High School Counselor Week

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


March 30, 2023

Big Picture

Colleges face loss of racial diversity if race-conscious admissions banned, study finds
NBC News – March 28, 2023
If the Supreme Court bans considering race in admissions, enrollment of minority groups at selective colleges may stall or decline, according to a Georgetown University study.

COVID’s education crisis: A lost generation?
CBS News – March 26, 2023
The actual numbers vary by community, but according to a nationwide test given to 4th and 8th graders, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, reading skills dropped to the lowest point in 30 years. And in math, nearly 40% of eighth graders couldn’t understand basic concepts – the worst performance since testing began back in 1969. And it’s not hard to see how it happened. Experts say remote teaching and a lack of computers at home are to blame. Add to that the fear of watching your family members die, and it’s no wonder millions of young people had trouble learning, or even making it through the day.

The Power of Microcredentials and America’s Higher Education Dilemma
EdSurge – March 23, 2023
This semester, the Community College of Aurora rolled out the first microcredentials in its history. These short courses offer students the opportunity to study behavioral health, which aligns with jobs in our region related to human services, sociology, counseling, psychology and social work. In order to understand the significance of microcredentials, their ability to help meet workforce demands, and the dilemma these short-term credentials are causing to traditional higher education, we must first walk through the ways college has evolved during its nearly 400 years of history in our nation.

Columns and Blogs

Deposits, Deferrals, Waitlists, and Your Second First Choice
Post – March 29, 2023
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D.

Thinking more deeply about campus visits …
Post – March 29, 2023
College Advice & Timely Tips with Lee Bierer


For Teens, Text-Based Crisis Lines Increase Accessibility Amid Mental Health Emergency
EdSurge – March 29, 2023
Leaders at organizations that offer crisis lines say the services are a good resource for teens, in addition to adults, who are experiencing distress. That’s significant right now because psychologists sounded the alarm this year that U.S. kids are in the midst of a mental health crisis. Last summer, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched a revamped National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which shifted from a 10-digit number to the three-digit 988 (though the original phone number is still in service). The change also introduced the ability for users to text the 988 number for mental health support. LGBTQ+ youth who call or text 988 are redirected to the Trevor Project crisis line (more info at .thetrevorproject.org), which can provide support that’s tailored to their specific needs. Another option, the Crisis Text Line (crisistextline.org) can be reached in the US by texting HOME to 741741 to connect with a volunteer Crisis Counselor.

When gun violence came to my school, the district added even more guns
Salon – March 28, 2023
Three years ago, the Denver School Board kicked armed officers out of schools following the murder of George Floyd. This was an action supported by parents and advocates alike, and a movement across the country. That went out the window in the wake of last week’s gun violence. Mental health is a footnote in the Denver shooting stories. What message does it send to children, so recently traumatized by a gun going off in their school, to see still more guns, now on the hips of officers patrolling their hallways? Armed officers in schools do little to curb violence, and in fact, may have the opposite effect. Gunmen have often targeted schools with armed guards – guards who in four major cases failed to stop the gunman from killing. In the wake of increasing shootings, arming officers in schools is missing the point. It doesn’t serve parents or students. What would be helpful for them? An increase in mental health resources and support. Mental health should be a part of regular school curriculums, and should have been for years…

Admissions Process & Strategy

The Particular Misery of College-Admissions TikTok
The New Yorker – March 28, 2023
A common theory of teen unhappiness says that kids these days are under an inordinate amount of pressure to compete. The evidence is all over social media. What has resulted is a fevered competition in which the participants feel that the stakes are a matter of life and death, and where all the referees—admissions officials, TikTok commenters, and the like—are consistently lying about pretty much everything. Élite schools will talk a good game about their commitments to diversity and equitable access, but their continued existence depends on this bankrupt system, even if it breeds depression, delusion, and racial resentment.

College Admissions Trends For 2023
Forbes – March 28, 2023
The year 2023 is likely to continue to see the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on college admissions, as students, universities, and admissions officers continue to navigate the unprecedented changes in the politics and logistics of admissions. While many of the trends from 2022 are expected to persist, there are notable new developments that prospective students should be aware of as they prepare to apply to college.

