High School Counselor Week

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


March 26, 2020

Big Picture

Latest Coronavirus News
Inside Higher Ed
LIVE UPDATES: How higher education is reacting to the new coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus Silver Lining: Easier To Get Into Many Top Colleges
Forbes – March 22, 2020
Many schools, unable to court prospective enrollees with festive campus ‘admitted students days’ or even routine campus tours, will be increasing the number of students they send acceptance emails to in an effort to ensure that they yield enough to fill their incoming classes.

How Is Covid-19 Changing Prospective Students’ Plans? Here’s an Early Look
Chronicle of Higher Education – March 5, 2020
In this spring of jaw-clenching uncertainty, everyone expects Covid-19 to derail the plans of prospective college students. One big question is: How many? Hordes of them, the results of a new survey suggest.

Colleges shift to pass/fail to smooth students’ transition to distance learning
University Business – March 19, 2020
Smith, Duke, MIT and Vanderbilt making the shift to relieve pressure on students learning remotely

In dark days of coronavirus, a little kindness can restore students’ faith
The Hechinger Report – March 23, 2020
From cash to phone calls, pockets of help are making all the difference

Columns and Blogs

Choosing a College Amid the Chaos
Post – March 25, 2020
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

A lighter look at what we’re all dealing with…
Tribune News Service – March 25, 2020
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 


Colleges That Have Changed Deposit Deadline to June 1, 2020 or Later
List of colleges/universities that have moved back their deposit deadline. Will be updated as colleges continue to submit information.

ASCA Update: COVID-19
American School Counselor Association
ASCA is closely monitoring the evolving news about COVID-19. This webpage provides updates on how the virus affects ASCA members and the school counseling profession

COVID-19 Resources
American School Counselor Association
ASCA is working with the Centers for Disease Control on issues related to how schools work with students on issues surrounding COVID-19 and is helping the CDC develop appropriate and effective messages on how to talk to children about coronavirus. Here are some suggestions and resources to consider as you provide support…

College Admission Status Update: Coronavirus Impact
NACAC is providing this online tool as a central resource for information about changes in college admission events, deposit dates, and more as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Clearinghouse’s Response to the Coronavirus
National Student Clearinghouse
We have received several inquiries regarding the potential impact this outbreak may have on our services, and necessary coordination steps

Coronavirus FAQ: Everything Schools and Companies Need and Want to Know

7 Essential College Admissions Resources During Coronavirus 2020


Quaranteenagers: Strategies for Parenting in Close Quarters
New York Times – March 19, 2020
Here are some strategies that might help to address these unforeseen parenting challenges, especially at a time when many adults are struggling to hold it all together and may not have easy access to their usual reserves.

Parents: 4 Tips for Supporting Your College Student Who Is Back Home
Azusa Pacific University – March 25, 2020
Your college student has returned home midsemester, unexpectedly, and is now trying to do college in a way they likely never anticipated. As a parent, how do you support them in this time?

Finding normalcy in the unknown: How students, families are coping with school closures
Palo Alto Online (CA) – March 20, 2020
It’s a time-honored tradition for both Gunn and Palo Alto high school seniors to tape their college rejection letters to a wall on campus, a public, visible defiance of the high-pressure competition surrounding college admissions. But with the campuses closed

Admissions Process & Strategy

More than 200 colleges delay deposit deadlines as families face unprecedented economic uncertainty
CNN – March 22, 2020
Usually, colleges require students to send in a deposit by May 1 in order to hold a spot in the incoming freshman class. But some schools are offering more flexibility to students as the coronavirus crisis grows.

What If My Grades Drop Due to Coronavirus?
CollegeVine – March 20, 2020
If you find yourself struggling to keep your grades up in this new environment, you’re certainly not alone. Read on to discover some ways to troubleshoot your academic performance during this uncertain time.

6 Ways Students Can Use School Closings To Prepare For College Applications
Forbes – March 24, 2020
With many schools around the country closing until the end of April or later, high school students are finding themselves with more free time on their hands. However, now is a critical time for students to use their time wisely, even if they are quarantined at home.

Coronavirus has disrupted the college admissions process for millions of students. Now they’re turning to Reddit and Discord for help.
Insider – March 25, 2020
Students are converging in communities on platforms like Reddit and Discord in order to share experiences, commiserate, and support each other in making their college decisions.

