High School Counselor Week

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


May 12, 2022

Big Picture

39M students have left college without earning a credential, report finds
Higher Ed Dive – May 10, 2022
Number of stopped-out students grows 5.3% in 19 months — reflecting students who colleges might reenroll, but also low completion rates.

Helping First-Generation Students Reach College — and Build Community on the Way
The 74 – May 9, 2022
Samuel Wallis has baked an ethos of belonging into the DNA of Yonkers Partners in Education, a nonprofit that aspires to make college more accessible

The School Staffing Shortage Is Worsening the Mental Health Crisis of the Young
RealClear Education – May 6, 2022
President Biden’s budget proposes $1 billion in new funding for schools to hire counselors, school psychologists, and nurses – a big investment in arresting the mental health epidemic afflicting our young people. There’s just one problem: there aren’t enough qualified people willing to fill those jobs.

Columns and Blogs

Make a Difference? You bet!
Post – May 11, 2022
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D.

Getting ready for the big transition – Wine or Whine!
Post – May 11, 2022
College Advice & Timely Tips with Lee Bierer


States prepare for summer launch of new 988 suicide prevention number
CNN – May 6, 2022
The transition to 988 is ‘not optional,’ according to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has been in operation since 2005 and is funded by HHS. Callers currently reach the critical 24/7 national hotline by phoning the 10-digit number: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). Starting July 16, the FCC will establish 988 as an easy-to-remember three-digit dialing code for suicide prevention and mental health crises. Calls to that number will be redirected to 1-800-273-8255, which will stay operational during and after the 988 transition.

SchoolPulse is helping high schools fight America’s teenage mental health crisis—one text at a time
Utah Business – May 6, 2022
SchoolPulse currently works with schools in 15 states. Through this platform, teens can access real-time professional mental health guidance, suicide prevention, and positive psychology messaging. It is a text-based Response-to-Intervention (RTI), SEL,, and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) platform, and is not designed to be a replacement for school counselors or teachers but rather an extension.

The End-of-Year Mental Health Check
Learning for Justice – May 9, 2022
As the academic year winds down, mental health professionals remind us to connect with young people and embrace community care. Laura Ross, a school counselor in GA, shares that it’s not uncommon for some children’s stress levels or anxiety to increase at the end of the school year ‘because that safe, structured space is going to be gone for a few months.’ It’s critical to identify those young people who may need additional support long before the end of the academic year. Support includes tangible resources such as lists of emergency numbers and helplines.


More than 3 million parents took on student-loan debt to give their kids a shot at higher education — and it can bury them in huge monthly bills they never anticipated
Business Insider – May 9, 2022
Parent PLUS loans are the most expensive type of federal loan with the highest interest rate. Millions of parents take them out and get buried in debt because there is no limit on borrowing. Experts say policy should ensure parents can afford the debt they want to take on at the outset.

Getting ready for college? Here’s what high school seniors need to know
ABC 7 (DC) – May 10, 2022
High school graduation is right around the corner for the class of 2022. Your graduating senior turned college student has been putting in the work to make sure their plans are set — but have they completed every step to ensure success on campus next year?


CPS launches ‘Please Stay’ campaign to promote mental health and prevent teen suicides
CBS Chicago – May 10, 2022
Chicago Public Schools has become the first school district in the nation to launch a new anti-suicide campaign created by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way foundation. CPS put together a video explaining the ‘Please Stay’ campaign, aimed at 7th through 12th grade students, encouraging them to ask for help if they need it.


Admissions Process & Strategy

College students expect to make $103,880 after graduation – almost twice the reality
USA Today – May 7, 2022
Statistics show that the average starting salary for college graduates is $55,260. Overestimates also persist in undergrads’ outlook for mid-career earnings – while both race and gender pay gaps grow.

If the Supreme Court bans considering race in college admissions, could giving a boost to ‘strivers’ maintain campus diversity?
WGBH Radio Boston (MA) – May 10, 2022
As the Supreme Court once again considers the role of race in college admissions, colleges are pondering what alternatives they might use if the justices ban race as a factor in selecting students. It’s a scenario that has played out at least once before, yielding another approach that was floated then quickly scuttled. The so-called strivers model could be resurrected now.

