High School Counselor Week

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


April 23, 2020

Counselor COVID-19 Survey Results

High School Counselor Connect (publisher of HSCW), in conjunction with Ruffalo Noel Levitz, recently conducted a national survey of how COVID-19 is affecting high school counselors, and over 2,600 of you responded. The results provide a detailed look at how this year’s very different college application and search processes are going, and what counselors and their students are most concerned about. The full report is linked below, and offers a unique perspective on what counselors are looking for from higher-ed institutions, plus their insights into what they will need going forward. Readers should also check out the associated podcast to hear an interview with several counselor respondents. Our sincere thanks to all of you who participated in the survey!

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

COVID-19 Counselor Perspective Chat
RNL’s Raquel Bermejo talks in depth with three high school counselors about how they are working with students remotely on the college search process amidst the COVID-19 health crisis.

Big Picture

Is This the End of College as We Knew It?
Inside Higher Ed – April 19, 2020
And do we feel fine?

A Historic DOJ Case Impacts College Admissions In The Era Of COVID-19
Forbes – April 21, 2020
For the first time in history, many students now have an extra month to commit to a college or university…This deadline extension coincides with the first application deadline cycle that follows the change in NACAC recruiting rules.

While other colleges struggle, for-profits hope for revival
Fox 11 Green Bay (WI) – April 19, 2020
To critics, it’s nothing more than a marketing ploy to capitalize on crisis. But leaders of some for-profit colleges say they’re preparing for what they believe will be a surge in demand for online education.

The Education Department is dragging its feet on stopping wage garnishment for student loan borrowers
The Washington Post – April 21, 2020
The Education Department has yet to send letters requesting that employers stop garnishing the pay of student loan borrowers in default, nearly a month after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos promised to take action, according to people familiar with the matter.

Columns and Blogs

Now That the Online Dust is Settling
Post – April 22, 2020
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

Is it possible to get off the wait-list and get in?
Now is the time to think about who you’re going to ask for letters of recommendation
Tribune News Service – April 15 & 22, 2020
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 


With the fall semester a big question mark, students are considering alternatives
Boston Globe – April 18, 2020
Brooke Libby’s oldest daughter has already declared that she will hold off registering for the fall semester if the only option is remote online classes. Libby, a director of college counseling , is having similar discussions with nervous high school seniors and their parents. Some are starting to research the admissions deferral process…

‘So much unknown’ as seniors make college decisions during pandemic
Daily Herald (Chicago IL) – April 20, 2020
Counselors say they are hearing from students concerned about paying for school because the coronavirus pandemic has caused new financial difficulties and from students who fear committing to a school without certainty that they’ll be able to attend in-person classes in the fall.

Closed Schools Are Creating More Trauma For Students
NPR (LISTEN) – April 20, 2020
The closure of nearly all U.S. schools has forced counselors like Sabens to reimagine how they can do their jobs. And the stakes have never been higher. (Transcript provided)

Calling In, Not Calling Out: How College Counselors Can Navigate Conversations Around Equity
ACCIS AdmitAll Blog – April 14, 2020
For my students whose identities are often not seen or validated in their school communities, I need to be intentional in how my work as a college counselor affirms and uplifts them.

What Could Save Low-Income College-Goers
Forbes – April 17, 2020
Over the past several years scores of nonprofit organizations have quietly stepped in to offer a service that overwhelmed high schools couldn’t provide: expert college advice to juniors and seniors.


Coronavirus Latest: High School Seniors, Parents Turn Concerns To Upcoming Fall College Semester
CBS Philly (PA) – April 17, 2020
As students adjust to remote learning, parents are wondering what to do about seniors heading off to college. Those going to college aren’t so sure they want online classes to be what they remember as their freshman experience.

When you wish you were home alone: How to survive the quarantine with kids
CNBC – April 16, 2020
You didn’t set out to home-school, yet the global pandemic is changing your career plans. Parents are now finding out that it is, in fact, possible to work remotely and stay productive while still being present for their kids.

How Parents Can Support College Students’ Online Learning
New York Times – April 20, 2020
I asked students what parents could do to help them finish a semester that was never supposed to go this way.


Advanced Placement test changes for high school students
KUSI San Diego – March 9, 2020
Liz Pack with Collegwise joins Marcel Clarke on FOX 7 Austin to talk about the students who are in advanced placement classes for college credit and how the pandemic has changed procedures and delayed some students.

