High School Counselor Week

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


July 30, 2020

Big Picture

COVID-19 Roundup: Colleges Tilt Toward Online Openings
Inside Higher Ed – July 23, 2020
As several more colleges announce plans to educate students mostly virtually this fall, a new database shows that’s the way the decisions are trending nationally.

Colleges Spent Months Planning For Fall, But A COVID-19 Surge Is Changing Everything
NPR (Listen) – July 22, 2020
As the start of classes inches closer, more and more colleges are rolling back their earlier, more optimistic proclamations of an in-person or hybrid fall. Those initial plans are now… [Transcript provided]

‘The virus beat us’: Colleges are increasingly going online for fall 2020 semester as COVID-19 cases rise
USA Today – January 29, 2020
In many cases, the colleges had released plans for socially distant in-person classes only a few weeks ago, hoping to beat the coronavirus. Now colleges are increasingly changing their minds…

More Than 6,300 Coronavirus Cases Have Been Linked to U.S. Colleges
New York Times – July 28, 2020
As college students and professors decide whether to head back to class, and as universities weigh how and whether to reopen, the coronavirus is already on campus.

Columns and Blogs

Helping Teens Deal with Covid-Related Anxiety
Tribune News Service – July 29, 2020
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 


4 Top Asks Students Have for Colleges
Inside Higher Ed – July 28, 2020
Colleges needn’t cut tuition to boost enrollment this fall — they just need to offer students what they really want, argues Matt Wilkerson.

Now’s the Perfect Time to Rethink Thanksgiving
Inside Higher Ed – July 29, 2020
It’s just one example of how the pandemic could open up opportunities to leave the well-trodden pathways of tradition in favor of smarter alternatives…


A Real Shortage
New America Blog – July 27, 2020
Now more than ever, we can’t afford a shortage of school guidance counselors.

Stimulate This: How School Counselors Will Help Save Our Post-Pandemic Future
Forbes – May 28, 2020
What I know to be true is that no matter when our country opens up, or how fast we bounce back, we need to think about how we stimulate our economy and workforce from the ground up. Guess where that starts? School counselors.

High School Counselors Invited to Register for the ‘NACAC Virtual College Fair: Counselors Preview’ on August 19
NACAC – July 30, 2020
During the free four-hour Counselors Preview, more than 600 colleges and universities will be online to meet virtually with counselors. By participating, counselors will receive up-to-date information on college programs and the latest coronavirus-impacted policies regarding test scores, application deadlines, financial aid, and more.

NYU College Access Leadership Institute Marks 10th Anniversary
New York University – July 29, 2020
This year, more than 100 students from ten states attended the first-ever virtual version of the Institute. Program graduates become certified College Access Ambassadors and are required to act as mentors and advisers in their high schools by conducting their very own college application workshops—thereby reaching and educating thousands of college-seeking students every year.

A connection to college
Boston College News – July 29, 2020
BC students launch online resource for high schoolers in their Parsippany, New Jersey hometown


Please Tell Your Student These 8 Things Before They Go to College This Fall
College Parent Central – July 15, 2020
Although more students may be doing college from home this fall, the transition to college is still a major shift for both of you. Whether your student is home, a few miles away, or across the country, there are some important reminders you should share to help them succeed.

Round 2 of online school: How to get your remote learning act together for fall
USA Today – July 29, 2020
Are you prepared for the next few months of chaos? Probably not, but we’re here to help you through round two. We consulted with four homeschooling experts to help parents

What My Kids Learned When They Weren’t in School
The Atlantic – July 22, 2020
This time since school was canceled—since life was canceled—has given them an education they couldn’t have gotten any other way.


As the pandemic upends higher education, is residential college worth the cost?
PBS News Hour – July 28, 2020
The pandemic has upended the traditional model of higher education, particularly for residential colleges. As many schools announce plans to charge full tuition while continuing with remote learning, some students and parents are questioning whether the price is worth it. Hari Sreenivasan reports on a new effort to rethink the value, and the cost, of traditional college in the coronavirus era.

Admissions Process & Strategy

How Rising Seniors Can Make the Best of Quarantine
Teen Life Blog – July 29, 2020
While everyone needs time to get over the disappointment of botched plans, the more quickly you turn things around, find a new purpose, and get active on an alternate plan, then the more successful you will be in college admissions. To help you out, I came up with a few student examples. What do their summer plans look like?

Summer College Application Tasks for Rising Seniors
U.S. News & World Report – July 28, 2020
To-do’s for prospective students include researching scholarships, working on application essays and more.

The top 50 U.S. colleges that pay off the most in 2020
CNBC Make It – July 28, 2020
Because the coronavirus pandemic has considerably changed the on-campus experience — the benefits of which are impossible to quantify — more students and their parents are questioning the high price of tuition. This year more than ever, students have to ask, ‘Is this college worth the cost?’

More than 93% of U.S. college students say tuition should be lowered if classes are online
CNBC Make It – July 27, 2020
There’s been a push to lower tuition just because classes are going to be taught online…But others have pointed out that taking classes online is not necessarily more affordable.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

How the CSS Profile is different from the FAFSA
Bankrate – July 27, 2020
In some cases, you can apply and qualify for both the FAFSA and the CSS Profile. Here’s how they’re the same, how they’re different and what you need to know to be eligible for either.

