High School Counselor Week

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


April 29, 2021

Big Picture

Students Want Online Learning Options Post-Pandemic
Inside Higher Ed – April 27, 2021
The experience of learning remotely during the pandemic left students with a positive attitude toward online and hybrid courses, a new survey suggests.

COVID has made getting into a top U.S. college even more competitive and this new normal looks here to stay
MarketWatch – April 27, 2021
Colleges have announced record numbers of admitted students of color, first-generation college students and those from low-income families who are eligible for federal Pell grants, meaning their family incomes don’t exceed $26,000. The glut of applications has moved the needle on diversity more dramatically than anything has in years.

As debate swirls, colleges weigh whether to mandate COVID-19 vaccines
ABC News – April 27, 2021
At least 80 schools have announced they will require vaccines in the fall.

Columns and Blogs

Helping Students Overcome College Loss
Post – April 28, 2021
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

D-DAY – Decision Day – May 1
Tribune News Service – April 28, 2021
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 

Finding colleges offering big scholarships
Tribune News Service – April 21, 2021
The College Solution with Lynn O’Shaughnessy 


La Follette High School uses QR codes to aid contact tracing as students return
The Capital Times (WI) – April 27, 2021
As Madison high schoolers return to buildings during the COVID-19 pandemic, their movements are important knowledge for potential contact tracers if and when a positive case is identified. But what about the times when a student visits a guidance counselor for help with a college application or gets some one-on-one academic help outside of class time?

Louisiana bill to outlaw paddling in public schools clears first hurdle, heads to full House
The Advocate (LA) – April 27, 2021
Students who disrupt classrooms need the help of counselors or school psychologists. ‘Corporal punishment is not a solution in this situation…School counselors adamantly oppose the use of corporal punishment.’

A solution for Iowa’s college enrollment problem
The Gazette (IA) – April 27, 2021
Research has shown that school counselors are key to a successful transition to postsecondary education and training. The CCTC model of shared positions between high schools and community colleges has demonstrated success on a limited scale at increasing the number of graduates pursuing and succeeding in education and training beyond high school.

School district counselors discuss youth suicide prevention for parents
Mercer Island Reporter – April 23, 2021
Counselors stepped into the forefront and shared vital information about youth suicide prevention during a web program. Acknowledge, care and tell a trusted adult (ACT), talking to teens, building coping skills and healthy habits were some of the main talking points…


College applications — and rejections — are up for the class of 2021
KSDK-5 St. Louis (MO) – April 27, 2021

Applying for college can be one of the most important, exciting, stressful times for a student and their family. Throw in a pandemic? It’s been an admissions season unlike any other — and the class of 2021 might have developed a new strain of senioritis.


Legal Advice for Parents with Kids in That ‘Awkward Stage’ of Semi-Adulthood
Kiplinger – April 26, 2021
Your child is over 18 and legally an adult, but still your dependent. Say he’s away at school and is in a car crash. Would you have the right to talk with his doctors or deal with his bills? You need the proper paperwork in place to make sure of it.

Here’s Our Best Advice on Teaching Kids About Money
Yakima Herald (WA) – April 27, 2021
Unfortunately, money still seems to be a taboo educational topic — even among families. One survey found that among those who didn’t talk about money management at home, almost a third earn less than $50,000, and 40% have no savings at all. even if you aren’t a financial whiz, we’re here to help so you can look like the expert — at least in your kids’ eyes.

Admissions Process & Strategy

College Admission Conquest: Words Matter
Forbes – April 22, 2021
Did you ‘win’? Did you ‘crush it’, ‘crack it’ or ‘beat it’? Was the ‘secret sauce’ potent enough? After over two decades as a school counselor and admission officer, I have had it with the narratives around access to higher education. Colleagues who lead admission offices, are equally tired of the portrayal of college admission as a game or something to be dominated. I asked them to share their thoughts on words and phrases that are not helpful…

Space Still Available
Inside Higher Ed – April 26, 2021
Annual survey by NACAC, released earlier than in past years, reveals colleges are still accepting applicants and are not requiring students to respond to offers by May 1.

Artificial Intelligence grading your ‘neuroticism’? Welcome to colleges’ new frontier
USA Today – April 26, 2021
Students newly accepted by colleges and universities this spring are being deluged by emails and texts in the hope that they will put down their deposits and enroll. The messages are friendly and informative. But many of them aren’t from humans.

As College Decision Day approaches, experts share their advice for incoming students.
KVOA News 4 Tucson (AZ) – April 26, 2021
National College Decision Day is almost here, a deadline the class of 2021 has been preparing for since their junior year! So, how does a student choose? Experts say make a list of what is important to you with everything from location, majors, and even divisional sports.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Top 10 Financial Aid tips, or how to graduate debt free
Progress Times (TX) – April 26, 2021
Don’t miss out on the money. Read on for tips from South Texas College’s team of student and staff experts on how to graduate debt-free.

You still have time to ask colleges for more financial aid
The Seattle Times (WA) – April 26, 2021
Many colleges have reinstated May 1 as the deadline for newly admitted applicants to declare that they will enroll and submit deposits. But with about a week to go, students still have time to appeal to a college for more financial aid, if they need to.

College Loans: What High School Seniors Must Know
U.S. News & World Report – April 28, 2021
Borrow smart for your education. Here are five things to know before you take on student loan debt.

Career & Technical Education

The college degree barrier to work
Axios – April 27, 2021
There are millions of Americans who have the skills to get higher-level, higher-paying jobs but aren’t considered for those roles because they don’t have college degrees.

How ‘a building that teaches’ can solve the construction worker shortage
University Business – April 26, 2021
Dallas College was able to modernize its school and program due to its partnership with the Construction Education Foundation, which is collaborating with the school to develop a course curriculum.

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3 High School Alternatives to AP and IB
U.S. News & World Report – April 27, 2021
Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes are designed to demonstrate college readiness, but unfortunately they are not universally available. Here are three other ways to get the challenging junior- or senior-year courses you need for college admissions success:

The College Board Will Offer Its CLEP Exam at Home with Remote Proctoring
IBL News – April 23, 2021
The College Board announced that its CLEP exam created five decades ago, will be available remotely through a proctoring solution. To date, only CLEP-certified centers were authorized to take this exam.

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)