High School Counselor Week

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


December 5, 2019

Big Picture

DeVos Proposes New Agency, Run by Someone Else, for Student Loans
New York Times – December 3, 2019
Calling student loan financing an ‘untamed beast,’ Ms. DeVos said it should be spun off into its own federal agency. She said a separate agency, governed by an ‘expert and apolitical’ board, would be better able to run what has become, in effect, one of America’s biggest banks.

Senate Compromise on HBCU Funding, FAFSA
Inside Higher Ed – December 4, 2019
Leaders of the education committee of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday released a bipartisan proposed amendment that would make permanent $255 million in annual funding for historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions, simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and eliminate paperwork for income-driven student loan repayment plans.

The other college debt crisis: Schools are going broke
CNBC – December 3, 2019
As many as 1 in 5 small private colleges is facing serious financial stress, according to a Moody’s analysis. There are few options for students and parents to check out a school’s financial condition.

The Gift Of College
Forbes – December 3, 2019
The opportunity to attend any college is an enormous gift, one denied to many young Americans. It is this inequity of opportunity that is so out of step with the ‘season of giving.’ Let’s consider the items—big and small, tangible and immaterial—that we might pull off the tree to improve opportunity this holiday season:

Columns and Blogs

Washington Needs Your Voice. Here’s How to Use It.
Post – December 4, 2019
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D

The final essay push – those dreaded essays…
Tribune News Service – December 4, 2019
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 

15 creative ways teen entrepreneurs can serve their communities
Post – December 4, 2019
The Explorations Blog with Nancy Griesemer


It’s not just teachers: How counselor diversity matters for students of color
Chalkbeat – November 21, 2019
In a recent study, a high school counselor offered this honest description of the uncertainty of her job: ‘Maybe later, I’ll start to see kids come back and they’ll be like, oh this helped or that helped,’ she said. Still, ‘Sometimes I leave and I’m like, I’ve done nothing.’ Now, new research captures exactly how much of a difference a counselor like her can make — and it’s substantial, particularly for low-income students.

‘Shared pain’ takes sting out of college applications for DeSales seniors
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin – November 26, 2019
Two years ago, it occurred to school counselor Kathy Ruthven she could support and facilitate seniors in a group setting, as well as the one-on-one work she was already doing. The resulting workshops are a ‘shared pain’ plan that gathers seniors together to move forward on the task.

What to Know About College Admissions Forums
U.S. News & World Report – December 3, 2019
High school counselors are understaffed and overworked, and independent education counselors can be costly. That means students are often on their own with college admissions questions, but increasingly more are turning to internet forums such as Reddit and Quora with a variety of questions about all things admissions.


5 ways to lessen college stress for parents
Marion Star (OH) – December 1, 2019
It was alarming to read the recent article ‘Parents divorce to save on college?” Before an expensive divorce or, as one suggested, marrying a child off so they can qualify as an independent student, there are less drastic alternatives.

It’s Time to Start College. Here’s How to Pay for It.
Barrons – December 2, 2019
It goes by in a blink of an eye. Never is that cliché more true than the moment you realize that your child is actually going to college—and you’ll actually need to pay for it. There’s a lot that parents—and kids—can do to make college feasible.

The real world won’t care where your child went to college
Hartford Courant – December 1, 2019
I’ve worked in hiring for more than 15 years. My clients are c-suite executives, owners and HR professionals in companies of all sizes and across various industries. Colleges simply do not factor into most hiring decisions. What do employers care about when hiring entry-level candidates?

What Your High School Senior Really Wants for the Holidays
Teen Life Blog – November 19, 2019
For most seniors, something extraordinary happens with their wish lists for the holidays. The concept of “time” suddenly becomes important as they know the end of their childhood is coming. I investigated what high school seniors really want for the holidays…These top five were repeated over and over again.


College Admissions Checklist: A step by step guide
FOX 61 Hartford (CT) – November 26, 2019
What does it take to get into college and are there things you or the students in your life can do to avoid the headaches that can often come with the process? With application deadlines looming we asked admissions professionals and new college freshmen about what it takes to find success. Written summary provided

Admissions Process & Strategy

Application meant to simplify college admissions actually makes schools more selective, study shows
Seattle Times – November 27, 2019
According to new research, schools that use the Common Application have a competitive edge. But there’s a downside…

College Connection: Students get a second chance at Early Decision
My Central Jersey – November 29, 2019
For those students who are turned down by their Early Decision I college, or those who failed to meet the November deadline, all hope is not lost. Many colleges offer Early Decision II…

2020 Guide to Summer Programs for High School Students
College Transitions Blog – December 2, 2019
Some selective summer programs will absolutely benefit you come college admissions time, while many others, even some located at Ivy League universities, will carry very little weight.

