High School Counselor Week

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


March 16, 2023

Big Picture

The Education Trend That Is Exacerbating the Youth Mental Health Emergency
Slate – March 10, 2023
Between February 2020 and May 2022, more than 300,000 educators resigned in the U.S., citing concerns over safety, burnout, and low pay, among other reasons. As a result, gaps in critical youth support have widened, negatively affecting the mental health of adolescents and young adults. While the reasons behind the so-called Great Resignation are complex and understandable, the timing couldn’t be worse, as America’s children and adolescents are experiencing a significant increase in mental health challenges, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and other leading medical groups.

Jaded with education, more Americans are skipping college
WHAS-11 Louisville (KY) – March 9, 2023
What first looked like a pandemic blip has turned into a crisis. Nationwide, undergraduate college enrollment dropped 8% from 2019 to 2022, with declines even after returning to in-person classes, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse. The slide in the college-going rate since 2018 is the steepest on record, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists say the impact could be dire.

Columns and Blogs

“We’ll Take You—Right Now”
Post – March 15, 2023
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D.

Lessons learned about campus visits
Post – March 8, 2023
College Advice & Timely Tips with Lee Bierer


Kids are in a mental health crisis. We need real resources – not culture wars.
USA Today – March 12, 2023
We’re safer and healthier when we have school counselors and social workers who are trained to support student’s emotional needs instead of neglecting them or pretending they don’t exist. There are systemic reasons why students are suffering and concrete steps we can take to achieve true safety in our schools. Instead, divisive politicians are funding culture wars, not children. Rather than enforcing ‘zero-tolerance policies’, schools should turn their attention to reforming counseling and creating positive school environments and support systems. They should answer school counselors’ calls for more staffing and funding, as well as the cries for help from students, who with the right support, all have bright futures ahead of them. Funding for adequate counseling gives students the resources and strength to build better lives for themselves. It’s what we deserve.

Students like mine will suffer if they must hide their race in college essays
WBUR Boston – March 13, 2023
For a decade and a half, I worked in the college counseling office at an independent high school. Before that, I coordinated international admissions efforts for a university, traveling around the world to help students from other countries study in the United States. I became an admissions professional because I believe in the power of higher education to change lives and I wanted to be in the cheering section for students moving toward their futures. The most rewarding aspect of the job is seeing students who know how valuable education is access college. As I await the Supreme Court’s decision that with all likelihood will overturn affirmative action in college admissions, dread rises within me…


All About the Digital SAT in Under Three Minutes
Applerouth – March 14, 2023
Digital SAT is here (outside the U.S) and coming very soon for U.S. students in the class of 2025. There is so much to read and learn, but we made it easy with this short video. [CC]



Admissions Process & Strategy

Biden’s free college proposal is dead. High schoolers are tapping a solution.
Politico – March 10, 2023
There’s a two-for-one special that’s become a popular tactic for teens looking to lower the cost of a college degree: dual enrollment programs. Community colleges saw a 12 percent spike this academic year in these programs, which allow high school students to take their classes and simultaneously apply the credits toward a diploma and an associate degree. Some college advocates see dual enrollment as a way to trim the cost of school before students take out hefty loans that have become increasingly difficult to repay.

There’s a quicker, cheaper way to go to college, but fewer students are trying it
CNBC – March 13, 2023
In some cases, students can complete one to two years of college coursework by the time they finish high school, a type of dual enrollment known as ‘early college.’ That can take two years off the cost of a bachelor’s degree, effectively cutting the tab in half, not to mention the student loan debt.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

A Simplified FAFSA? Yes—and Yet, Not Yet
Inside Higher Ed – March 13, 2023
During a briefing on the new, simplified FAFSA, scheduled to be implemented next fall for students entering college in the fall of 2024, I found myself among a group with many questions and deep concerns about how well the new application will serve families. First are some questions related to some big unknowns. We also identified three primary flaws that need to be addressed before the new FAFSA is implemented…

As Supreme Court Considers Student Loan Forgiveness, States May Expand Their Programs
Pew Charitable Trusts – March 13, 2023
As the U.S. Supreme Court mulls the constitutionality of President Joe Biden’s broad student loan forgiveness plan, lawmakers in many states are looking to expand their own student debt repayment programs. Every state but North Dakota has at least one loan forgiveness plan. The catch is that most of the 129 state plans are tailored to just a single industry or profession — such as doctors, teachers, police officers or farmers. Or the plans are targeted to people who agree to work in places with a dire need for their services.

FAFSA Application: Why should you file the FAFSA as early as possible?
MARCA – March 12, 2023
By filing the FAFSA, you can offset some of these costs and avoid graduating with large debts. Plus, the FAFSA comes with zero risk: You don’t need to pay a filing fee and you don’t have to accept any aid you’re awarded if you don’t want to. Filling out the application early can make a big difference in the amount you receive. Plus you’ll want to know how much financial aid you’ll receive before you make a decision about which school you’ll attend.

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Inside The Admissions Office

Seniors: How to Prepare for College
University of California, Davis – March 14, 2023
‘Senioritis’ is actually a misleading term. I caught it the second semester of my freshman year. The grim news is this: there is no cure for senioritis other than graduation. However, there are many treatments available. Here’s your guide to surviving and thriving in your last year of high school

The Two Most Important Letters in College Admission
Georgia Tech Admission Blog – March 6, 2023
If like Family Feud, we asked 100 people what the most important letters in college admission are, I think the ‘number one answer on the board’ would be GPA. Trying to think like the majority my next response would be SAT and ACT. The odds are those three would account for 70%+ of the answers. But if you changed the initial prompt to: ‘We asked 100 admission officers what the most important letters in college admission are…’ the number one answer on the board would undoubtedly be—IPs. Internet Protocol address? Uhh…no. IPs are Institutional Priorities.


CLEP Exams: What to Know
U.S. News & World Report – March 14, 2023
Earning a college degree requires a significant investment of both time and money. Those seeking to save in both areas can earn college credits by testing out of entry-level courses via the College Level Examination Program, administered by the College Board. One of the big caveats of the test is that not all colleges accept CLEP credits, and others may cap the number of CLEP credits a student can earn. But students who pass CLEP exams can still earn college credit at roughly 2,900 colleges. Each test is $90, though funding or free testing is available to students in some states. Students who don’t pass an AP exam can seek to earn college credit via a CLEP exam.

Ivy League school drops standardized test requirement for admissions
WCNC Charlotte (NC) – March 15, 2023
One of the most prestigious universities in the world is doing away with standardized tests for good, and it’s a bit of a trend.