The Evolving Ethics of Early Decision
Inside Higher Ed – March 27, 2023
Is it ever appropriate for a student to renege on an early-decision commitment? And how should a college counselor respond when a family wants to game the system or play fast and loose with the rules?


How to save for college and bring down the hefty costs
Yahoo! Life – March 27, 2023
For many families, figuring out how to pay for college can feel like an impossible task — but there are ways to bring down the costs. NBC’s Vicky Nguyen shares tips.




Parents Talk Back: The Worst Part of Waiting for College Admissions
Washington Times Herald – March 27, 2023
I’ve applied for many things — jobs, fellowships, grants — and waiting for a response is an agonizing, but normal, part of the process. The wait for our son’s college admission decisions, however, has turned out to be the longest and most frustrating one I’ve experienced. Now that the final decisions are less than a week away, I’ve been thinking about why it’s been such a difficult period of time.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Department of Education Releases 2024-25 Draft FAFSA for Public Comment
NASFAA – March 24, 2023
As in previous years, ED only provides a draft of the paper application, which it estimates fewer than 30,000 applicants (or 0.15%) will actually complete, with the vast majority choosing the online form. It is NASFAA’s understanding, however, that ED is working to add examples of the online user experience to regulations.gov. Previewing the online process is especially important this year because of the major overhaul of the application system. The draft FAFSA is open for 60 days of public comment, closing on May 23, 2023.

An Inside Look at College Financial Aid Letters
TheStreet – March 26, 2023
Lack of knowledge of financial aid letters means missing out on budget-saving college financing opportunities in the process. Another problem – colleges are doing a lousy job of being transparent with college financial aid packages. While the GAO puts pressure on colleges and Congress to prioritize transparency, financial aid experts say parents need to up their financial aid game, and that starts with a crash course in college financial aid letter research.

Follow this rule of thumb to avoid taking on too much student debt, college experts say
CNBC – March 24, 2023
Many high school students should be getting their college acceptance letters around this time of the year. As people weigh which school to attend, making sure they won’t need to borrow too much is key, experts say.

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Ensuring Quality Higher Education Programs for Students With Intellectual Disabilities
Inside Higher Ed – March 27, 2023
As demand continues to grow for colleges and universities to serve students with intellectual disabilities, a recently formed accreditation council is focused on ensuring that programs meet quality standards. The Inclusive Higher Education Accreditation Council is set to make its first campus accreditation visit this week. The council, a group of volunteers, launched this month and is registered as a corporation in Massachusetts for the purpose of serving as an accreditor, although it still has a long road to petition to being a nationally recognized program accreditor by the U.S. DOE.

Students with disabilities more likely to experience homelessness
Healio News – March 28, 2023
Students with disabilities are more likely to experience homelessness than peers without disabilities. Insufficient reporting practices make the full scope of the problem unclear, according to researchers.

Teen Health

A Maryland school district stopped excusing therapy appointments. Parents were enraged.
Baltimore Banner – March 23, 2023
Since then, outrage has been brewing in the community. More than 1,600 people have signed a petition calling for a change to the policy, which the school system says is necessary to stop students from missing so much class time and to address safety issues with a car service one provider used to take children to appointments. Parents say schools will have bigger problems on their hands if students aren’t allowed to get the therapy they need. Last year, the Maryland General Assembly passed a bill requiring school districts to treat an absence due to a student’s behavioral health needs the same as an absence due to illness or other health concerns.

Top 4 Things to know About the Counseling Compact
American Counseling Association – March 28, 2023
The Counseling Compact is an agreement among states to legislatively recognize other states’ counseling licenses. Counselors may participate in the Compact if they:


What To Bring On ACT Test Day: A Complete Checklist
UWorld – March 28, 2023
Don’t want to leave anything to chance on your ACT® Test day? Check out our ACT Test day checklist of essentials before you hit the road. And while you’re at it, make sure to read our list of no-nos because you definitely do not want to get caught with any prohibited items at the test center. Oh, and about that pesky ID requirement?! Don’t sweat it—our guide has got you covered with everything you need to know.