High School Counselor Week

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


January 21, 2021

Big Picture

Joe Biden’s Stimulus Plan Emphasizes School Reopenings
HuffPost – January 16, 2021
Biden has said he would like to see most K-8 schools open in person within 100 days of taking office, and now he is asking Congress for hundreds of billions of dollars to help him achieve this goal.

‘It’s just too much’: Why students are abandoning community colleges in droves
The Hechinger Report – January 15, 2021
With first-time enrollment down 21 percent, two-year colleges face an existential question: Will students return?

Pandemic’s toll shows up on students’ college applications
ABC News – January 18, 2021
Aspiring college students who have seen every aspect of their lives disrupted by the coronavirus are grappling with how to show their potential in a season when so many admissions exams and activities have been canceled

Columns and Blogs

Subject Tests Are Gone. So?
Post – January 20, 2021
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

This is big news… seriously big news
Tribune News Service – January 20, 2021
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 


Many parents say teens with anxiety, depression may benefit from peer confidants at school
ScienceDaily – January 18, 2021
Teens talking to teens: 1 in 3 parents strongly support schools having mental health programs like peer support leaders, new national poll suggests

‘We have a long road ahead of us’: How school counselors are changing to seek answers for student needs
Journal-News (OH) – January 18, 2021
The emotional stress of the coronavirus on students is showing up in the office visits and computer screen sessions of local school counselors who are trying to help struggling students during a global pandemic.

What can we do together to get through this?’ Ouachita counselors helping kids through COVID
Monroe News-Star (LA) – January 18, 2021
Children are dealing with many of the same concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic as adults — grief, fear and stress.


What parents need to know about teen suicide
Adirondack Daily Enterprise (NY) – January 16, 2021
Parents have been asking me some tough questions recently about their teenagers being stressed to the point they might try to hurt themselves or even try to commit suicide. This is a topic that should be stressed for all parents, so let me try to provide some helpful information.

I’ve Tried Everything’: Pandemic Worsens Child Mental Health Crisis
NPR (LISTEN) – January 18, 2021
When schools closed last spring, children with severe mental illnesses were cut off from the services they’d come to rely on. Many have since spiraled into emergency rooms and even police custody. (Audio and transcript)

Admissions Process & Strategy

Collegewise launches free program to provide college counseling for high schoolers
Altoona Mirror (PA) – January 16, 2021
Runway is designed to provide the resources that underclassmen need to move forward on their college planning journeys through videos, guides and monthly newsletters with reminders for important deadlines.

Ed Dept. Adds Loan Repayment Information to College Scorecard
Inside Higher Ed – January 13, 2021
This information shows how well students at institutions, including for-profits, are able to repay student loans. ‘This is the kind of real, unfiltered information students need to make informed, personalized decisions about their education,’ said acting…

An Insider’s Timeline to Navigating College Applications
Main Line Today (PA) – January 18, 2021
When I speak with parents and students about navigating the college prep process, there’s a general timeline I suggest. For recruited college athletes, be advised that the entire timeline is different. For everyone else, here’s a look at the process.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Satisfactory Academic Progress: How It Affects Federal Student Aid
Tulsa World (OK) – January 15, 2021
It’s possible to lose your eligibility for federal student aid if you don’t meet your school’s satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards, leaving you to pay tuition and fees on your own. Here’s what you need to know about SAP standards and what you can do if you lose your eligibility for financial aid.

How to Use the Federal Student Loan Simulator
U.S. News & World Report – January 20, 2021
This U.S. Department of Education tool can help you understand student loan borrowing and repayment options.

Didn’t Get Enough Financial Aid For College? You Can Ask For More Money
NPR (LISTEN) – January 18, 2021
Last spring, the pandemic stole Maddie Harvey’s job on campus in the Dean of Students office. She was finishing up her senior year at St. Thomas University, and without the income from her job, she wasn’t going to have enough money to pay her upcoming tuition bill. (Podcast and transcript)

Quick updates on Pell Grants, the FAFSA and (maybe) student loan forgiveness
Greensboro News & Record (NC) – January 15, 2021
There are some glimmers of good news in higher ed in 2021 and after. The Pell Grant will be bigger, and more people will be eligible to get one. The FAFSA is changing for the better. And the feds will be talking once again about…


Access to college admissions tests — and lucrative scholarships — imperiled by the pandemic
Politico – January 18, 2021
Some universities say they don’t need scores to gauge students’ applications, but many scholarships still require test results.

Adjusting to ‘new realities’ in admissions process, College Board eliminates SAT’s optional essay and subject tests
USA Today – January 19, 2021
The subject tests will immediately end for U.S. students and be phased out for international students by June. The optional essay will be discontinued after June testing sessions.

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Inside The Admissions Office

Junior Tips Part I: Start Here
Tulane University Admission Blog – January 18, 2021
For most high school juniors across the country and the world, January signifies two things: the beginning of the second semester and the unofficial start of ‘The Process.’ Don’t let that stress you out too much, though. Now’s a good time to just reserve a little bit of mental space for getting acclimated with this crazy process of college admission. I’ve posted a great webinar geared at juniors and…

How Grants for College Students Can Support Your University Experience
Azusa Pacific University – January 14, 2021
When you attend a university that provides or facilitates research grants for college students, your learning extends beyond lectures in a classroom. You get to earn your degree while growing as an influential member in your field and getting hands-on experience with the latest research and teaching.


U.S. Department of Education investigating Indiana’s handling of special education during pandemic
WTHR Indianapolis (IN) – January 15, 2021
The Office of Civil Rights said it is particularly troubled by reports that parents of disabled students have filed ‘multiple complaints.’

A blessing in disguise — COVID-19 response makes it possible for this disabled student and perhaps others to return to college
University Press (Florida Atlantic University) – January 17, 2021
Contributing Writer Bryanna Shaw claims universities’ collective response to the pandemic has provided more access to education.

Senators Ask GAO to Examine If Colleges Are Doing Enough for Disabled Students
Inside Higher Ed – January 14, 2021
In particular, the senators expressed concern about the ability of students with disabilities to use videoconferencing and other equipment in remote learning.

Coronavirus-Related Resources

•NEW• Where Teachers Are Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine
Education Week
Since this information is changing rapidly, please note the date at which the information was last verified for each state.

COVID-19 School Response Dashboard
Maps schools’ responses to the pandemic across the United States (data submission voluntary)

Live Updates: Latest News on Coronavirus and Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed

Live Coronavirus Updates: Here’s the Latest
The Chronicle of Higher Education

COVID-29 Data Dashboard
C2i (College Crisis Initiative)

School Counseling During COVID-19
American School Counselor Association

College Board Coronavirus Updates
College Board

AP Online Classes and Review Sessions
College Board on YouTube

COVID-19 Resource Center
National Association of School Psychologists

U.S. DOE: COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel
U.S. Department of Education

Where to Get Free WiFi for Students During COVID-19
Campus Technology

College Virtual Tours
compiled by Rebecca Chabrow, M.A. with assistance from Collegewise

The impact of COVID-19 on high school counselors and the college search process: A national survey.
RNL & High School Counselor Connect (2020)