High School Counselor Week

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


January 12, 2023

Big Picture

During the pandemic many Americans chose not to go to college, but high schoolers did
NPR – January 9, 2023
Fewer people in the U.S. are going to college, but through early college programs and dual enrollment, many colleges are seeing a growing number of young people in their classrooms.

Sports Betting on College Campuses: What to Know
U.S. News & World Report – January 9, 2023
College athletics is a billion dollar industry. Until recently, there was one cash cow it could never tap into legally: sports betting. That landscape is changing. Major universities, have become a particularly attractive market for sports betting companies…and the attraction is mutual, as colleges see an opportunity to rake in millions of dollars and recoup lost revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic by partnering with those companies. As more schools figure to partner with sports gambling companies and more students become exposed to it, here are some risks to be aware of.

Advocates urge educators to address student grief in school
AFRO News – January 7, 2023
The COVID-19 pandemic and America’s continuing struggle with gun violence have shined a long overdue spotlight on the impact of grief on children. Child advocates are hoping this heightened awareness will spark a culture shift in American schools so that grief training and counseling will become as commonplace as active-shooter drills and recreational sports. ‘If we narrow our conversation to what to do when the active shooter is at the door, it’s far too late.

Columns and Blogs

The Common Bond That Ties
Post – January 11, 2023
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D.

Great and Not-So-Great Money from Colleges
Post – January 11, 2023
College Advice & Timely Tips with Lee Bierer


School Counselor of the Year Reflects on What Students and Teachers Lost and Gained in 2022
EdSurge – January 4, 2023
Over the past two years, most of us have lost the certainty in everyday life that we once knew and perhaps took for granted. My profession, like many others, has had to pivot repeatedly over the past few years, which has taken its toll. In addition to the loss of certainty and routine, many of us have experienced loss in our personal and professional lives. As our new normal continues on and we begin 2023, I’m reflecting on what my students and I lost in 2022—and what we’ve gained.

More school counselors could turn the tide on the youth mental health crisis
Salon – January 8, 2023
Last fall, more than 130 children’s organizations called on President Biden to declare a national emergency in response to America’s youth mental health crisis. Yet too often, concrete strategies for improving youth mental health are missing from the discussion. School counselors are trained to help K-12 students reach their goals by addressing academic, career development, emotional, and social challenges. They have a skillset that goes beyond assisting students with navigating classroom conflicts and college readiness. They also have the training to recognize mental health warning signs, and can be a critical line of defense against worsening mental health conditions. But roughly a fifth of all students in grades K-12 have no access to counseling in their school. In those that do have counselors, they’re often spread too thin. Even the most devoted counselors are limited in the good they can do by the unmanageable number of students in their charge.

New data shows fewer students per counselor at nation’s schools, but caseloads remain high
Chalkbeat – January 9, 2023
The ratio of students to counselors in the nation’s public schools has reached its lowest point in at least 36 years, spurred both by an influx of new counselors and a nationwide decline in student enrollment. The dual trends left schools with an average of 408 students for every counselor last school year. That’s lower than the 424 to 1 ratio pre-pandemic, but still significantly higher than the 250 to 1 recommended. Lower average caseloads can mean counselors have more time to spend with each student, fulfilling an especially important role as students struggle mentally and academically in the wake of the pandemic. But experts caution that the pattern remains uneven across states and that focusing too heavily on national or statewide statistics can obscure stark disparities between districts and the true accessibility of counselors at individual schools.


Tips for parents: 23 Things to Do in 2023
Waterbury Roundabout (CT) – January 3, 2023
When counselors at Vermont Student Assistance Corp. speak with students who have successfully completed high school and achieved their first early-adulthood goals – be it college admission, starting a technical program, or starting a job – there is usually one common denominator: adults who supported their expectations and gave them encouragement and advice. As a new year begins, VSAC has put together a list of simple steps parents and guardians can take to make a difference in their student’s success…

College Planning 101: A Guide to Help Your Child Find the Right School With Minimal Stress
Columbus Monthly – January 6, 2023
The college planning process can be riddled with anxiety, from test prep to costs to worries over high school classes and grades. Counselors and colleges offer tips for what to focus on—and when.

Admissions Process & Strategy

Cash-Strapped Colleges Court Reluctant Students
Hedgeye – January 4, 2023
Colleges whose prices have gone higher and higher are now struggling to deal with a pullback in demand. Some are cutting tuition in half to offer potential applicants a more attractive sticker price. Others are trying out new strategies to raise enrollment or revenue, including one that is highly controversial

Ethical College Admissions: ‘I Am Not a Robot’
Inside Higher Ed – January 9, 2023
Jim Jump considers the issues raised by ChatGPT for the admissions essay.

The Conversation You Need to Have With Your Teen About College Admissions (it’s not what you think)
The Good Men Project – January 9, 2023
It sounds like being stuck between a rock and a hard place when trying to figure out how to healthily support your child, but there is a way. As an expert who helps teens get into their dream colleges, let me guide you through the conversation that could actually get through to your teen.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Low-Income Students Can Get More Money to Help Pay for College This Year
Money – January 6, 2023
Low-income college students can get an additional $500 from the federal government to help pay their education bills later this year. The extra money is thanks to a significant boost in funding for the Pell Grant program in the 2023-24 academic year as part of the $1.7 trillion spending bill recently signed into law.

Pell Grant to increase $500 in 2023: How can I apply?
Marca – January 6, 2023
We all know how complicated student loan debt has become in American society, it is what drives many educational institutions to continue charging what they charge to students. Scholarships and grants are the most viable solution for these students, especially the Federal Pell Grant program. Take a look at what you need to know about Pell Grants, which includes how to qualify, how to apply, and how to keep yourself eligible for them.


A College Admissions Expert Explains What Going Test-Optional Means for High School Seniors
Education Week – January 9, 2023
A handful of years ago, the SAT or ACT test was considered a central piece of college admissions. The test-taking process was both a rite of passage for high school students and a source of dread and angst—particularly among those striving for admittance to highly selective colleges and universities, many of which suggested or outright required a minimum score for applicants to be considered. For insight into the shift away from standardized test scores in college admissions and what it means for aspiring college goers in high school, Education Week spoke to Vern Granger, the director of undergraduate admissions at the University of Connecticut and board chair of the NACAC.

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Inside The Admissions Office

Juniors, College Admission is a Stereogram
Georgia Tech Admission Blog – January 10, 2023
January and February are extremely common times for high schools to host programs for juniors. ‘College Kick Off,’ ‘Starting the College Conversation,’ and ‘Admission 101’ are a few of the panel titles I’ve seen recently. Often, the moderator will ask, ‘What is one thing you would like to leave folks with before we conclude?’ Over the years, I’ve had a variety of responses, but one of the most important is—focus on what really matters to you, rather than being distracted by many of the initial or obvious components of the college admission search. Like a stereogram, look into what you see. And more importantly, look beyond what you see.

Teen Health

Seattle’s schools are suing tech giants for harming young people’s mental health
NPR – January 8, 2023
The public school district in Seattle has filed a novel lawsuit against the tech giants behind TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat, seeking to hold them accountable for the mental health crisis among youth. The 91-page complaint says the social media companies have created a public nuisance by targeting their products to children, noting in part: ‘Defendants have successfully exploited the vulnerable brains of youth, hooking tens of millions of students across the country into positive feedback loops of excessive use and abuse…Worse, the content Defendants curate and direct to youth is too often harmful and exploitive…’

Most LGBTQ Youth Can’t Access Mental Health Care. How Schools Can Help
Education Week – January 3, 2023
A majority of LGBTQ students in every state except two said they sought mental health care but were unable to access it, according to a recent report. In all other states, the percentage of LGBTQ youth who were not able to access mental health care ranged from 50% to 72%, with Nevada having the highest percentage of such students. The Trevor Project report is based on the organization’s 2022 survey of nearly 34,000 LGBTQ people ages 13 to 24. It comes as state legislatures across the country have introduced bills that target LGBTQ students by restricting access to books about LGBTQ topics, limiting participation on team sports, and not offering restrooms that align with their gender identity.

Career & Technical Education

America needs carpenters and plumbers. Gen Z doesn’t seem interested
NPR – January 5, 2023
While Gen Z — often described as people born between 1997 and 2012 — is on track to become the most educated generation, fewer young folks are opting for traditionally hands-on jobs in the skilled trade and technical industries. The application rate for young people seeking technical jobs — like plumbing, building and electrical work — dropped by 49% in 2022 compared to 2020, according to data from online recruiting platform Handshake.