During social distancing, 360-degree virtual tours of 1,000 schools offered
My Central Jersey – March 19, 2020
While potential students can no longer walk college campuses, go on official tours, or attend information sessions, the tools of technology offer many options.

How the coronavirus has upended college admissions
The Hechinger Report – March 24, 2020
As high schools close, seniors are scrambling to sort out financial aid and college decisions without guidance from counselors

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Students Can Possibly Increase Financial Aid After Coronavirus Job Losses
NBC Washington DC – March 23, 2020
In cases where parents lost their job as a result of furloughs or businesses shutting down, financial aid administrators may be able to offer students additional aid. Parents and students can appeal to the college’s financial aid office by simply writing a letter expressing their change of income. They will need

DeVos halts collection of defaulted federal student loans
Politico – March 24, 2020
The Education Department is putting a stop to collecting on defaulted federal student loans amid the coronavirus pandemic and ordering private collection firms to stop pursuing borrowers until further notice…


SAT Coronavirus Updates
College Board
Includes link to resources and support, as well as Frequently Asked Questions and answers

This year’s AP tests will be shorter and online, a gift to students and colleges
Washington Post – March 25, 2020
All questions on the shortened AP exam will be free response, requiring thought and analysis. No multiple-choice questions. The College Board is spending significant money on anti-plagiarism programs to check millions of exam pages.

AP Classes and Review Go Live
College Board on YouTube – March 25, 2020
Free, live AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers around the country. The courses are optional and mobile-friendly and can be used along with any work a student’s teacher also has distributed. They are available on-demand, so students can access them at any time.

IB, Cambridge cancel spring exams amid coronavirus concerns
Tampa Bay Times – March 25, 2020
Their grades will be based on other course factors instead.

Could coronavirus push more colleges to test-optional admissions?
Education Dive – March 23, 2020
As the virus spreads, some institutions are abandoning the SAT and ACT as a requirement for applicants, a trend that experts predict will likely continue

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Inside The Admissions Office

High School counselors and students have numerous concerns about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting college admissions, such as enrollment confirmation deadlines, application processing, trouble getting official transcripts or diplomas, courses displaying as incomplete or with pass/fail grades only, testing and credits, financial aid, and college tours.
In response, colleges and universities are posting updates almost daily to answer the most common questions. Overwhelmingly, admissions offices are working to to be as flexible as possible, so that students will not be adversely affected by circumstances beyond their control. Keep in mind that colleges need students in order to survive, so are doing everything they can to admit as many as possible.
The links below provide examples of the kind of changes and assistance students should look for or ask about. Every institution is different, however, so urge your students to check college websites often, read email and other communications from colleges carefully, and contact the admissions office immediately if their circumstances or plans change.

Change is the Only Constant
Georgia Tech Admission – March 20, 2020
In times of uncertainty, I think it’s important to ground ourselves in what we do know. As it relates to your college admission experience, I’d argue that nothing has changed. Colleges Need Students…

Coping in the Time of Corona
Tulane University Admissions – March 20, 2020
Today’s blog is going to address as many things as I can in one post. A long blog, but bolded sections are here for you TLDR’ers to scroll to the stuff that might apply to you.

A Letter from the Dean of Admissions
University of Chicago 
We recognize that school transcripts will look different for many students this year, and we will work with that! …We encourage students to continue to engage with whatever method of learning your school is able to offer… If your school moves to an alternative grading system or method of credit notation (pass/fail, credit/no credit, etc.), we will fully understand…

Special Message for High School Juniors Applying to Harvard
Harvard University
We have heard from students, parents, and college counselors about a number of specific concerns they have regarding next year’s application process…We wish to address them.

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Creighton University Undergraduate Admissions

Teen Health

How to talk to teens about the new coronavirus
Harvard Medical School – March 14, 2020
How can you make sure teenagers are informed just enough without feeling overwhelmed, yet also have accurate information?

How teenagers can protect their mental health during coronavirus (COVID-19)
UNICEF – March 20, 2020
6 strategies for teens facing a new (temporary) normal.

Coping with stress of coronavirus crisis a challenge for California’s students
EdSource – March 23, 2020
Mental health experts say during this time of heightened anxiety, finding ways to cope and create stability are key to maintaining a healthy outlook.