High School Counselor Week

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


April 27, 2023

Big Picture

Even a Divided Congress Can Do Much to Help Today’s College Students
RealClear Educatino – April 26, 2023
The Higher Education Act, last reauthorized in 2008, authorizes the Pell Grant program, the federal student-loan program, and the federal work-study program, all of which have enabled millions of low- and middle-income Americans to attend college. But in its current form, the HEA is a relic of a previous era, one characterized by a vastly different student profile and learning environment than exists today. A divided Congress means that the current law will likely remain in place, for better or worse, for at least a few more years. However, Congress can take other steps right now to help today’s college students.

More Than 40 Million Americans Have Now Attended College Without Earning A Degree
Forbes – April 25, 2023
As of July 2021, 40.4 million Americans have attended college but stopped out before earning any credential. That’s a 3.6% increase, equal to 1.4 million more ‘some college, no credential’ (SCNC) students over the prior year. These data come from a new report – Some College, No Credential (SCNC) Student Outcomes: Annual Progress Report – from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

Columns and Blogs

Reforming College Admissions
Post – April 26, 2023
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D.

5 Tips to help make that final decision
Post – April 26, 2023
College Advice & Timely Tips with Lee Bierer


Texas is first step in a national plan to install ‘chaplains’ in public schools instead of professional counselors
Baptist News Global – April 20, 2023
The Texas Legislature is considering House Bill 3614 and Senate Bill 763, which would allow Texas schools to hire chaplains to perform the work of school counselors but without any required certification, training or experience. The exact language of the bill states: ‘A school district may employ a chaplain instead of a school counselor to perform the duties required of a school counselor under this title. A chaplain employed under this subsection is not required to be certified by the State Board for Educator Certification.’ (Currently, Texas law requires school counselors to pass a school counselor certification exam, to hold at least a 48-hour master’s degree in counseling from an accredited institution of higher education, and to have two creditable years of teaching experience as a classroom teacher.) The bill appears to be driven by the National School Chaplain Association, which has announced a U.S. campaign to provide school chaplains…

Lessons From 4 District Leaders Who Conducted Equity Audits
Education Week – April 26, 2023
District leaders who have conducted equity audits swear by their effectiveness to find and start addressing disparities in districts. These analyses often look at student data on academic performance, discipline, or attendance, or a combination of those, and compare them with the district’s, school’s, or classroom’s demographics to see which types of students are under and overrepresented. All four leaders also discussed the importance of accepting responsibility for some of the inequities found in the data, and working with the entire school staff. Discussions included improving communications between teachers and administration/central office, incorporating conversations with juvenile probation offices overseeing alternative education programs, and included school counselors in those conversations in order to offer multi-tiered support to students instead of discipline whenever possible.

Admissions Process & Strategy

Trend of hiring part-time college application readers met with controversy
LamorindaWeekly (CA) – April 26, 2023
With the recent surge in college applications, schools have begun to outsource the work of their admission counseling staff (aka admission officers) by hiring part-time application readers. Colleges tell us that this influx of part-timers is a matter of necessity, but it is a necessity in large part created and greeted positively by colleges themselves.

College Rankings Are in Trouble. Do Students Care?
The Chronicle of Higher Education – April 24, 2023
In the war of words between U.S. News and college leaders, one set of voices may go unheard: those of the students the rankings are purportedly designed to serve. Has the surge of new criticism reached students choosing colleges? How do they use college rankings, anyway? To get an unscientific snapshot, The Chronicle interviewed over a dozen students found, in part, on college tours at…

How To Boost Your College Applications Using AI — Without Cheating The Essay
Forbes – April 24, 2023
While ChatGPT has many questioning the role and usefulness of the college essay, there are ways to make the college admissions process more efficient and effective in the exploration and application phases.


April is Counseling Awareness Month
ABC 7 Chicago – April 25, 2023
April is a month-long observance of raising awareness and promoting mental health to people of all ages. It also highlights the importance of counseling professionals — from mental health counselors, school and college counselors, and substance abuse counselors to career counselors. Lisa Rosales of SalusCare went over the stigmas of seeking counseling and why some choose not to.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

7 things to know about student loans if you’re a first-time borrower
CNBC – April 25, 2023
Learn the basics of how to take on student loans without digging yourself into too much debt.

Can’t make sense of your college financial aid package? Here’s help.
Chalkbeat – April 25, 2023
Unlike other transactions involving big sums of money, like mortgages, financial aid offers, often called award letters, are not federally regulated. They look vastly different from college to college and are notoriously hard to understand. More than half of universities leave out important details about how much a student will pay…nine out of 10 understate or omit net price, or out-of-pocket costs, and three out of 10 mislabel loans as grants that don’t need to be paid back. Below are steps you can follow to make sense of your financial aid award letters.

Financial Aid for Students: Does FAFSA cover housing?
MARCA – April 25, 2023
Heading to college can be a very confusing time from a financial perspective.

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Student Interview: Scholarships

sponsored by Fastweb

Student earns more than $1,000,000 in scholarships, shares advice
Fastweb interview outlines her tips for current high school students.

Student Mental Health Webinar

sponsored by JED High School

Comprehensive Approach to Student Mental Health Webinar, May 11 at 3pm ET, The Jed Foundation
JED High School, a flagship program of The Jed Foundation, partners with high schools nationwide to measurably strengthen student mental health supports and prevent suicide. Click here to register for the info session.

Teen Health

College Bound: Taking Care of Your Mental Health at College
We-Ha.com (CT) – April 24, 2023
And for young people who have a mental health diagnosis, leaving home to attend college can be daunting. Even for students without previous mental health concerns, college brings new challenges that can provoke some kind of severe emotional distress. The number of students on college campuses who experience mental health issues has increased greatly over the past several years. While considering the causes of this increase is important, it is not as important as knowing the signs of a mental health condition and taking steps to deal with it before it escalates.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month
National Alliance on Mental Illness – April 20, 2023
This year, NAMI is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month with the More Than Enough campaign! It’s an opportunity for all of us to come together and remember the inherent value we each hold — no matter our diagnosis, appearance, socioeconomic status, background or ability. We want every person out there to know that if all you did was wake up today, that’s more than enough. No matter what, you are inherently worthy of more than enough life, love and healing. Showing up, just as you are, for yourself and the people around you is more than enough. Follow the links below for resources for youth and young adults.