High School Counselor Week

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


April 1, 2021

Big Picture

The CDC’s $10 Billion School COVID Testing Plan: What to Know
Tech & Learning – March 29, 2021
School COVID testing can help keep the nation’s schools open to in-person learning but there are still questions about the availability of tests and regulations around administering them.

Cyber Attacks on Schools in 2020 Were Record Breaking: Report
Governing – March 30, 2021
The problem has only intensified due to vulnerabilities found in the American public school system. For sophisticated cyber criminals, this means easier access to financial documents and sensitive data about students, parents, educators and others involved in school operations.

Colleges ready students to get vaccines as eligibility requirements open up
Education Dive – March 29, 2021
Many higher education institutions are preparing for or are underway with plans to vaccinate their students before the spring term ends, but their approaches differ widely.

Columns and Blogs

College Decisions Through the Eyes of a Child
Post – March 31, 2021
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

Wait-list Fundamentals
Tribune News Service – March 31, 2021
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 


Nominate Your Students for CollegePoint
NACAC Admitted Blog – March 29, 2021
It’s a persistent problem: Talented lower-income students are less likely than their peers to enroll at selective colleges. And amid the pandemic, many students face even greater obstacles. For those reasons, CollegePoint has expanded its eligibility criteria and is calling on counselors, teachers, and others to nominate talented teens in the class of 2022 who would benefit from its free advising program.

‘I Miss the Interaction’: The Pandemic Has Thrown Curveballs at School Counselors
Education Week – March 31, 2021
When Brian Coleman became a school counselor seven years ago, he never expected to be helping a suicidal student he couldn’t make eye-contact with, from his living room, wearing the kind of clothes he usually reserves for a lazy day at home. But there are some silver linings.

Fighting through adversity:’ Counselor helps students with college admissions amid COVID
ABC 7 (DC) – March 28, 2021
‘The pressures come from everywhere. Sometimes it is a parent, a grandparent, or a cousin. Other times it is driven by a students’ own wants and needs. Other times, it is brought on by the region you live in because…


Here’s how the pandemic is impacting college admissions
WUSA-9 (DC) – March 31, 2021

The college application process is changing due to the pandemic. The founder of College Shortcuts shared the best ways to navigate the process.



5 Things Parents Need To Know About Their Kids Going To College
Moms.com – March 25, 2021
Even if you went to college yourself, it’s likely been a while and things have definitely changed. This can be a stressful time in the home but it doesn’t need to be.

Lessons learned from the admissions scandal
Austin American-Statesman (TX) – March 25, 2021
Parents and students should be wary of the people they hire as consultants and be well-informed of the obligations and restrictions that credible consultants stand by.

Make sure that SAT test-prep service for your high-schooler isn’t a scam
Tampa Bay Times (FL) – March 31, 2021
The latest con involves callers who want a deposit for study materials for your college-bound kid.

Admissions Process & Strategy

A Guide For Pursuing Independent Scientific Research Opportunities In High School
Forbes – March 29, 2021
High school students who have an impressive personal project they are working on independently often impress colleges, because their commitment to a successful solo endeavor conveys initiative, self-discipline and originality.

Waiting Lists: What to Expect
Inside Higher Ed – March 29, 2021
Some predict the worst year ever, but others say that waiting lists may primarily be a factor at highly competitive colleges.

What You Don’t Know About College Costs Can Cost You Big Time!
Pleasanton Weekly – March 30, 2021
Colleges determine their cost of attendance based on the charges that you will see on your bill—tuition, fees, room and board—as well as estimates for charges that you do not. Your actual estimates will not always line up with the school’s estimates. Colleges notoriously under-estimate costs for…

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Use This Financial Aid Award Letter Sample
U.S. News & World Report – March 31, 2021
Use this financial aid award letter sample to become familiar with common terms and see tips for understanding aid offers.

FAFSA Verification: Why You Could Be Selected and How to Handle It
KAKE-ABC (KS) – March 31, 2021
To confirm eligibility for aid, the Department of Education will request FAFSA verification from about 1 in 5 applicants nationally. If you’re selected for FAFSA verification and you fail to complete the process — mainly, providing additional or updated documentation in a timely manner — you could be ineligible for aid.

College finance: Grants, loans and work study
Traverse City Record-Eagle (MI) – March 27, 2021
By now many high school seniors have received their financial aid award letters for the 2021-2022 school year. The award letter typically includes all aid offered — including scholarships, grants, work study and loans.

This is how long a student would have to work to pay for the cost of college
MarketWatch – March 31, 2021
There was a time when college students could work their way to an undergraduate degree with a part-time job and a little help from Mom and Dad. But the cost of a college education has grown dramatically, while wages and the hours in a day have not.


Top 10 Tips to Ace the ACT Mathematics
EffortlessMath – March 31, 2021
Worried about what you will encounter in the ACT math test? Do not panic! Learning ACT math tips and strategies will help you have the confidence you need on test day and get the best score.

SAT and ACT scores may be optional in college applications this year, but many top schools still rely on them
MarketWatch – March 26, 2021
Several college counselors I’ve spoken with told me the more selective institutions still expect kids in private schools and competitive urban and suburban high schools to take the tests. That’s true for now, but with so much up for grabs, it may not be in the future.

Ethical College Admissions: Detrimental
Inside Higher Ed – March 29, 2021
Test scores disadvantage some students, but the way colleges use test scores may advantage no one, writes Jim Jump. Whether guidebooks and rankings should report and use test scores is only part of a much larger question. As we come to the end of an admissions year unlike any other, how should test scores be treated in a test-optional landscape?

Subscribe to our Weekly Emails

Teen Health

18 Books to Help Grieving Children and Teens Heal
KQED CA – March 29, 2021
Even as vaccination efforts offer hope for the pandemic’s end, and as more schools reopen, the road to healing may just be starting for many students. Here are 18 books recommended by educators to help along the way.

NJ teen starts website to dispel health misinformation
WCBS News Radio (NJ) – March 29, 2021
A New Jersey teenager has created her own website to set the record straight when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. ‘I realized how much misinformation there was out there, especially on social media which teens use a lot,’ she told…

Coronavirus-Related Resources

Where Teachers Are Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine
Education Week
Since this information is changing rapidly, please note the date at which the information was last verified for each state.

COVID-19 School Response Dashboard
Maps schools’ responses to the pandemic across the United States (data submission voluntary)

Live Updates: Latest News on Coronavirus and Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed

Live Coronavirus Updates: Here’s the Latest
The Chronicle of Higher Education

ASCA Toolkit: Virtual High School Counseling
American School Counselor Association

College Board Coronavirus Updates
College Board

AP Online Classes and Review Sessions
College Board on YouTube

COVID-19 Resource Center
National Association of School Psychologists

U.S. DOE: COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel
U.S. Department of Education

Where to Get Free WiFi for Students During COVID-19
Campus Technology

College Virtual Tours
compiled by Rebecca Chabrow, M.A. with assistance from Collegewise

The impact of COVID-19 on high school counselors and the college search process: A national survey.
RNL & High School Counselor Connect (2020)