High School Counselor Week

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


May 7, 2020

Big Picture

Demand for refunds intensifies among college students
CNBC – May 6, 2020
A growing number of college students are seeking repayment for tuition, room and board and other expenses amid campus shutdowns due to COVID-19. Vanderbilt, Boston University and Brown are among the latest schools hit with class-action lawsuits.

Problems from pandemic could last for years: Global education expert offers 6 bold college predictions
KSAT.com (TX) – May 4, 2020
Admission logjams, bankruptcies among issues for colleges due to COVID-19

For Aspiring College Students, Pandemic Has Created ‘Debilitating’ Uncertainty
NPR (LISTEN) – April 29, 2020
For the last few weeks, it’s been tough for Alexis Jones to focus. The high school senior has been holed up in a two-bedroom apartment with, at times, four other people, on the outskirts of Washington, D.C.

Columns and Blogs

FAFSA Renewals Are Down. Here’s How to Help.
Post – May 7, 2020
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

Two Biggest Mistakes Families Make in the College Admissions Process
Tribune News Service – May 6, 2020
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 


From private to public school: A college counselor straddles an economic divide
Hechinger Report – May 1, 2020
College counseling is an afterthought in many high schools. Counselor Brad Ward was trying to change that. Then the coronavirus hit.

Guidance departments use virtual technology to aid students in college admissions process
Sun Journal (ME) – April 29, 2020
Guidance departments in Lewiston and Auburn said that while virtual technology, such as the Zoom application and email, has allowed counselors to stay in touch with juniors and seniors preparing for applying to college, the technology also has its limitations.

SDP counselors continue to help students remotely
The Philadelphia Tribune (PA) – May 5, 2020
The counselors have been using applications like Google Meets, Google Hangouts and Google Voice to talk with students while schools are closed. They also have hosted virtual meetings with representatives from colleges and universities.

Closed doors force school counselors to find new ways to connect
VTDigger – May 4, 2020
Certain stressors are new – or deeply magnified. Many students have started working, or taking care of younger siblings. Talking to students from home can also be challenging from a privacy perspective…


Advice to parents: Drive a hard bargain over college costs for this fall
MarketWatch – April 29, 2020
COVID-19 has thrown the usual rules and timetables out the window

Use virtual tours, social media to explore college options
Atlanta Journal-Constitution – April 29, 2020
As a private college planner, I hear from families and students that “we are stuck at home and there is nothing we can do.” Don’t fall for it. Let’s not accept defeat, just yet.

Home from college and bumping heads with parents? Here’s how you can get along
CNN – May 4, 2020
If you’re a college student and have been home for weeks due to the pandemic, you might be wondering if you and your parents are even from the same planet.


Tips for keeping up with the college admissions process amid pandemic
WTNH News 8 (CT) – April 30, 2020
High school students, teachers and counselors are all doing their best to keep up with school requirements from home. For high school juniors, this can affect the college admissions process. Consultant Janet Rosier helps them know their options in this video.

Admissions Process & Strategy

As traditional college campuses shut down, online schools get their chance to shine
CNBC – May 3, 2020
Over the last decade, online colleges have made great strides in their remote learning offerings while traditional schools now struggle to get up to speed. Suddenly, these schools are attracting the attention of a wider audience, including recent high-school graduates who would otherwise go to a traditional four-year institution.

Colleges Reopen Admissions for the Year
Inside Higher Ed – May 4, 2020
It’s not too late to apply to some private colleges that say they are recruiting students who may have originally planned to go far from home.

How to Choose Colleges With Virtual Tours
New York Times – April 30, 2020
A guide to some of the tour sites that aim to help students feel as if they are walking around campuses without leaving home.

Amid coronavirus layoffs, high school seniors are too uncertain to commit to a college
USA Today – May 3, 2020
First, coronavirus canceled spring break. Then it was graduation. College Decision Day, an already decaying tradition of declaring one’s intent to attend a particular school, may be next. Some colleges are likely to welcome students of varying qualifications no matter when they decide to commit…

Financial Aid/Scholarships

A New Worry From the COVID-19 Crisis: Paying for College
Education Week – May 5, 2020
Cristobal Rincon has been planning his higher education since the 5th grade. This spring, Rincon was firmly on track_to be the first in his family to attend college. During the time he would have been finalizing enrollment, he was instead worrying about his father’s deteriorating health and his family’s finances.

