High School Counselor Week

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


March 5, 2020

Big Picture

3 Impacts Of Coronavirus On College Admissions
Forbes – February 24, 2020
The college admissions and college consulting industries have been fueled by international enrollment growth. But the spread of COVID-19 could change the landscape of college admissions for the foreseeable future.

82% of college grads believe their bachelor’s degree was a good investment—but most would make this one change
CNBC Make It – February 27, 2020

The New Ground Rules for Admissions
Inside Higher Ed – February 24, 2020
The Justice Department has failed colleges and students, writes John L. Mahoney.

Columns and Blogs

Why College Counseling Should Be Taught In Graduate School
Post – March 4, 2020
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

Financial Aid Glossary – part II
Tribune News Service – March 4, 2020
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 

Essay-optional colleges
Post – March 4, 2020
The Explorations Blog with Nancy Griesemer


‘I Want to See You Here’: How to Make College a Better Bet for More People
The Chronicle of Higher Education – February 27, 2020
To explore how to lift more people’s prospects, The Chronicle brought together a campus leader, a public official, a researcher, and a college counselor…We discussed structural inequalities, expectations of students and their motivation to enroll in college, and the kind of support they actually need.

Adding School Counselors Might Make Schools Safer, But Only If They Can Actually Counsel Students
WPFL Louisville, KY (LISTEN) – February 28, 2020
As in many states, Kentucky’s school counselors say administrative work is keeping them from doing what they’re trained to do (summary article provided)

National Student Clearinghouse’s Michele Gralak on Helping Schools and Districts Put Data to Work for Their Kids
The 74 – February 9, 2020
The only way for any school district to learn about actual college graduation rates for their alumni, and take steps to boost those rates, is to gather the data. And there’s only one source for that data…

Not So Fast, Siri: Technology Won’t Replace School Counselors
Forbes – February 28, 2020
When we saw Farah Parker, so many thoughts ran through our heads. Farah, a college counselor at Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy in Louisiana, was standing in front of 79,000 people…

We Need to Talk About March
NACAC Admitted Blog – February 23, 2020
Regular decisions start rolling out with the new year, but eventually come full force every single day in March. And if you reside anywhere other than Eastern Standard Time, decisions will land at all hours.


Student aid secret: Even high-income families can qualify
CNBC – February 20, 2020
Many families assume they won’t qualify for financial aid and don’t even bother to apply. That’s a mistake, even for parents with the highest incomes.

The Dangers of Taking Out a Direct PLUS Loan
Investopedia – March 3, 2020
PLUS is an acronym for Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students. These loans can help pay for college—but also lead to debt troubles, and are impossible to get out of, even in bankruptcy.


Picking a college can be tricky: Tips for parents to help your kids select a school
Fox Now (Milwaukee) – March 2, 2020
The college acceptance letters are in and now families have started to receive financial aid offers. There are a few key tips parents should keep in mind when helping their graduating seniors decide where to enroll.

Admissions Process & Strategy

College admissions: These are the hardest colleges to get into in each state
USA Today – February 27, 2020
The majority of colleges and universities in the U.S. admit most of the students who apply each year. There are many institutions, however, that are highly selective, admitting only a small share of those who apply.

How to Write a College Essay
U.S. News & World Report – February 28, 2020
College admissions experts offer tips on selecting a topic as well as writing and editing the essay.

How to Write a Supplemental Essay for College Applications
Yahoo! Finance – February 25, 2020
Prospective students are usually aware that they must write an essay as part of the college application process. But they may not know that some schools will ask for additional writing samples such as a supplemental essay.

