High School Counselor Week

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


January 27, 2022

Big Picture

High-school graduation rates decline as pandemic interrupts progress
MarketWatch – January 24, 2022
High-school graduation rates dipped in at least 20 states after the first full school year disrupted by the pandemic, suggesting the coronavirus may have ended nearly two decades of nationwide progress toward getting more students diplomas, an analysis shows.

How teens are experiencing their version of the ‘Great Resignation’
KQED (CA) – January 24, 2022
Unlike adults, in most states, teens can’t really just quit school. But during the pandemic, teens also experienced a mindset shift as to the best conditions that would facilitate their learning, the ways they prefer to learn, and the role school should play in their lives.

Supreme Court will consider challenge to affirmative action in college admissions
NBC News – January 24, 2022
The case, naming Harvard and the University of North Carolina, is the most serious threat in decades to affirmative action at public and private colleges and universities.

Columns and Blogs

The Death Knell for the SAT?
Post – January 27, 2022
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D. 

February is the Time to Plan Ahead
Tribune News Service – January 26, 2022
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 


Colorado school staffs get new violence prevention training
The Gazette (CO) – January 25, 2022
A full nationwide rollout of the program, Project Unite, sponsored by the National Association of School Resource Officers and funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, will begin in the fall. The two-day training in CO is the second of its kind; the first was held two weeks ago in Alexandria, Va., for other pilot schools in the nation.

Mental health is on the forefront’: How Dublin City Schools is addressing students’ mental health needs
WMAZ-13 (GA) – January 25, 2022
Spaulding says they’ve tripled their number of counselors so that students always have someone to talk to. ‘24 hours a day! We get calls at night when students are on their computers and typing in things that are not appropriate, or they’re saying that they’re going to hurt themselves or someone else. It triggers our department and we respond to them at night.’

Oak Park school social workers hail five mental health day law
Wednesday Journal (IL) – January 25, 2022
Local school officials say that a new state law allowing students to have five excused mental health days each school year is helping strengthen the conversations surrounding social and emotional wellness in and outside the classrooms.


Three Messages Parents of High School Students Need to Hear About College Admission
Georgia Tech Admission Blog – January 22, 2022
With each passing year, I’m getting more texts, emails, and calls from friends about college and college admission, and over-hearing both discussed frequently at games or other events. After watching this cycle repeat itself for over two decades, I’m convinced there are a few messages most parents of high school students need to hear-and hopefully will listen to also.


Two years into the pandemic, students still struggle with mental health
PBS News Hour – January 25, 2022
As students across the country continue to experience the many changes the pandemic has brought, some are struggling to adjust to their ‘new normal.’ Student reporter Teri Bell followed up with school counselor Edith Porter on her predictions for students’ mental health in 2022 and how to help them. [Transcript included]

Admissions Process & Strategy

College Bound: Choosing a College
We-Ha.com (CT) – January 24, 2022
There are about 3,500 colleges and universities in the United States. I won’t even get into the many excellent universities in other countries. So, where to start? How do you get it down to a manageable 15 or so to really focus on

How to Break the College Bubble
Inside Higher Ed – January 26, 2022
More students are going to college close to home, but attending institutions in different communities can enhance viewpoint diversity and cultural growth in important ways, writes Samuel J. Abrams.

Johnson City mental health experts weigh in on anxiety surrounding college acceptance
WJHL-11 Johnson City (TN) – January 25, 2022
College acceptance season can come with a lot of emotions for students and their caregivers.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Student Loans And The Struggle Of Paying Them Off
KDKA Pittsburgh – January 24, 2022
Getting a college education is great, but having to pay off your student loans for years is not.

Covid blamed as fewer California high school students file FAFSA applications
EdSource – January 26, 2022
Patrick Perry, the director of policy, research and data at the California Student Aid Commission, described the decrease in applications this year as ‘concerning,’ especially once one examines the population that is not completing applications. He said the pandemic has made it more difficult for high school counselors to be able to work with students to complete the forms.

Career & Technical Education

Opinion: Economic, Tech Changes Favor Skill-Building Programs
Government Technology – January 25, 2022
Skills, not schools’ might not be the best-known motto of our times, but it’s increasingly popular among employers. A growing number are willing to consider applicants for well-paid, white-collar jobs based on what they can do rather than on whether they hold a bachelor’s degree.

Bootcamp 2022: Sophomores Lace Up Their Boots for Future Careers
Bowdoin College – January 25, 2022
Bowdoin’s fourth annual Sophomore Bootcamp—an intensive winter-break program focused on career exploration and development—was bigger, longer, and more ambitious this year. This January, for the first time, the program became mandatory…

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Inside The Admissions Office

Common ‘Unique’ Questions in the Application Process
Tufts Admissions Blog – January 25, 2022
While your experiences are certainly unique to you, there are some ‘unique’ situations mentioned in students’ applications that we see on a regular basis. Here are some common ‘unique’ situations we hear about from students and how we handle them here at Tufts!

How I Found Money for College
University of California, Davis – January 19, 2022
In high school, I did a project where I had to research a university and present it to the class. This project made one thing clear — I would never be able to afford to go to college. But here I am, a successful UC Davis student about to graduate with a bachelor’s degree! So how did I get here?

Teen Health

Teens who are ‘addicted’ to TikTok experience worse depression and anxiety, and in turn, reduced working memory capacity
PsyPost – January 25, 2022
A study among teenage TikTok users found that those who showed addictive tendencies toward the platform performed worse when recalling number sequences. The findings, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, further suggested that this working memory deficit was in part due to increased depression and anxiety.

Youth’s overdose death renews pleas for Naxalone in schools
Brooklyn Daily Eagle (NY) – January 25, 2022
The death of a 13-year-old student who apparently overdosed on fentanyl at his Connecticut school has drawn renewed pleas for schools to stock the opioid antidote naloxone, as well as for training of both staffers and children on how to recognize and respond to overdoses.


SAT is going digital: Exam will be online-only, shorter as colleges ditch standardized tests
USA Today – January 25, 2022
The shift to online exams won’t happen until 2024 for American students. International students will start testing virtually in 2023.