As Coronavirus Sparks FAFSA Application Drop-Off, Arne Duncan Tells Prospective College Students Not to ‘Derail’ Their Progress
The 74 – May 5, 2020
In order to encourage more applications, former education secretary Arne Duncan offered a few words of encouragement to prospective college-goers in a new video.

5 Myths About Parent Information on the FAFSA
U.S. News & World Report – April 29, 2020
Don’t delay completing this important financial aid form because of misconceptions about information it requires.

How to avoid a tax problem if you get a refund from your college for spring semester
CNBC – April 30, 2020
If your college issued a partial refund for the spring semester, any money originally paid out from your 529 college savings account should be re-contributed. Otherwise, you could get hit with a penalty and taxes.

Career & Technical Education

Shop Class, Over Zoom
The Atlantic – May 2, 2020
How one career and technical high school is going remote


Social Learning Company Fiveable Launches New Interactive Features & Games for AP Exam Prep
Business Wire – May 4, 2020
Olympics-themed Competition, Customizable Trivia, and Typing Prompts Developed to Keep High School Students Engaged & Motivated

Students prepare for new online format for AP exams
WHAM-13 (NY) – April 30, 2020
Many high school students are getting ready for AP exams, but the coronavirus has changed how those tests will be carried out. AP exams will now be taken online, at home and open book.

Major counseling group says it’s time to reconsider standardized testing in college admissions
Washington Post – May 2, 2020
For the first time, the country’s largest membership organization of college admissions professionals has sharply distanced itself from the admissions testing industry, saying it is time to “rethink” whether it is fair to require students to submit standardized test scores on applications. Jayne Caflin Fonash, president of NACAC…

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Coronavirus-Related Resources

•NEW• NACAC’s College Openings Update
NACAC – May 5, 2020
More than 700 colleges and universities still have openings, financial aid, and housing available to qualified freshmen and/or transfer students for the Fall 2020 semester…

•NEW• Where to Get Free WiFi for Students During COVID-19
Campus Technology – April 30, 2020
To help your institution reach students who may lack broadband connectivity, here’s a list of wireless networking options they may be able to take advantage of. We’ve listed those that are available in more than just a handful of states first. [Single-page, printable version available]

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

Latest Coronavirus News: LIVE UPDATES
Inside Higher Ed

ACCEPT: Colleges That Have Changed Deposit Deadline to June 1, 2020 or Later

ASCA Update: COVID-19
American School Counselor Association

ASCA COVID-19 Resources
American School Counselor Association

Information for Cambridge schools about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Cambridge International

College Board Coronavirus Updates
College Board

AP Online Classes and Review Sessions
College Board on YouTube

Colleges and Universities Temporarily Waiving ACT/SAT Requirements for 2020 Admissions Only

IBO.org COVID-19 (coronavirus) updates
International Baccalaureate

NACAC College Admission Status Update: Coronavirus Impact

NCAA Eligibility Center COVID-19 Response FAQs
National Collegiate Athletic Association

COVID-19 Resource Center
National Association of School Psychologists

National Student Clearinghouse Response to the Coronavirus
National Student Clearinghouse

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

Virtual Admissions Events & Deposit Dates
compiled by NACAC


Let COVID-19 expand awareness of disability tech
Nature – May 5, 2020
All around me, I see academic colleagues adopting disability-led hacks and long-sought accommodations. I wish everyone had thought about these workarounds — and about disabled people at all — earlier.

Your View: How we can help students with autism and special needs
The Morning Call (PA) – May 4, 2020
Television shows such as ‘Atypical’ and ‘The Good Doctor’ fail to capture the full experience of someone with autism or special needs in one crucial way; there is no depiction of the financial responsibilities that arise for those around them, including parents and the school districts.