High School Counselor Week

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


March 4, 2021

Big Picture

Biden to states: Teachers should be able to get vaccine in March
Chalkbeat – March 2, 2021
The president said he will use a program that sends vaccines from the federal government to pharmacies across the country to get more teachers vaccinated. Though states choose which populations are eligible to be vaccinated when, Biden said he was directing states to prioritize teachers with ‘the full authority of the federal government.’

The Band Kids in the Green Tents Have Some Things to Clear Up
Slate – February 28, 2021
No, they weren’t forced to rehearse like this. Yes, part of it was staged. And obviously, the tents are awesome.

The End of Deadlines?
Inside Higher Ed – March 1, 2021
May 1? Not so crucial anymore in the pandemic era, if it ever was.

Columns and Blogs

Fixing College Application Stress
Post – March 3, 2021
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

How to start thinking about the Common App’s newest prompt
Tribune News Service – March 3, 2021
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 


Why a Minnesota HS Counselor Is Sounding the Alarm on Declining College Applications, Pandemic-Fueled FAFSA Roadblocks and Teens’ Waning Interest in ‘Zoom’ Universities
The 74 – March 3, 2021
Halfway through a school year like no other, BG Tucker is ringing an alarm bell. She’s contacted her elected officials, college admissions counselors and journalists — and even messaged Michelle Obama on Instagram — to tell them: High schoolers’ path to college is more difficult than ever.

School Counselors Predict How COVID-19 Will Change Our Kids
HuffPost – March 1, 2021
One group with unique insights into how children are faring, and what comes next, are school counselors. HuffPost Parents spoke with several, who shared some of their thoughts…

How Melrose Public Schools are addressing student, staff mental health
WickedLocal (MA) – March 2, 2021
Students have been learning remotely or in hybrid models since early last year, and although there is hope on the horizon, students in K-12 still remain depressed and unbalanced emotionally because of COVID.

A New SEL Program Finds Its ‘Way’ to Schools, Survival and $1.5M in Seed Funding
EdSurge – March 3, 2021
Many digital SEL programs have emerged in recent years…but not many programs focus specifically on high school. Project Wayfinder is an exception. The program is currently used by more than 20,000 students across the country and is growing.


5 Steps to College Accommodations: A Guide for Students with Learning Differences
ADDitude Magazine – February 26, 2021
The first question parents usually ask is, ‘How do we transfer my child’s IEP or 504 Plan to college?’ Reality hits when I tell them that these plans do not transfer to college. Accommodations, however, are available for students with learning differences, but they are requested and implemented differently in college.

What’s On Your Mind? Answering Some of Your Questions
College Parent Central – March 3, 2021 (LISTEN)
In this episode Vicki and Lynn answer some of the questions that have come to College Parent Central. Topics include how to start the college search, access to student academic information (FERPA), what to do when your student is unhappy, and dealing with remote learning fatigue. [Podcast, no transcript]

As some colleges struggle, there may be an opportunity for more aid. Here’s how to negotiate
CNBC – February 27, 2021
Some of the most selective colleges and universities are seeing a surge in applications for incoming freshmen this fall. Yet other schools are struggling. That may present an opportunity for families to try to get more money towards tuition.

Admissions Process & Strategy

Honors Colleges and Honors Programs: Key Differences
Pleasanton Weekly – February 25, 2021
Honors programs and honors colleges are ways for academically talented students to reap the rewards of a smaller liberal arts and sciences education within the context of a large research institution. There are some important differences.

I felt immeasurably stuck’: High school seniors face college acceptances, rejections alone
USA Today – March 2, 2021
The students USA TODAY spoke to for this story readily shared their tips for dealing with the college waiting game in a pandemic.

14 Tips for an Effective College Visit
Yahoo! News – March 2, 2021
The campus visit may look a lot different this year with limited in-person tours adhering to social distancing and other safety requirements; an abundance of virtual and guided campus tours online; and even narrated drive-thru options for prospective students and families. Here are…

5 Things to Consider When Picking a College in the COVID-19 Era
KXLY (WA) – February 26, 2021
Colleges have faced innumerable challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. And the way they’ve responded to those issues should influence how prospective students evaluate them.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

12 Ways to Win a College Scholarship
U.S. News & World Report – February 10, 2021
Explore these scholarship options, seek out a mentor and tighten up application essays to win money for college. (Slideshow)

Enhanced Loan Counseling Now Available to Student Borrowers
NACAC Admitted Blog – February 25, 2021
New features unveiled this week on StudentAid.gov are designed to help students better understand the process of borrowing for college and choose a repayment plan that’s right for them.

How Gen Z Plans To Avoid Student Loans
Yahoo! Finance – March 2, 2021
TD Ameritrade surveyed more than 3,000 adults and teenagers who are either Gen Z (ages 15 to 21), young millennials (ages 22 to 28) or parents (ages 30 to 60), and compared their attitudes about attending and paying for college. Here’s what the survey found about how they’re planning their finances for the future.

Subscribe to our Weekly Emails

Inside The Admissions Office

Eight Emails Better Left Unsent
Tulane University Admission Blog – March 1, 2021
I read a lot of emails. A lot lot. Like, thousands per week. Our admission team enjoys hearing from students with your questions, your interest in Tulane and your follow-up emails; however, there are eight kinds of emails that admission officers around the country generally bemoan. In the time of coronavirus, I thought it would be a great service to you, the applicant, and to us admission officers to give you all a few tips on emails that you should not send, or at least be very wary of sending.

Debunking Your Misconceptions about College
Southwestern University – March 2, 2021
Wondering what college is really like? Get the inside scoop from an SU senior.


What to Expect From AP Exams in 2021
U.S. News & World Report – March 1, 2021
Digital and paper-based exams will be available in many subjects, and preparation will be critical.

Will COVID wipe out standardized college testing?
Fortune – March 2, 2021
In a COVID world in which many of the old rules don’t apply, how do schools decide whom to admit?

WV becomes first state to cover ACT testing costs for high school seniors
WTRF-7 (WV) – March 1, 2021
West Virginia is now the first state in the nation to cover the cost of ACT testing for high school seniors applying for the Promise Scholarship.

Coronavirus-Related Resources

Where Teachers Are Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine
Education Week
Since this information is changing rapidly, please note the date at which the information was last verified for each state.

COVID-19 School Response Dashboard
Maps schools’ responses to the pandemic across the United States (data submission voluntary)

Live Updates: Latest News on Coronavirus and Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed

Live Coronavirus Updates: Here’s the Latest
The Chronicle of Higher Education

ASCA Toolkit: Virtual High School Counseling
American School Counselor Association

College Board Coronavirus Updates
College Board

AP Online Classes and Review Sessions
College Board on YouTube

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

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

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