High School Counselor Week

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


April 22, 2021

Big Picture

In a roiled Minneapolis, schools are testing new model for safety
Christian Science Monitor – April 20, 2021
When Nathaniel Genene walked into his Minneapolis high school last week for the first time in over a year he quickly noticed that there was no uniformed police officer standing watch. …Last June, students helped influence a school board decision to terminate a police department contract to provide school resource officers.

A New Mexico school sent all kids back in person in one day. We followed a teacher to see how it went.
Yahoo! News – April 20, 2021
After months of debate about how and when to reopen schools, Albuquerque returned to full-time instruction on April 5. But unlike other districts, it reopened all grades at all buildings all at once. And it let USA TODAY follow a teacher for a day to show what a return to high school looks like.

How Biden’s infrastructure plan may fracture the nation’s colleges
Politico – April 19, 2021
Where community colleges love seeing the administration push for free education, some four-year schools see an ‘existential threat.’

More High School Seniors Are Hesitating About College
Flatland (KS) – April 20, 2021
Troubling Data Suggests Uncertain Future For Higher Education

Columns and Blogs

Still Can’t Decide? Try This
Post – April 21, 2021
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

College Admissions Courtship
Tribune News Service – April 22, 2021
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 

Looking beyond highly rejective colleges to get better deals
Tribune News Service – April 13, 2021
The College Solution with Lynn O’Shaughnessy 


How I used tech to help students help themselves
eSchool News – April 8, 2021
A school counselor looks to digital tools to give students powerful resources they can use as they navigate challenging times

School Counselors Have Implicit Bias. Some Are Ready to Address It.
EdSurge – April 6, 2021
In spite of their best intentions, counselors sometimes fall short of their mission. The difference now, perhaps, is that many are aware of it. Recently, among the 40,000-member American School Counselor Association, questions have been circulating about what counselors can do differently to support all students and how they can be more intentional allies. Those conversations and…

A Big Asterisk on the Future.’ High School Counselors on Challenges Facing the Class of 2021
Time Magazine – April 15, 2021
Having wreaked havoc on their final year of high school, the pandemic proceeded to disrupt the Class of 2021’s post-graduation plans. School counselors, tasked with guiding students through applications and keeping them on track to graduate, also bore witness.


Consider other options for the year after high school
University Parent – April 15, 2021
There are worthwhile choices besides college for the year after high school. Your role is to open up the conversation, listen to your student and consider more alternative options for after high school graduation.

Not Ready for College Yet? Not Necessarily a Bad Thing
Your Teen – April 15, 2021
Today, parents think their child’s whole future is resting on college. So, if their child comes to them and says, ‘I’m not ready for college,’ it scares them. But, it’s a waste of time and money if you force your child to go to college when they are not ready or if they don’t want to go…

Admissions Process & Strategy

How to Find a College That Doesn’t Require the GED or High School Diploma
Accredited Schools Online – April 15, 2021
Dropping out of high school may sound like it’s the end of the education road, but it’s never too late to get back on track. Even if you don’t have a diploma or your GED, there are still alternatives available if you’re interested in pursuing a college education online or in-person. Learn more about your options…

College, Interrupted: The Case for Going (Back) to School
Roanoke Times (VA) – April 15, 2021
A cautionary note for the high school classes of 2020 and 2021: Waiting to enroll in college decreases the likelihood you’ll ever attend or complete a degree.

Choosing A College: May Day Or Mayday?
Forbes – April 20, 2021
Some applicants, many of whom have never stepped foot on campus at the schools to which they applied, are screaming ‘mayday. They wonder how they will pick a college as the pandemic drags on? Not every student has easy access to counseling as they weigh their options, so I asked admission colleagues to offer some advice…

How The Pandemic Changed The College Admissions Selection Process This Year
NPR (LISTEN) – April 19, 2021
Lisa Przekop, UC Director of Admissions spoke with ATC about how what counselors looked for in applications this year changed, what topics they saw in admissions essays and how the process might have actually improved in spite of the pandemic.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

How To Understand Financial Aid Award Letters
Forbes – April 20, 2021
Many award letters are incredibly confusing. They lack clarity concerning the real college cost and blur the distinction between grants and loans. Learn how to interpret financial aid award letters, so you can understand the tradeoff between college affordability and desirability.