Ten Tips for Surviving the College Application Process
Pasadena Now (CA) – February 20, 2020

Career & Technical Education

Apple, IBM execs part of planned public service ad campaign for college alternatives
Education Dive – February 24, 2020
The Ad Council, Apple, IBM and the White House are planning to launch a national campaign highlighting ‘how young and working adults can develop the skills in demand for today’s job market,’ an Ad Council spokesperson

Career And Technical Education Deserves a Resurgence. Let’s Not Mess It Up.
Forbes – February 26, 2020
As with all educational ideas, it is possible to do CTE badly. As folks rush to grab up new CTE money, here are some of the basic mistakes to avoid.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

6 alternatives to an expensive undergrad degree, and what exactly to do to avoid massive student debt
Business Insider – February 25, 2020
For Gen Z, avoiding massive amounts of student debt is a big concern, high schoolers and college admissions coaches say.

Inside Higher Ed – February 24, 2020
Requiring it would increase the chances that more low-income students go on to college as well as significantly improve the ability of the federal government to make good policy, argues Catharine B. Hill.

How to apply for student loans — federal and private
Fox Business – February 25, 2020
The student loan application process will vary based on which route you choose. If you’re like many students, you may need both private and federal loans to cover the costs of your higher education.

Schools must do more to help students and families submit financial aid forms
EdSource – February 24, 2020
Aaliyah Eslava-Deanda is the first in her family to attend a four-year college. But she didn’t always know she would get to college. Fortunately, her high school counselor made sure…

Student Athletes

Closer Look: Athletes, parents need a plan for college recruiting
York Dispatch (PA) – February 29, 2020
When Brayden Long was first contacted by a college coach about playing football at the next level, his feeling was pure joy. It was the beginning of a yearlong process that tested him in ways he couldn’t imagine.

Student-athletes don’t have to stick to one sport to continue playing in college
The Morning Journal (Loraine, OH) – February 27, 2020
Playing more than one sport doesn’t hinder an athlete’s ability to succeed in one particular sport.

Chicago High Schools Make Slow Progress To Address Athletes’ Mental Health
Medill Reports Chicago – February 25, 2020
Mental health professionals are now common in the elite collegiate and professional leagues, but few of them work with high school student athletes, coaches said.

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30 years after Americans with Disabilities Act, college students with disabilities say law is not enough
NBC News – March 1, 2020
Kyle Cox was on his way to class during an ice storm in January 2019 when an outdoor wheelchair elevator at Texas A&M University malfunctioned.

Letters Urge Betsy DeVos To Erase Student Loans For Borrowers With Disabilities
NPR – March 3, 2020
For more than half a century, student loan borrowers with a significant, permanent disability have been protected by federal law: If they can no longer work enough to support themselves or repay their debts, they can have their federal student loans erased. Yet only 28% of eligible borrowers with disabilities have had that happen.


ACT vs. SAT for College Admissions: What to Take in 2020?
UJ City News – February 23, 2020
Generally, US colleges accept both exams results, which makes them equally popular with only slightly varying levels of state preference. Each has a unique testing style and nuances in structure, format, and timing.

Final Steps to Take in the Week Before the ACT, SAT
U.S. News & World Report – March 2, 2020
This seven-point checklist can help students prepare in the last days leading up to college entrance exams.

Missouri could join 31 other states in uniform AP exam credit policy
Missourian – March 2, 2020
A student asked, ‘Why not Missouri?” That led to the class doing a year of researching; examining other states; reaching out to the College Board, which administers the AP exams; drafting their own version of a bill; and contacting their state representative.

College Visits

Spring Break, A Great Time For Campus Visits
FastWeb – February 21, 2020
Since most colleges have schedules that differ from high schools, visiting on your spring break is a great tactic because you’ll get to see the school while there’s still life on campus.

The Four Must Dos on College Campus Visits
Pleasanton Weekly (CA) – February 26, 2020
There is no better way to find out if a college is the best fit for you than to register for an information session and arrange a campus tour. Today’s busy families make sacrifices in time and money to tour campuses, so make yours count by planning to do four things that help ensure a successful visit.

Student Voices

Applying to College, Juniors? Seniors Have Advice for You
The Barefoot Times (Sequoyah School, CA) – February 27, 2020
The college process can be extremely scary: all the new jargon you need to learn, an infinite number of options, and the intense workload. To help our fellow juniors get a head start, here is what we wished we had known before we applied to college: