High School Counselor Week

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


February 9, 2023

Big Picture

A Few Educators ‘Going the Extra Mile’ Cannot Save the Education System
EdSurge – February 1, 2023
The phrase ‘going the extra mile’ turns up frequently in schools. There’s always talk about teachers who go above and beyond the call of duty. You might say that the phrase is ubiquitous across sectors — that it’s just a catch phrase for talking about ‘good employees’ — but I would argue that it causes harm in the teaching profession because public discourse suggests that all teachers should be going the extra mile and that, in fact, going the extra mile is what defines being a ‘good teacher.’ But that’s a dangerous misconception.

Advocates ask Education Department to collect new racial, legacy data in college admissions
Higher Ed Dive – February 1, 2023
More than 30 education and college access groups, lawmakers, and academics are asking the U.S. Department of Education to broaden the admissions data it collects from institutions annually to include new information, like racial breakdowns of applicants and admitted students. The coalition requested the department start requiring colleges to send data on how many applicants and students they admit through legacy policies, which give admissions preference to family members of alumni. Colleges should disaggregate their legacy, early decision and early action applicant data by race and ethnicity…

Why are colleges offering up more DEI degrees? Demand for diversity expertise is growing.
USA Today – February 6, 2023
A growing number of colleges offer bachelor’s or master’s degrees in diversity, equity and inclusion. The trend is in response to heightened demand for DEI experts – and comes amid backlash against diversity initiatives. Courses in the programs vary but tend to be interdisciplinary, covering topics ranging from history to business management.

Columns and Blogs

Why (and How) You Should Celebrate National School Counseling Week
Post – February 5, 2023
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D.

Answers to Some of the Most Common Questions…
Post – February 8, 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


When Schools Ask Students About Suicide, Those At Risk Get Help Sooner
U.S. News & World Report – February 3, 2023
Could asking teens a simple, but pointed, question about their mental health reveal whether they are at risk for suicide? It might, new research suggests. Since suicide is now the second leading cause of death among American teens, any strategy that could lower that risk may be worth trying. The question is: ‘How often have you been bothered by… thoughts that you would be better off dead or of hurting yourself in some way?’ Tthose who were ‘were seven times more likely to be identified at-risk for suicide, and four times as likely to initiate treatment’…As for parental concerns that broaching the topic might put ideas in a teen’s head… ‘That’s not what studies show. Instead, it really does help identify kids who are already having those thoughts, and doesn’t cause those thoughts in people who are not.’

Proud To Be Me! A Male School Counselor Of Color
Forbes – February 7, 2023
On January 24, 2014, as I sat in one of my graduate classes at Millersville University, I could not help but be in awe of the demographic makeup of my class. Like most of my classes in grad school, over 70 percent of my classmates were women. Given the historical context that less than two generations ago many of these women would not be permitted at various colleges, let alone at the graduate level – I could not help but be in awe. Be that as it may, I could not help but also notice something else that I had noticed for years throughout my formal education: I was the lone Black male in the room and only one of few students of color as well. I certainly was not without exposure to ethnic and racial diversity in my school setting. However, the diversity of these buildings was found within their student populations and not so much within their staff. This reality was – and continues to be – a driving force in my work as a school counselor.


Choosing a College for Your Child With Mental Health Needs
Psychology Today – February 7, 2023
As I write this, many families with kids who are juniors in high school are beginning the traditional college visit road trips, in anticipation of the application process in their senior year. These trips can be a lot of fun—many families really enjoy them as some relaxing, happy times together. But if you and your child have navigated mental health and/or neurodevelopmental needs such as anxiety, depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or autism spectrum disorder, it can also be a time of tremendous worry.

6 surprising insights for parents of college-bound students
Anthem Independent (AZ) – February 1, 2023
As we move into 2023, many students will choose which college they’ll attend in the fall. For parents, there are plenty of questions and concerns about the college process, especially when it comes to cost, scholarships and financial aid. College Ave Student Loans recently completed a survey to get some insights into parents’ stress, concerns and priorities for affording their child’s college education. Read on to see six surprising findings from this study to help parents set their students up for future success.

Admissions Process & Strategy

7 Warning Signs an Online Degree Is a Scam
U.S. News & World Report – February 6, 2023
‘There are many online degree programs out there that prey on the uninformed and make them believe that this is a legitimate program that has quality academic courses, quality academic experiences and that their credits would be transferrable to another institution,’ says the president of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. ‘And that’s just not the case.’ Below are seven warning signs that an online program may be a scam:

DeLauro: For-profit online program management companies are the new predators in higher education
Higher Ed Dive – January 31, 2023
For years, my colleagues and I have fought to protect students and taxpayers from the predatory practices of for-profit colleges. …I am disturbed by the loose regulation and nonexistent oversight over a similar, newer phenomenon — the proliferation of for-profit online program management, or OPM, companies across our higher education landscape. Just like predatory for-profit colleges, these OPMs mislead students, drive up costs and leave student borrowers with a low-value education, excessive debt and low-paying jobs after graduation.