How To Negotiate A Better College Financial Aid Offer
Forbes – April 29, 2021
The first step is to avoid using words like ‘negotiate’ that will antagonize financial aid administrators. It is not like negotiating price in a car dealership. Bluff and bluster will not get you a better deal. Lying to the college financial aid administrator can get you prison time.

Here are the top public and private colleges with the most generous financial aid packages
CNBC – April 20, 2021
With more students struggling to afford college, here are the schools that are doling out the most aid to offset the cost, according to The Princeton Review.

Career & Technical Education

New-Collar; Blue-Collar
Influencive – April 20, 2021
We have been telling the wrong story about blue-collar careers. We have been doing this for too long. It is high time we change the narrative around this. We aren’t looking for unskilled labor. We need skilled technicians.

Should I Go to College? (5 Alternatives if You Don’t go)
Dollar Break – April 15, 2021
To help you answer the question, we’re going to explore the costs of university, the advantages of a college degree, alternative options to going to college, and how much you can expect to earn as both a graduate and not.


The Complete Guide to ACT Superscoring
Compass Education Group – April 20, 2021
Superscore reporting finally became available this month, whereas Section Retesting is still on hold. Compass covers how students can evaluate and order the Superscore report and what information colleges actually receive and use.

Test-Optional Admissions Yields Benefits
Inside Higher Ed – April 29, 2021
Major study finds that colleges gain Pell Grant recipients, minority students and women.

OPINION: The power of unfair standardized tests is finally, thankfully diminishing
The Hechinger Report – April 19, 2021
It’s impossible to tell the difference between a 1450 SAT score that was earned by a first-generation student who took the test cold without practicing and a 1450 received by a wealthy student who had expensive test preparation and tutoring that increased his score by 200 points.

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Inside The Admissions Office

The Unbroken Cycle of College Admission
Georgia Tech Admission Blog – April 20, 2021
This year it seems that the articles, news stories, and headlines surrounding college admission have focused almost exclusively on how significantly things have changed…Ultimately, the actual work of college admission proved to be predictably cyclical, and the comments, questions, and interactions (as well as their timing) remained constant. And right on cue, earlier this month we started receiving emails and calls telling us about admitted or deposited students behaving badly.

Top 10 Questions You May Not Think to Ask on a College Tour (but Totally Should)
Southwestern University – April 15, 2021
While a college can often pass or fail the vibe check just by you stepping foot on it, it’s important to have some questions ready to give you a more complete picture of what four years of living, learning, and transitioning into adulthood at your chosen school could look like.


San Diego teacher creates ‘social justice league’ for students with disabilities, ‘a forgotten minority’
San Diego Union-Tribune – April 20, 2021
Pinillos has worked for the last seven years at TRACE, a school that serves about 500 students ages 18-22 who have disabilities. When she looked for a curriculum that dealt with social justice issues she found plenty — but none written specifically for students with disabilities.

Students Are Slipping Through the Cracks of Special Education. Schools Must Do Better.
EdSurge – April 20, 2021
Jason was a 10th grader affected by the pandemic like many other students and their families. He explained that he wanted to support his family by applying for a job at the local convenience store. But he had a problem. As he very maturely shared with his teacher, he couldn’t read the application.

Student Voices

Teens at a Baltimore County magnet school saw a need adults couldn’t meet. So they stepped in to mentor others.
Baltimore Sun – April 29, 2021
The Domino Effect Initiative began in January with the goal of hosting webinars that coach kids through seemingly opaque topics such as financial assistance, standardized testing and course selection. The program’s name refers to the founders’ goal of creating a ‘domino effect’ in which students pass on their new knowledge and skills to friends.

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)