High School Counselor Week

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


March 23, 2023

Big Picture

College graduation statistics
Yahoo! Finance – March 16, 2023
While the number of students enrolling in and completing a college degree program has been steadily rising for generations, nearly half of students who enroll in a postsecondary education program do not graduate. The most recent data shows that, as of 2022, only 62.3 percent of undergraduate students in the U.S. completed their degree programs within six years of enrolling.

Is For-Profit Higher Education on Its Last Legs?
Inside Higher Ed – March 21, 2023
Possible sale of the University of Phoenix to a public university raises existential questions about the for-profit sector and federal regulation of higher education. A panel of experts weighs them.

The College Ranking Process Is Under Scrutiny. What That Means If You’re Deciding Where to Go
TIME Magazine – March 17, 2023
Many students and families consult college rankings to help figure the best place to go. Since 1983, U.S. News & World Report has published the most famous list. Now it competes with lists produced by the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal, and Princeton Review. The Princeton Review even ranks everything from campus food to the top party schools. But attitudes toward these school rankings are shifting—including from some of the schools themselves…

Columns and Blogs

College Admission and the Best in Class
Post – March 22, 2023
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D.

Is there more to a happy college social life than Greek life?
Post – March 22, 2023
College Advice & Timely Tips with Lee Bierer


Connecting with college counselors
Community College Daily – March 22, 2023
High school college counselors can help steer high school students to community colleges, but there’s sometimes a disconnect between the counselors and the colleges. Angel B. Pérez, CEO of NACAC, discusses the changes in college counseling and how community colleges can work with counselors to close knowledge gaps and help shift the perception of community colleges.

‘Us vs Them’: A Toxic Vision of Parent Engagement
NEA News – March 21, 2023
NEA is urging educators across the country to speak out against the Parents Bill of Rights Act (HR 5) currently being debated in the House of Representatives. As part of a March 7 letter to congress, NEA wrote, ‘[HR 5] tells teachers, school counselors, librarians, and other school professionals that despite their education, expertise, experience, and dedication to their students, they cannot be trusted to work with parents and their communities to determine what materials are appropriate, how to design curricula that meet students’ needs, nor how to ascertain students’ progress.’ According to public opinion surveys, parents have a high level of confidence and trust in their children’s teachers and schools in their community. Yet the bill will increase book bans and undermine local control and educator autonomy—while doing nothing to promote authentic, constructive parent involvement in schools.

Admissions Process & Strategy

What to Know Before Putting Down a College Enrollment Deposit
U.S. News & World Report – March 20, 2023
As college acceptance letters roll out, high school seniors must decide which university they will attend in the fall, and place an enrollment deposit to secure their spot. With several acceptances in hand, a decision can be tough. But before putting down money, students should know a few things about college enrollment deposits.

How to Write & Format a College Admissions Essay
Perlego – March 5, 2023
Your college admissions essay, also called a personal essay or personal statement, is an integral part of your college application. This is your opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are — beyond the grades on your transcript or activities on your resume. In this guide, we break down the elements of a good college essay and share our tricks for writing a memorable personal statement.

When Colleges Offer Coding Boot Camp, Students Can Get a Raw Deal
Wired – March 20, 2023
Universities boost revenue by partnering with unregulated, for-profit providers. But when a boot camp went bust, some students took the fall.


12 Ways to Navigate College Admissions Decisions
International College Counselors – March 20, 2023
At this point in the academic calendar, most high school seniors have applied to college, a process where they’ve put themselves ‘out there’ with sincere personal essays and hard-earned grades. Now that it’s March, they’re starting to hear back about final college admissions decisions. In this time of pressure and anxiety, parents need to be supportive, even if they’re suffering from anxiety, too. Now is the time students need their parents most. Below are some tips from International College Counselors on how to manage college admissions decisions expectations and disappointments:

Financial Aid/Scholarships

College acceptance and financial aid letters are going out — how to understand your offers
CNBC – March 18, 2023
This month, college hopefuls will finally hear from schools about their admissions decisions. There is only one notification more significant than being accepted: the financial aid letter. Here’s how to assess aid offers ahead of National College Decision Day.

How to avoid 8 common mistakes that hurt your chances of getting federal financial aid for college
CNBC – March 17, 2023
Completing the FAFSA application is the first step to determining your eligibility for grants, scholarships, work-study programs and federal student loans. However, any errors you make on the form could mean receiving less aid than you qualify for.

Department Of Education Will Use Secret Shoppers To Root Out Fraud
Forbes – March 19, 2023
Higher Education is the route to economic security for many. But, unfortunately, some institutions have been known to use misrepresentations or outright falsehoods to lure students into programs that provide substandard education. These programs can leave students without transferable credits, without increased earnings, and often with a lot of student debt. In an effort to deter and catch bad actors, secret shoppers from the Enforcement Office of FSA will go through the admission and financial aid process at colleges and universities selected for the program and compare the information they receive to federal rules to ensure colleges are not only giving lip service to federal regulations.

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Inside The Admissions Office

Guide to student loans
University of Nevada Reno – March 16, 2023
College doesn’t come cheap, and many students find they are unable to cover costs with grants and scholarships alone. In that case, student loans can be a good option. Designed for those in college, these loans may have lower interest rates and more favorable terms than other loan products. However, not all student loans are the same, and you should carefully consider how much you need to borrow. You also need to know how do student loans work. In this guide to student loans, we’ll break down everything you need to know about how to apply for student loans, including how to select the right type of loan and the appropriate loan amount.

Teen Health

How Writing ‘Letters to Strangers’ Helps Students Who Need Mental Health Support
EdSurge – March 22, 2023
For a young person struggling with mental health, what kind of difference would it make to know they aren’t alone? To know that someone else at school feels the same loneliness or heartache or has the same problems at home? In Diana Chao’s case, it turned out to be lifesaving. As a high school student, she founded the first chapter of Letters to Strangers, a nonprofit, youth-led organization where students shared anonymous letters about their mental health struggles and found camaraderie and support.

More districts receiving dedicated homeless student funding, but rural areas still lag
K-12 Dive – March 10, 2023
New data shows a dramatic increase in the number of school districts that got dedicated funding to address the needs of children experiencing homelessness in the 2020-21 school year — and yet more than 25 million children continued to attend schools in districts without this aid. The analysis also shows rural districts enrolled 20% of homeless children, even though they serve only 15% of the student population nationwide. Rural districts also have the largest share of districts without homeless education funding, at 88%.

Should media literacy be as important as driver’s ed? Some say yes.
Christian Science Monitor – March 23, 2023
The importance of teaching students how to use the internet safely is often overlooked. Educators across the US are advocating for greater digital media literacy in schools, expanding digital education programs to cope with misinformation and polarization.