‘The Truth About College Admission’
Inside Higher Ed – December 2, 2019
The Truth About College Admission bills itself as ‘a family guide,’ recognizing the role of parents and students in the college admissions process. The authors, Brennan Barnard, director of college counseling at the Derryfield School, and Rick Clark, director of undergraduate admissions at the Georgia Institute of Technology, responded via email to questions about their book

Career & Technical Education

Sophomores take worksite tours
Estes Park Trail Gazette (CO) – December 1, 2019
Throughout their high school careers, all students at Estes Park High School engage with a college and career exploration software called Xello. For the annual Sophomore Worksite Tours, counselors use these Xello profiles to set up visits for students to companies that aligned with their interests and career matches.

Washington’s new career-education programs are off the ground, but how will the state regulate them?
Seattle Times – December 1, 2019
Three years ago, Maija Thiel was asked to set up a new apprenticeship program for Puyallup School District’s high-school students. The idea: link more students to apprenticeships, and eventually, to jobs. Her new project, which involved allowing students to leave school to work, raised complications…

Financial Aid/Scholarships

8 things I wish I could tell my 17-year-old self about student loans
Business Insider – November 27, 2019
If I could go back in time, I’d tell myself to work more, spend less, apply for scholarships, and some of these other smart financial choices:

I Was Offered $40,000 in Free Money for College. Here’s Why I Turned It Down
The Motley Fool – November 28, 2019
Sometimes, free money comes at a cost.

One way to graduate college with less debt
CNBC – November 30, 2019
Taking CLEP classes in high school — and scoring a passing grade on the official exams at the end of each course — can earn students credit hours once they are in college. Unlike AP, CLEP classes can be taken by anyone at any time. They are not restricted to high school students on a specific academic track, as many AP classes are.

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Inside The Admissions Office

How to Write a College Essay
Southern New Hampshire University
November 26, 2019

A transcript offers us insight into a student’s overall academic performance, but it does not often shed much light onto who the student is as a person. At a basic level, the essay functions as a writing sample, showcasing the individual’s grasp of written communication skills. But more importantly…

Scholarship Application Tips: 5 Ways to Stay on the Right Track
Azusa Pacific University Admissions
December 3, 2019

Scholarships can help make college more affordable and boost your résumé, but they’re often competitive. Consider these five application tips to increase your chances of winning one.

Teen Health

A Parent’s Guide to Sadfishing, Explained by a Teenager
Parents.com – November 26, 2019
A young adult defines the social media act of sadfishing and explains how parents can help their teens through mental health issues.

Doctors go to TikTok to talk to teens about vaping, birth control and how celery juice won’t cure cancer
CNBC – November 29, 2019
They’re gaining huge followings, and doctors like Rose Marie Leslie are convinced they’re making a difference.

Active Shooter Drills May Not Stop A School Shooting — But This Method Could
NPR – November 17, 2019
There’s little research yet that shows that those drills are effective. There is one safety approach that does work: threat assessment, as part of a comprehensive program of social and emotional support for students.


As diagnoses rise, more colleges add services for students with autism
The Hechinger Report – November 26, 2019
These few programs serve small numbers, however — and often at a high price

Student Loan Borrowers With Disabilities Aren’t Getting Help They Were Promised
NPR – December 4, 2019
For over half a century, student loan borrowers with a significant, permanent disability have been protected by federal law. But an NPR investigation has found that hundreds of thousands of potentially eligible borrowers have yet to receive the relief they’re entitled to.

The Digital Courseware Accessibility Problem
Inside Higher Ed – December 2, 2019
High-tech instructional materials are gaining popularity with instructors, but they can be problematic for students with disabilities. Colleges and publishers say there’s no easy fix.


How to Choose Between Online and Paper ACT
Yahoo! Finance – December 2, 2019
Beginning September 2020, the ACT will be offered to high school students on paper and via computer. Here are three factors to consider before you opt for one testing format over the other:

6 free ways to prepare for the ACT test
KSL.com (UT) – November 26, 2019
The following free alternatives prepare students for this common college entrance prerequisite with the same effectiveness and precision of paid products.

Commentary: SATs can help students overcome disadvantages
San Diego Union Tribune – November 27, 2019
Good SAT scores are a way to shine a spotlight on students who may not have accessibility to enrichment programs and other services.