A strong job market is causing more students to drop out of college. The potential loss to future earnings, however, is significant
CNBC – May 9, 2022
As the U.S. economy adds more jobs and wages rise, some college students are choosing to join the workforce instead. The opportunity cost of staying in school is even greater among lower-income students. However, the potential loss to these students’ earnings and futures is significant.

San Antonio, Texas tackles education inequality with free or reduced college tuition
PBS News Hour – May 4, 2022
President Biden proposed providing two years of tuition-free community college after he took office, but the idea was dropped after congressional opposition. Yet efforts persist at the local and state level to boost college attendance. More than 400 such programs now exist in the U.S., including in San Antonio, Texas. (Part of the series, ‘Rethinking College’—full transcript)

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Beware, new student loan borrowers: Interest rates are about to jump
NPR (LISTEN) – May 6, 2022
Interest rates on federal student loans are fixed, like a mortgage. The wrinkle is that every year, interest rates reset based on the 10-year Treasury yield, plus some additional amount, a premium added to help cover the government’s costs. That means borrowers who need help next year will have to take out a new loan at a new interest rate.

College-bound grads could exit with nearly $40K in student loan debt
Oklahoma News 4 – May 9, 2022
Today, it’s nearly impossible to work your way through college. Because of this, taking on debt for higher education in hopes of greater earning power is generally accepted as a worthwhile cost. But the data shows the amount of debt is increasing and spreading across multiple sources.

High schoolers think student loans are risky, and they’re forgoing billions of dollars in aid
Fortune – May 6, 2022
For many students, financial aid is the only way to afford a college degree. But students are apprehensive, the risks they perceive can be real and pernicious, and their high schools are struggling to support them: Only about 15% of students surveyed said that they had talked to an adult at their school about paying for college.

How the Complexity of College Pricing Hurts Students and Institutions
Diverse Issues in Higher Education – May 9, 2022
Most students assumed the cost of college was the ‘sticker price,’ and not the net amount calculated based on expected family contribution (EFC) by financial aid. ‘That complexity is really hurting kids. They think college is expensive, and that limits access,’ says Phillip Levine, a professor of economics at Wellesley College. In order to understand the actual cost of attending college, Levine studied the differences between sticker cost and net price for students with lower or higher EFC at four types of institutions…

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Inside The Admissions Office

Transition Tips for Parents and Families
Georgia Tech Admission Blog – May 10, 2022
As high school graduation approaches, many parents and supporting adults are already thinking about next year with a combination of excitement, trepidation, optimism, and uncertainty. Although your role and the dynamics of your relationship will unquestionably shift, you have a unique and important role in partnering with colleges to ensure your student’s success. We encourage families to stay connected while also allowing space and time for students to develop and grow in their new environment. Like so much of life, this is a delicate and ever-changing balance. Here are a few tips to help your student and your family with this transition.

Teen Health

Hundreds of Suicidal Teens Sleep in Emergency Rooms. Every Night.
The New York Times – May 8, 2022
With inpatient psychiatric services in short supply, adolescents are spending days, even weeks, in hospital emergency departments awaiting the help they desperately need.

‘Handle With Care’ helps schools address growing student trauma
K-12 Dive – May 5, 2022
Amid the youth mental health crisis, district leaders share how a trauma response program is useful in quickly providing support and care for students. School counselors said the model has helped improve awareness among teachers and staff regarding student trauma. 33 states contain districts using ‘Handle With Care’ and 5 of them have statewide systems in place implementing the model.


What to Know about AP Score Reporting to Colleges
International College Counselors – May 9, 2022
This month, students all over the world are feeling the added stress of AP exams and score reporting. To relieve some of the stress, students should NOT request that their scores be sent to any college when filling out the registration/ answer sheet. Why? Because a student will not know how they did on the exam until July. Already took the test? Even if a student asked that their scores be sent, it’s not too late to reverse this. here are two ways to avoid having your score reported to a college: Canceling vs. Withholding

Do ACT and SAT Favor Older Students?
Inside Higher Ed – May 10, 2022
Scholar suggests they do and advises standardized tests to adjust some students’ scores.