High School Counselor Week

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


January 26, 2023

Big Picture

The Common App Reports College Applications Are Up – Way Up
Forbes – January 18, 2023
According to their January 2023 update, ‘distinct first-year applicants’ are up 20% for 2023. To underscore what a big deal that is, the 20% increase in applications is not since the pandemic when applications and enrollments dropped. The increase is based on pre-pandemic numbers. In other words, we’re not looking at a situation where applications are up but still not to pre-pandemic levels. We’re looking at situation where applications are 20% over pre-pandemic levels.

Are Relationships the Key to Solving America’s School Absenteeism Crisis?
EdSurge – January 23, 2023
The number of students who’ve gone missing from the classroom has only climbed since the pandemic. These days, 16 million students may be ‘chronically absent,’ according to Hedy Chang, executive director of the nonprofit Attendance Works. That means those students are missing 10 percent of a school year—or more. Why kids don’t show up to school is a thorny problem; but it’s something that states will have to confront if they want to beat back the tide of ‘learning loss’ and inequality catalyzed by the pandemic.

Differences in academic preparation contribute to college-going disparities, paper finds
Higher Ed Dive – January 23, 2023
Policymakers often point to college costs and admissions practices for contributing to pervasive divides in enrollment rates across student groups. But the paper’s researchers emphasized that they should also be focusing on disparities in academic preparation during elementary, middle and high school.

Columns and Blogs

The College Interview—A Reliable Step in the Admission Process
Post – January 25, 2023
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D.

Junior Month by Month Timeline
Post – January 25, 2023
College Advice & Timely Tips with Lee Bierer


Staffed Up: Higher ed partnerships shine light on school mental health workforce solutions
Higher Ed Dive – January 24, 2023
Even if every school district in the country committed to hiring one school counselor per 250 students — the ratio recommended by ASCA — there likely wouldn’t be enough people available to fill those positions. That’s because there simply aren’t enough qualified personnel or candidates in the pipeline to fill the need for K-12 school counselors. Mental health professionals stress the need to invest in innovative programs to help recruit and retain school counselors, psychologists and social workers. Some universities have already jump-started this work.

Colorado experts declared a youth mental health emergency. Here’s what happened next.
Chalkbeat – January 19, 2023
Thousands of Colorado youth are taking advantage of a growing number of programs that aim to make mental health support more accessible and affordable for young people. These programs include the state’s ‘I Matter’ program, which provides six free telehealth or in-person counseling sessions to students in elementary through high school. So far, the program has served more than 5,600 students statewide.


Tips For Healthy Social Media Use: For Parents And Teens
University of Utah – January 20, 2023
We all know how the algorithm works—the more you look at your phone, the more it will send compelling content to keep your eyes from looking away. It’s hard to break habits of checking TikTok or Instagram and constantly refreshing to see more, but it’s important to take time away for our mental and physical health. Parents can set a good example through their own virtual behavior. Here are a few things you can do:

New Study Reveals That Parents Are Concerned About Their Children’s Mental Health
HealthNews – January 25, 2023
A new study by Pew Research Center revealed that parents are genuinely concerned with the mental health of their children. The report states around four in 10 parents across the U.S. with children under the age of 18 are concerned for their children’s mental health. Whether it’s depression, anxiety, or other concerns, mental health ranks top among parent’s concerns over their children with 35 percent. This surpasses other concerns, including drugs and alcohol, teen pregnancy, and police intervention.

Admissions Process & Strategy

6 college admissions experts share their biggest predictions for 2023
Higher Ed Dive – January 23, 2023
To keep up with the rapidly changing environment, we posed one question to six experts: What admissions trend do you expect to see in 2023?

How to Fight Senioritis and Get to Graduation
U.S. News & World Report – January 20, 2023
After making it this far, the last thing you want to do is to crash and burn at the finish line. Here are some tips on how to combat senioritis:

Accreditation of Online College Degree Programs: What to Know
U.S. News & World Report – January 24, 2023
When it comes to pursuing an online degree, it’s important to select a legitimate program offering marketable credentials. A key indicator of legitimacy, experts say, is accreditation, a process conducted by an outside authority to ensure that a school and specific degree program – whether on campus, online or blended – meet certain standards of quality. Though it’s voluntary, accreditation has several benefits and typically validates a program to other colleges and universities as well as employers. Schools must also be accredited by a ‘nationally recognized’ accrediting agency for students to receive federal financial aid.

Focusing on the Right Fit Makes the College Search Easier — and More Fun
The 74 – January 18, 2023
Brochures and online materials can build up an image, but students can tell when they set foot on campus if it’s the right place for them

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Does The FAFSA Sign You Up For The Draft?
Forbes – January 24, 2023
Most soon-to-be college students know that submitting the FAFSA is required in order to receive financial aid for their education. Until recently, male students were also required to register for the Selective Service—the government agency that organizes U.S. military drafts—to receive financial aid for higher education. The FAFSA Simplification Act of 2020, however, removed this prerequisite. Starting with the 2023-24 FAFSA, the question about Selective Service was removed from the FAFSA entirely. Men between the ages of 18 and 25 in the U.S. are still required to register, but

What’s a college degree worth? States start to demand colleges share the data.
The Hechinger Report – January 21, 2023
With federal data on college costs and outcomes limited in some crucial ways, and colleges and universities themselves often making it hard to find answers, several states have quietly passed or proposed laws requiring that certain information be made available to consumers about what they’ll get for their investment in a higher education. States have good reason to want to hold colleges and universities accountable. State and local governments spent $113 billion subsidizing public universities and colleges and providing financial aid in the last fiscal year.. Meanwhile, thousands of students are choosing and attending colleges without any idea of the return they can expect on their investment, or even their likelihood of graduating.

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Teen Health

For Some Teens, Accessing Sex Education and Contraception Is Next to Impossible
The 74 – January 21, 2023
In conservative East Texas, it’s hard for teens to access any information beyond lessons on abstinence. Meanwhile, Texas has one of the highest teen birth rates in the country.

Yale’s hugely popular, free, online happiness course is revamped for teens
The Washington Post – January 23, 2023
A widely popular course at Yale University about the psychology of happiness has been retooled for teens. It teaches them how to better manage stress and feel happier as they navigate their high school years. The free, six-week course, the Science of Well-Being for Teens, launched Jan. 16 on the online platform Coursera as short TikTok-length videos on the misconceptions about happiness; the behaviors, feelings and thoughts that lead to mental well-being; and how to obtain it. By Monday, more than 13,000 people had enrolled.

College Essays

How to Write the ‘Why This College’ Essay (With an Example!)
Scholarships360 – January 24, 2023
Applying to college is a big decision that brings a lot of excitement and stress. This is especially so when it comes to answering the ’why this college’ prompt asked by many colleges. Keep reading to learn tips and tricks to write your ’why this college’ essay, and take a look at an example essay!

Rethinking College Admissions and Applications with an Eye on AI
The 74 – January 23, 2023
Schools, colleges & students’ families must make clear that while ChatGPT is fine for structuring college essays, plagiarism is not

How Long Should Your College Essays Be?
Scientific American – January 16, 2023
For the most part, colleges tell you exactly how long your college essays should be, but what happens when they don’t? In this article, we will go over the reason behind word limits and what to do if a college you’re applying to does not provide a word limit.