High School Counselor Week

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


February 16, 2023

Big Picture

Reeling From the Mental Health Crisis, K-12 Districts Turn to Telemedicine
EdSurge – February 6, 2023
The Los Angeles County Office of Education announced last week that it’s offering K-12 students access to free telemedicine services. That comes from a two-year $24 million agreement — funded through a state program — that now gives districts the option to make virtual therapy available to students, with the telehealth services being provided by the company Hazel Health. this announcement came only a week after New York, the largest district in the country, announced a telehealth option for all high school students in the city.

Black families are changing the educational landscape through communal home-schooling
NBC News – February 8, 2023
Amid racist education laws, violence in schools and banned books, Black families are forming homeschooling groups to take matters into their own hands.

Connecticut’s first LGBTQ-centered school to open later this year
NBC News – February 4, 2023
As lawmakers continue to debate LGBTQ representation in U.S. schools, Connecticut’s PROUD Academy plans to open its doors to queer youths and allies this fall. The private school’s curriculum aims to include educational basics like math and science classes, rigorous courses at the AP and honors levels, and lessons that touch upon LGBTQ history and literature. It will join a handful of other LGBTQ-centered schools — including Alabama’s Magic City Acceptance Academy and Ohio’s Albert Einstein Academy — that have opened within the last handful of years, as the nation’s culture wars over LGBTQ issues have intensified.

Columns and Blogs

“But I Worked So Hard!”
Post – February 15, 2023
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D.

What does “Fit” really mean?
Post – February 15, 2023
College Advice & Timely Tips with Lee Bierer

11 Ways to Appeal for More Financial Aid or Merit Aid
Post – January 26, 2023
The College Solutionwith Lynn O’Shaughnessy


Arizona State Superintendent Directs Schools to Prioritize Police Over Counselors
Campus Safety – February 13, 2023
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne said schools must now prioritize armed officers over school counselors when applying for $80 million in grants. The controversial decision comes after an increase in school threats across the state. The School Safety Grant Program of 2019 could originally be used to pay for counselors or police. Many districts have used the grant money to pay for counselors or social workers as Arizona ranks second to last in the country with one counselor for every 651 students. Now, schools will be denied requests to receive funding for counselors if they do not already have an officer or a highly trained security guard on campus. Horne said he supports having a counselor in every school but disagrees with school leaders who say a counselor or social worker is more effective at meeting students’ needs and preventing tragedies. ‘I think that’s completely irrational,’ he said. ‘If a maniac invades your school with a gun determined to kill people, what’s the counselor going to do?’

How Educators Transformed Their Tennessee School by Listening to Students
The 74 – February 14, 2023
The main office at Elizabethton High School in rural northeast Tennessee wasn’t always a place students enjoyed visiting. One student recalled an imposing room with a long desk, a secretary and fluorescent lights that reminded her of a doctor’s office. Even though the two counselors for students had their own small offices within the space, ‘it just felt really closed off to students.’ Today, that front office has been completely transformed into the Cyclone Student Center, named for the school’s mascot. The school also doubled the number of counselors in the center — at the students’ request — by adding two who focus on college and career exploration and advising. Staff and students say these and many other related changes illustrate how listening to students can take a high school in a new, more vibrant direction.

The school counselor staffing landscape: Policies and practice
Brookings Institution – February 9, 2023
Despite the importance of school counselors, counselor staffing often lags optimal levels to adequately support student needs. School counselors often manage large caseloads of students, especially at schools that serve predominantly low-income and Black students, while taking on a wider range of responsibilities than ‘guidance’ counselors of the past. In this post, we review the state of school counselor staffing, evidence on counselor staffing on student outcomes, and the implementation of policies aimed at reducing counselor caseloads. We close by considering who school counselors are–and the implications for student outcomes.


Guidelines for accepting college financial aid
Southeast Iowa Union – February 14, 2023
If a student in your household applied for college financial aid for the 2023-2024 year, financial aid offers should arrive soon. You may receive a standardized College Financial Plan, which can help your family understand the different types of aid offered. Use the tips below to make sense of financial aid offers.

Will Home Equity Hurt Chances for Financial Aid?
Wealth Management.com – February 8, 2023
The good news is that home equity is not a factor for the vast majority of private and public colleges and universities. The institutions that are interested in home equity require filing of the FAFSA and the CSS Profile, because they believe that the Profile’s more in-depth aid application provides a more accurate snapshot of a family’s ability to pay for college. Some parents don’t realize that aiming for popular private schools will require filing the Profile along with the FAFSA.

