getting ready to release a new, streamlined FAFSA later this year, and a draft of the updated form is available for public comment.

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Inside The Admissions Office

College Admission and Discipline Review
Georgia Tech Admission Blog – April 3, 2023
Yesterday I received a text from a friend. ‘Soooo…let’s hypothetically imagine your son gets in trouble on Spring Break. What does that mean for college admission?’ As always, a huge asterisk that I do not speak on behalf of all colleges. If, after reading this, you have specific questions, call or contact the school you are interested in. But the short answer: schools use the same individualized, holistic process for reviewing a student’s discipline history that they do for reviewing academic or extra-curricular background. Here’s the long answer…

Podcast: You Got Your Acceptance Letter — Now What?
Bucknell University Admissions – April 3, 2023
Receiving an acceptance letter on Decision Day is far from the end of the process. Amid the excitement, celebration and relief are numerous decisions to make and actions to take to secure your spot in the incoming class. How long do you have to make that final decision? How do you officially enroll? And what tips can you use to decide which of the schools you’ve been admitted to is ultimately right for you? In this episode of College Admissions Insider, we’ll cover what lies ahead after you’ve been admitted. (audio 23:01, no transcript)

Teen Health

Fact check: Post falsely links antidepressant use to school shootings
USA Today – April 10, 2023
A March 30 Instagram post features a screenshot of a 2012 article written by conservative journalist Jerome Corsi. The body of the article says “some 90 percent of school shootings over more than a decade have been linked to a widely prescribed type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs.” Researchers have not found any link between antidepressants and school shootings. Available studies suggest a minority of school shooters were prescribed medication prior to committing their crimes.

One Month After School Stabbing, Santa Rosa Students, Parents and Teachers See Different Solutions to Safety
KQED (CA) – April 8, 2023
Santa Rosa students, parents and teachers remain torn on solutions for making their schools safer. It has now been more than a month since the fatal stabbing in an art classroom at Santa Rosa’s Montgomery High School, and differing approaches to police presence and overall supervision are being heard in school board meetings, student organizing groups and a new school safety advisory group. While many parents and teachers look toward reinstating safety resource officers (SROs), students are emphasizing a need for expanded mental health resources, deescalation training and increased funding for restorative justice programs.


Students get unlimited ‘do-overs’ on SAT exam
My Central Jersey – April 9, 2023
When students register, on Collegeboard.org, to take the SAT, they have the option of listing four colleges to receive their test scores free of charge. Students should leave this section blank, as they do not know prior to taking the test whether they will get scores that are worthy of being shared. When it’s time to apply to college, students can choose the scores they want to submit. Colleges do not know how many times a student has taken the SAT and do not see any scores that students do not want to share. Rumors fly that colleges do not like students to take the SAT more than three times, and that they have access to all a student’s scores. Neither is true.

What We Learned from the First Digital SAT
Applerouth – April 11, 2023
As of March 2023, the Digital SAT is now the exclusive format for students outside of the United States. This format will launch to U.S. students starting in March 2024. We spoke with students, testing coordinators, and college counselors on every continent (except for Antarctica), who all had very positive feedback about the initial test. The digital test had been piloted extensively for the last year, and it appears all this practice served the College Board well. So let’s dig into what we learned from the first Digital SAT!