With test optional now the norm in college admissions, another gatekeeper rises: calculus
WBEZ Chicago – February 6, 2023
Calculus is an easy way to sort students: those who took it, and those who didn’t. But there’s a problem. Some students never had the chance.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Financial aid appeal letters: What they are and how to write one
Yahoo! Finance – February 7, 2023
After you receive a financial aid decision from your college, you have the option of submitting a financial aid appeal letter. This letter states additional information as to why you deserve more financial aid. It should only be submitted if the original financial aid decision did not consider changed circumstances or additional information not reflected on the FAFSA. Overturning the initial financial aid situation is not a given, but a well-worded letter could give you a chance to access greater financial aid.

Students Who Meet With High School Counselor Much More Likely To Receive Financial Aid For College
Forbes – February 1, 2023
New data released this week by the National Center For Educational Statistics reveal a strong relationship between students meeting with their high school counselors and their later success in receiving financial aid to attend college.

Students Left $3.6 Billion In Pell Grants Unclaimed Last Year
Forbes – February 5, 2023
Graduating high school students left almost $3.6 billion in Pell Grant funds unclaimed last year because they did not complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). That is the finding of a new report from the National College Attainment Network (NCAN) out this week.


NCAA permanently ends SAT, ACT eligibility requirement for Division I, II student-athletes
Higher Ed Dive – February 7, 2023
The shift stems from an NCAA plan to advance racial equity, which entailed studying athletes’ eligibility requirements like admissions testing. Athletes may still need to take the SAT or ACT for colleges that have not dropped their own testing requirements for general admissions. Some athletics scholarships also require test scores.

Subscribe to our Weekly Emails

Sports-Related Scholarships

sponsored by Fastweb

Top Sports-Related Scholarships
With the big game this weekend, remind students of scholarships available from sports organizations and players.

Student Voices

Some students unsure whether to discuss mental health in college applications
The Forest Scout (Lake Forest High School, IL) – February 2, 2023
Most students who have applied to college are familiar with the section in the Common Application that awkwardly asks students to ‘please list any additional information you think we should know about you.’ In a perfect world, this question would be a wonderful opportunity for the nearly 50% of high school students with mental health struggles to explain their story, especially if these diagnoses affected their academic careers. However, many students are concerned that their honesty will negatively affect their chance of getting into top colleges.

Teen Health

I was 17, homeless, and alone. Here’s how my school helped me back on my feet.
Chalkbeat – February 6, 2023
Until I met my high school’s McKinney-Vento liaison, I hadn’t realized that there was a name for the situation I found myself in. When she first sat down with me and explained who she is and what she does, I was confused about why I was speaking with a woman who helps homeless students. I never thought of myself as homeless because I had a roof over my head most nights. She explained that even though I was often sheltered, where I stayed wasn’t always safe, and I could be asked to leave at any time. That meant I was, technically, homeless. And without a parent or guardian in my life, the government designated me an ‘unaccompanied homeless youth.’

Biden calls for greater mental health care access in schools, limitations on social media companies
Chalkbeat – February 7, 2023
Calling for increased mental health care access in schools, President Joe Biden pointed to social media companies as one factor contributing to the nation’s mental health challenges during Tuesday’s State of the Union address. ‘When millions of young people are struggling with bullying, violence, trauma, we owe them greater access to mental health care at their schools,’ he said. ‘We must finally hold social media companies accountable for the experimenting they’re running on children for profit.’

Career & Technical Education

Ditch the Degree? Many Employers Are Just Fine With That
U.S. News & World Report – February 3, 2023
The tight labor market, combined with the high cost of college and a pandemic-era re-assessment of work, has led both employers and job-seekers to question the conventional wisdom of higher education for everyone. Public and private sector employers are now changing their standards, broadening the meaning of ‘qualified’ to include life experience, job history or certifications that don’t require a bachelor’s or associate’s degree.

Entrepreneurial Passions Impacting College Pursuits
Forbes – February 7, 2023
An argument can be made that finding one’s passions outside of college versus attending school is not a mutually exclusive decision. Passions can be developed and experimented with inside college environments that can be beneficial when applied to career pursuits. A combination of higher education with impassioned career objectives can open up additional avenues as individuals inevitably switch careers and interests early in life. In other words, the ‘either-or’ narrative could use considerable reexamination.