How To Ask For More College Financial Aid Due To COVID-19
Forbes – July 28, 2020
Many students and parents aren’t aware that the financial aid process allows for adjustments and appeals. In fact, a student can appeal for new financial aid as often as his or her personal financial circumstances dictate, including during the middle of a semester.

No Gap Year Here: Vast Majority of College Students Planning to Return to School in the Fall, According to ‘How America Pays for College 2020’
Valdosta Daily Times – July 28, 2020
Just 7% of students have decided to take time off or enroll at a different school. Sixty-one percent of families believe COVID-19 will not have a long-term impact on their higher education.

What Work-Study Looks Like During the Coronavirus
U.S. News & World Report – July 29, 2020
Work-study jobs may be remote, in-person or rescinded entirely this fall depending on colleges’ policies.

As coronavirus muddies college planning, 529 plans can help
Financial Planning – July 28, 2020
The SECURE Act allows 529 funds to pay $10,000 toward a student’s college loan debt — or a parent’s debt, for that matter — on a one-time basis…The CARES Act permits any family member who funds a 529 to take tuition reimbursements from colleges where students have elected not to enroll due to impacts of COVID-19…


ACT Closes Registrations
Inside Higher Ed – July 29, 2020
It says it is responding to complaints and hopes to open them today…With so many problems for test takers, some colleges administrators are saying that going test optional, as most colleges have done, is not enough. Colleges should discourage standardized tests in admissions, they say

ACT Is Struggling To Give Its College Admissions Tests During The Pandemic
Forbes – July 27, 2020
The pandemic continues to wreak havoc on college admissions testing in general. But for now, the harshest light is shining on the ACT. On July 18, 1,400 students arrived to take the test and found that the 21 sites where they had been scheduled to take the exam had closed without notice.

I took the ACT during the pandemic. We didn’t have to wear masks.
The Philadelphia Inquirer – July 28, 2020
The organizers at ACT, the nonprofit of the same name that runs the test, have released lengthy guidelines for how they will keep students safe from contracting or spreading the coronavirus. But there’s a problem: Centers might not be following them. Here’s what I saw, and experienced, taking the ACT in July:

IB 2020: How to appeal this year’s grades
Tes Global – July 27, 2020
The International Baccalaureate (IB) has issued guidance for schools over how to appeal grades this year, following concerns from teachers and students over 2020’s grading process.

Student Activities

Plans to Preserve High School Sports, Performing Arts Continue Amid Pandemic
NFHS – July 29, 2020
The decisions surrounding a safe return of scholastic sports and activities affect more people than all other levels of sport combined.

‘We’re at the mercy of COVID:’ What will high school sports look like in fall?
KOMO News (WA) – July 27, 2020
If we can get kids out doing some healthy things that superintendents feel comfortable with, that’d be great’… Which brings us to the biggest predicament—what are schools comfortable with?

The NCAA just released new guidelines for college athletics—here’s what schools are doing
CNBC Make It – July 17, 2020
The new guidelines, which are the third the organization has released about how college athletic departments should address the pandemic

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Coronavirus-Related Resources

• NEW • COVID-29 Data Dashboard
C2i (College Crisis Initiative)
A map of ~3,000 colleges, community colleges, and universities in the United States showing their Fall 2020 plans for academic instruction. Data is mapped by categories such as Fully Online, Fully In Person, Hybrid, etc., and filters are included for other characteristics as well. A useful tool for helping to determine available options. [Ongoing Updates]

List of Colleges’ Plans for Reopening in the Fall
The Chronicle of Higher Education
[Current through July 29, 2020 – for future updates use C2i Dashboard]

ASCA Update: COVID-19
American School Counselor Association

ASCA COVID-19 Resources
American School Counselor Association

Information for Cambridge schools about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Cambridge International

College Board Coronavirus Updates
College Board

AP Online Classes and Review Sessions
College Board on YouTube

Colleges and Universities Temporarily Waiving ACT/SAT Requirements for 2020 Admissions Only

IBO.org COVID-19 (coronavirus) updates
International Baccalaureate

NACAC College Admission Status Update: Coronavirus Impact

Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Developing Standards for Practice and Competition
National Collegiate Athletic Association
[Revised NCAA guidelines as of July 27, 2020]

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

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

Updated: 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

Teen Health

Report: One of the Biggest Obstacles to Remote Learning? Finding a Quiet Place to Work
EdSurge – July 22, 2020
The survey found that students report being less likely than teachers to have a consistently quiet place to work. Furthermore, parents are much more likely to say that their children have a quiet environment than the students themselves.

State schools want to hire more counselors amid budget woes
EdSource – July 27, 2020
With students facing ever-growing levels of depression and anxiety as the pandemic wears on, nearly everyone agrees that school districts need to expand their mental health services. But budget uncertainties have stymied school districts’ efforts to hire more counselors and psychologists, leaving mental health advocates worried that thousands of students in California won’t receive the help they need.

Students Are Spreading Covid-19 Off Campus. Here’s How Colleges Can Stop It.
The Chronicle of Higher Education – July 23, 2020
In recent weeks, Covid-19 cases have exploded among people in their 20s and 30s. Public-health officials say that’s partly because of so-called superspreader events, including gatherings of college students in off-campus houses, fraternities, and bars. Confronted with social-media posts showing crowds of students dancing and drinking together in defiance of local orders, colleges have been forced to zero in on what’s happening just outside their borders.