Admissions Process & Strategy

A college admissions dean writes open letter to panicked high school juniors
The Washington Post – April 20, 2020
Of particular concern to many is how they will navigate the college admissions process. Juniors are facing canceled SAT and ACT test administrations; online Advanced Placement tests; grading systems that have changed, often to pass-fail; new family financial pressures and much more.

College admissions officials plan to be flexible, lenient in COVID-19 era
The Bulletin (OR) – April 18, 2020
Officials understand that pandemic will affect student transcripts

What Seniors Must Know Before They Make Their College Choice
Pleasanton Weekly – April 21, 2020
Spring break is over and thanks to the COVID-19 crisis, you have had plenty of time to wait, wonder and worry about your college options for next fall. Now is the time to gather the final pieces of information you need to make smart decisions about your future.

How the coronavirus pandemic has changed college admissions
CNBC Make It – April 17, 2020
For students setting their sights on a college education, life uncertainly continues on. And many experts believe these seismic shifts will have long-lasting impacts.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Colleges Brace for Student Aid Appeals as Virus Slashes Incomes
Bloomberg Government – April 17, 2020
Appealing financial awards has always been an option, yet the volume this time could be unlike anything colleges have seen. Some financial assistance advocates are concerned about aid officers’ ability to handle high appeal volumes and get reworked packages to students in time…


SAT and ACT plan at-home college admissions exams for fall if crisis keeps schools closed
EdSource – April 16, 2020
The SAT and rival ACT, the nation’s most important college entrance exams, are taking steps to offer their tests online and at students’ homes later this year in an unprecedented move that will require massive amounts of digital proctoring to prevent cheating, officials announced Wednesday.

SAT and ACT Will Resume
Inside Higher Ed – April 20, 2020
The College Board and ACT said Wednesday that their admissions tests will soon be back. But with more colleges going test optional on admissions, the testing organizations clearly wanted it known that they will return.

Coronavirus change has students taking rigorous AP exams in the middle of the night
Dayton 24/7 Now (OH) – April 21, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has created challenges to education around the world. But the virus has created a unique problem for students living with military families overseas when it comes to AP exams…

AP Classes Move to YouTube with Unannounced Celebrity Guests
EducationNext – April 21, 2020
Trevor Packer, head of the Advanced Placement Program at the College Board, on offering tests and education amid the Coronavirus crisis

UC dropped the SAT and ACT amid coronavirus. Here’s why some want them back next year
Los Angeles Times – April 19, 2020
The University of California suspended SAT and ACT testing requirements for admission next fall amid the coronavirus pandemic — but many faculty members want them back for at least the next five years.

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Coronavirus-Related Resources

Teen Health

Ultimate Guide to Mental Health and Education Resources for Kids and Teens
OnlineCounselingPrograms.com – April 7, 2020
To support the growing needs of children and teens, OnlineCounselingPrograms.com has researched all over the internet for resources on mental health and education related topics from sexual identity to study skills. We’ve created an ultimate resource of lists, articles, guides, videos, and more to help parents, teachers, professionals, and children and teens themselves to assist in social, academic, behavioral, and emotional development.

Bullies Don’t Stop Bullying During The Quarantine — They Just Do It Online
ScaryMommy – April 20, 2020
Cyberbullying can be persistent, either with non-stop harassing text messages or with frequent hurtful, threatening, or humiliating social media posts. For a teenager experiencing cyberbullying, home no longer feels like a safe place, even during a quarantine.


School Services, Interrupted: What Parents of Students Receiving Speech and Language Treatment in Schools Should Know During COVID-19 Closures
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) – April 9, 2020
More Than 1 Million U.S. Children Receive School-Based Treatment for Speech and Language Impairments

Kids With Disabilities Are “Falling Apart” With Home Learning
Moms.com – April 18, 2020
Families with disabled kids, whether physically or mentally, are struggling to find a balance. These children are “falling apart” without prior help.

Student Athletes

Divisions I and II members adjust initial-eligibility requirements
NCAA – April 17, 2020
Additional flexibility provided to students in meeting academic benchmarks, including modifying its approach to schools that issue pass/fail grades due to school closures

Inside the Upside-Down World of College Football Recruiting During a Pandemic
Sports Illustrated – April 17, 2020
The shutdown of sporting events is having a drastic impact on the future prospects of high school football players—and the coaches recruiting them.