High School Counselor Week

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


May 13, 2021

Big Picture

As graduation approaches, high schools fight to retain dropouts
The Christian Science Monitor – May 11, 2021
The pandemic might be chipping away at the gains the U.S. made in cutting the dropout rate from 9.3% in 2007 to 5.1% in 2019, say experts. In response, schools have eased graduation requirements and are chasing down students in-person and through social media.

This is how officials are trying to rally teens to get Covid-19 vaccinations
CNN – May 12, 2021
With a new demographic now eligible for Covid-19 vaccines, public health officials hoping to fight variants will have to adjust their strategy to convince 12 to 15-year-olds and their parents to sign up for inoculations.

How Biden’s free college plan could reshape higher education
MarketWatch – May 11, 2021
From free community college to bigger Pell Grants, new policies could decrease students’ debt burden

Columns and Blogs

Juniors, Applying to College? Be Ready
Post – May 12, 2021
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

To stay on the wait-list or not?
Tribune News Service – May 12, 2021
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 


Opinion: Colleges Must Require the Study of Well-Being in High School
Inside Higher Ed – May 11, 2021
High schools are doing their best to prioritize mental health, but since colleges dictate what is required and rewarded, we’re fighting a losing battle unless colleges get involved.

Adolescent Brains Are Wired to Want Status and Respect: That’s an Opportunity for Teachers and Parents
Scientific American – May 11, 2021
Recent research has focused on how the adolescent brain interacts with the social environment. It shows that social context and acceptance strongly influence behavior. Adolescence might even constitute a sensitive period for social and emotional learning, a…

Seniors more stressed than ever as counselors, teachers see rise in anxiety stemming from COVID-19
WLOX (MS) – May 10, 2021
As seniors take their final tests, they are also diligently preparing for the next chapter in their lives. They are trying to determine which school to head off to and what career or passion to pursue. It’s a stressful time, made even more challenging due to COVID-19.


A Parent’s ‘Course’ to Helping Their Student Find the Right College
Hour Detroit (MI) – May 10, 2021
One important thing parents should remember is that this isn’t their own college experience being figured out; it’s their son’s or daughter’s. And even though they may have had a great experience in college, life on campus has changed over the years.

Dear Seniors of 2021
Idaho Falls Magazine – May 10, 2021
This year was to be your year. It was supposed to be your year of unforgettable memories…Instead, it was a year of masks, uncertainty, empty bleachers and empty stands. But do not dwell in that disappointment. It was a hard year, but a year of so many life lessons that will serve you well as you begin the next chapters of your lives.

Admissions Process & Strategy

Does your first-choice college have you on the waitlist? You better come up with a Plan B.
Yahoo! News – May 12, 2021
As high school seniors come to terms with where they are going or hope to go to college this fall, colleges are swimming in an excess of students on their waitlist with little intention of admitting most of them. There are appropriate reasons for a college to waitlist a student. It is supposed to be…

What High School Juniors Think
Inside Higher Ed – May 10, 2021
Only 8% of the class hasn’t started their college search, survey finds. On what they most want to see on college social media accounts, the top answer was classrooms (84% followed by campus life (83%)

5 tips for COVID-safe campus visits this year
Morning Sun (MI) – May 11, 2021
As the school year winds to a close, it’s the perfect time to plan campus visits — a long-standing tradition that students often embark on in the spring of their junior year. Here are five tips to make campus visits safe and effective

Financial Aid/Scholarships

How to Apply for Scholarships and Grants: All You Need to Know
The College Post – May 11, 2021
The great thing about scholarships is that you can apply for (and receive) as many as you can. That can be truly helpful considering the cost of attending college can be a huge burden. A great rule of thumb…

College grants: What they are and where to find them
Bankrate – May 12, 2021
College grants for students are a form of free money that is generally never repaid. Grants often come from the federal government or a state government, but they can also be offered by colleges or third-party organizations.

Career & Technical Education

New tech career certificates could challenge traditional four-year degrees
KNTV Las Vegas (NV) – May 10, 2021
Tech and digital jobs are exploding in the United States, and tech giants are expanding into the fields of education and training to develop a qualified workforce to meet the need. Tech and digital jobs are exploding in the United States according to a Brookings Institute Report, and tech giants are expanding into the fields of education and training to develop a qualified workforce to meet the need. Andrea Willis, Google Tools Expert, said…

Study shows students in career-focused high school programs more likely to graduate
NTV (NE) – May 11, 2021
High school kids who take part in career-focused programs are more likely to graduate and continue their education in college, a new report shows.

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Teen Health

Mental Health Awareness Month: Resources
ABC 11 (NC) – May 4, 2021
In the year since COVID-19 upended daily life, mental health struggles have skyrocketed. Often, the hardest action we can take on our mental health journey is the very first one. For Mental Health Awareness Month in May, we put together some resources and information to help.

Study Finds No Link Between Time Teens’ Spend On Tech Devices And Mental Health Problems
Forbes – May 4, 2021
There is ‘little evidence’ of a link between teens’ technology use and mental health problems, according to a new Oxford University study published Tuesday, which could throw into question the myriad policies and laws implemented under the long-held assumption that technology is harmful to children.


How to Read Your ACT Score Report
U.S. News & World Report – May 10, 2021
For now, ACT scores remain an important factor in many students’ college application processes. To accurately interpret test results and then make well-reasoned decisions…

Students celebrate surprise Taylor Swift question on AP exam
CNN – May 9, 2021
High school students across the country this week were pleasantly surprised by the pop star’s cameo on their year-end exam. According to Jerome White, a spokesperson for the College Board, Swift’s 2018 voter registration Instagram post connects to key themes of the course.

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.

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

U.S. DOE: COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel
U.S. Department of Education

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)