Admissions Process & Strategy

A Guide to Writing a Great College Essay
Programming Insider – February 14, 2023
Admissions committees put the most emphasis on your grades and test scores, and also pay attention to those recommendation letters, awards and extracurricular activities. But even when they pare down the applicants by those standards, they’ll still have too many for the amount of spaces they have. That’s when your essay may help push you over the top. Your essay is your chance to tell your story. You need to show them exactly who you are. If you are honest and genuine, and write an essay that comes from the heart, this will be your best chance to be noticed.

Free college keeps growing — at the state level
Higher Ed Dive – February 9, 2023
It’s a trend happening across the nation. After the defeat of President Joe Biden’s nationwide free community college plan a year ago, some momentum for the idea moved to the state level. Now, more states are jump-starting their own programs, and ones that launched last year are looking at potential expansions.

Why One Admissions Official Sees Promise in a New Way of Admitting Students
The Chronicle of Higher Education – February 14, 2023
How much information does a college really need to make an admission offer to a student? The question is propelling several recent experiments in which colleges admit (or pre-admit) students who haven’t applied, which The Chronicle described in an in-depth article published on Monday. So-called direct-admission programs have been around in some form for decades, but today’s ‘flipped admission’ experiments are happening on a much broader scale than ever before.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Education Department Hints at Possible Delay of FAFSA
Inside Higher Ed – February 8, 2023
Overhauling the federal financial system and simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a significant undertaking for the Education Department. Although the agency is making progress on the project, officials said this week the application might not be ready by Oct. 1.

How to Correct or Update Your FAFSA Form
U.S. Department of Education – February 13, 2023
Most of the questions on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form want to know your situation as of the day you sign the application. However, there are some instances in which you’ll want to (or be required to) change the information you reported.

How to Pay for College Without Loans
U.S. News & World Report – February 14, 2023
For many students, paying for college involves student loans. In 2021, almost 64% of college graduates had taken on student loan debt. If you’re preparing for college, know that there are ways to avoid graduating with a massive debt burden. Graduating without student loans can be challenging, but it’s possible with the right strategy.


The Sooner We Start Thinking of the College Board as a Business, the Better
Slate – February 14, 2023
Like any business, the College Board should be held accountable for faults in its products and especially for public activities that contradict its mission.

College Board accuses Florida education department of slander
The Hill – February 13, 2023
The College Board has accused the administration of slander after the state’s department of education said the board’s advanced placement African American studies course ‘lacks educational value.’ ‘We deeply regret not immediately denouncing the Florida Department of Education’s slander, magnified by the DeSantis administration’s subsequent comments, that African American Studies ‘lacks educational value,’ ’ the board said in a statement over the weekend.

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Financial Aid Awareness Month

sponsored by Fastweb

February is Financial Aid Awareness Month
Resources to help educate students and parents on Financial Aid.

Inside The Admissions Office

Finding the Right College for You
Emory University Admissions – February 15, 2023
Finding the right college can be a challenging process. Before you begin the journey, you should take the time to define your own personal priorities (these could change as you get to know what universities have to offer). Once you decide upon what’s important in your college experience, you can start the exploration process–whether it’s from the comfort of your own home or whether you decide to visit in-person. In this post, we’re going to outline four essential components to consider when you’re trying to choose the college that’s right for you.

Teen Health

How 3 districts are addressing student fentanyl use
K-12 Dive – February 14, 2023
Allowing students to carry naloxone and developing curriculum are among measures some districts are taking to combat synthetic opioid use.

Nearly 1 in 5 Teen Girls ‘Engulfed’ In Wave of Sexual Violence; Many Suicidal
The 74 – February 13, 2023
Public health officials have been sounding the alarm about young girls’ mental health, pointing to rises in hospitalization for suicide attempts and depression, especially during the pandemic. Now, new national data unveil one factor that could be exacerbating the crisis: a record increase in sexual violence.

Career & Technical Education

High-paying jobs that don’t need a college degree? Thousands of them sit empty
NPR – February 14, 2023
While a shortage of workers pushes wages higher in the skilled trades, the financial return from a bachelor’s degree is softening, even as the price, and the average debt into which it plunges students, remain high. But high school graduates have been so effectively encouraged to get a bachelor’s that high-paid jobs requiring shorter and less expensive training are going unfilled. This affects those students and also poses a real threat to the economy.