High School Counselor Week

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


May 21, 2020

Big Picture

How some colleges plan to reopen this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic
CBS – May 20, 2020
Some students will have to come to terms with no fall break and returning home by Thanksgiving, while others face an entire year of remote learning.

At public colleges, costs jump 55% in a decade
CNBC – May 14, 2020
The significant increase in college costs has outpaced inflation and far outpaced family income over decades

Ed Dept extends online education flexibilities to year end
Education Dive – May 18, 2020
Colleges can continue to use distance education until Dec. 31, even if they don’t have accreditor approval to do so. Accrediting agencies may also continue conducting virtual site visits.

‘The stakes of doing it wrong is that someone dies’: How coronavirus will transform K-12 schools in the fall
MarketWatch – May 19, 2020
K-12 schools’ long-term future looks vastly different absent a widely available COVID-19 vaccine, advocates and educators say — but some also say the pandemic presents an opportunity to rethink how America educates its students. But most agree that returning students to school buildings safely is a complicated proposition that comes with high stakes.

Columns and Blogs

Early Advice for Juniors Applying to College
Post – May 20, 2020
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

What about the 2021 grads?
Tribune News Service – May 20, 2020
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 

Extracurricular tips for college admissions during a pandemic
Post – May 2020
The College Solution Blog with Lynn O’Shaughnessy 


Will coronavirus problems mean even more ‘summer melt’ this year?
Hechinger Report – May 15, 2020
Colleges and support groups are reaching out with chatbots, virtual counseling and summer bridge programs to help students stay on track for fall

As Calendars and Routines Get Scrambled, 5 Ways High Schools Can Keep the Class of 2020 on Track for College
The 74 – May 18, 2020
For high school seniors and other prospective college students, the fall feels uncertain and daunting. Here are five steps every high school should take, even in these last weeks of the year, to ensure that their students are better prepared for postsecondary success in these trying times.

Due to COVID-19, thousands of low-income students are deferring and dropping college plans
The Hill – May 17, 2020
‘What we worry about is a lot of students taking delivery jobs, grocery store jobs because their parents depend on them for income…That’s not a gap year. That’s just not going to college.’

High schoolers at this district can meet with college reps virtually
Williamsburg Yorktown Daily (VA) – May 19, 2020
School counselors at Newport News Public Schools are hosting a series of virtual workshops over the next few weeks.


Why Trying to Re-create School at Home Isn’t Working
Entrepreneur – May 12, 2020
Imagine this: You’re sitting in the office of a college admission’s officer a few years from today. You and your child, now a senior in high school, are there for an interview. The officer looks up from her desk and asks a question that has become common: ‘What did you do back in 2020 when everyone was stuck inside? How’d you spend your time during the quarantine?’

Families strive for creative alternatives to canceled summer plans
The Daily Item (PA) – May 17, 2020
I have one student graduating who doesn’t know if he’ll be able to attend college in the fall, so we are dealing with a wide range of disappointments on that front,’ said the mother of two teenagers. ‘Graduation, prom, a graduation trip planned with buddies and…


What does COVID-19 mean for the future of college admissions?
PBS News Hour – May 18, 2020
One challenge: standardized testing for college admissions, many of which have been canceled this spring. Although test administrators say tests will be run online by this fall, some experts worry that shift will exacerbate existing systemic inequities. Stephanie Sy reports.

Admissions Process & Strategy

Learning how to tell your story to college admissions officers
Statesman (TX) – May 18, 2020
For many parents of high school students, the college application process can be a daunting task, full of questions. The onset of COVID-19 only adds to the anxiety. Does ‘test optional’ really mean optional? How do pass/fail grades affect my admission perception? My internship was canceled; what can I do now?

Community Colleges Likeliest to Stay Virtual
Inside Higher Ed – May 20, 2020
As most four-year colleges continue to announce intentions to reopen campuses in the fall, many community colleges have said they will remain (mostly) virtual.

Free and Low Cost Summer Programs for High School Students
TeenLife Blog – May 20, 2020
Summer programs do not have to cost a lot of money. We have put together a list of free and low-cost options for Summer 2020.

Navigating Test-Optional Admissions Amid COVID-19
U.S. News & World Report – May 20, 2020
Some colleges are not requiring the SAT or ACT amid the coronavirus, shifting the emphasis to other parts of an applicant’s profile. Going test-optional doesn’t mean that a college won’t look at scores, but just that it doesn’t require them. Test-blind means that colleges won’t look at scores even if a student submits them.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

How to Get More College Financial Aid During the Coronavirus Crisis
Consumer Reports – May 19, 2020
The pandemic may have derailed your plans for making higher ed affordable, but help is available

‘I Am Beyond Worried’
The 74 – May 19, 2020
More HS Students Are Applying for Financial Aid — and Enrolling in College as a Result. Coronavirus May Put an End to Both


How to Prep for SAT, ACT Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak
U.S. News & World Report – May 18, 2020
High school students preparing for one of these college entrance exams may be wondering if policy changes should affect their test prep routine. There are some things you should know and do to make sure you’re ready when the next SAT or ACT test date arrives.

Tips to ace the online AP exam at home if you’ll be retaking it in June
SI News – May 18, 2020
It’s a bummer if you’ve spent plenty of time preparing for the online AP exam only to be forced to retake it in June. The upside is the second time is a chance to do better. If you will be retaking the online AP exam, here are some tips to help you avoid technical problems and get a good score.

The coronavirus is pushing some colleges away from the SAT and ACT. Here’s who might benefit.
Chalkbeat – May 18, 2020
The change might help more students with high grade point averages and low SAT scores—who are especially likely to be low-income—earn college degrees.

AP Test Takers Get a ‘Backup’ Submission Process. It Won’t Help Those Who Encountered Glitches Last Week.
The Chronicle of Higher Education – May 18, 2020
The ‘vast majority’ of them successfully completed their exams…the College Board said, less than 1 percent of test takers encountered technical difficulties. But the organization’s numbers didn’t seem to square with what many high-school counselors were hearing.

The College Board Is Sued Over AP Test Glitches
Forbes – May 20, 2020
The lawsuit demands the College Board pay more than $500 million in monetary relief and accept the students’ answers instead of requiring them to re-take the test in June. Claims include breach of contract, gross negligence, misrepresentation and violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

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