High School Counselor Week

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


November 30, 2023

Big Picture

‘Affirmative action for well-off students’: Why early decision is under fire
Higher Ed Dive – November 27, 2023
Scrutiny over the practice heightened after the Supreme Court struck down race-conscious admissions earlier this year.

Get a high school diploma for $465 with no classes required—inside Louisiana’s boom in unapproved schools
Fortune – November 27, 2023
Unlike public schools, formal homeschooling programs or traditional private schools, nearly 9,000 private schools in Louisiana don’t need state approval to grant degrees. Nearly every one of those unapproved schools was created to serve a single homeschooling family, but some have buildings, classrooms, teachers and dozens of students. There’s precious little information available about these schools, which the state calls ‘nonpublic schools not seeking state approval.

How Urban and Rural School Districts Aim to Solve Alarmingly High Absentee Rates
EdSurge – November 20, 2023
When you’re not sure where you’ll sleep, showing up to class isn’t what you’re worried about. For educators, this makes for a daunting test.

Columns and Blogs

New Year’s Eve FAFSA? Uh, No.
Post – November 29, 2023
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D.

Early Decision 2 – still an option
Post – November 29, 2023
College Advice & Timely Tips with Lee Bierer


Applying To College Helps Students Develop Executive Function Skills
Forbes – November 27, 2023
The college application process is a critical time in an adolescent’s life, marking a transition into greater independence and responsibility. As a parent and a college admissions expert, I understand the importance of guiding our children through this phase with the right tools and strategies. Having guided teens on their college process all over the world for the past 10 years, I can attest that teens with strong executive function skills tend to be more successful and better adjusted. Recent insights into adolescent brain development shed light on why executive function skills are necessary and foundational for having a successful and well-managed college application process. Some structured organizational strategies, discussed here, can also be particularly beneficial.

NYC launches free online therapy for teens
Chalkbeat – November 15, 2023
New York City teens now have access to free online therapy through a city program that launched Wednesday, officials said. City teens can text, call, or video chat with licensed therapists through the online platform Talkspace (a nationwide network of credentialed mental health providers) without providing payment, insurance information, or referrals, officials said. The new NYC Teenspace telehealth initiative, billed as the largest of its kind in the country, was months in the making. Besides talking with licensed therapists by text, phone, or video chat, students can also take self-guided courses. Texting is unlimited, but live sessions are limited to once a month, according to the company. Virtual therapy has become a popular tool at many educational institutions, but city officials have acknowledged that the evidence base for the practice is still thin. Health Department Commissioner Ashwin Vasan, who came up with the idea for the initiative, said he hopes it will evolve based on feedback from teens.


Facebook watches your teens online as they prep for college. How a Meta pixel pulls it off
USA Today – November 29, 2023
The pixel is on dozens of popular websites targeting kids from kindergarten to college, including some students are all but required to use to participate in school activities or apply to college.

Admissions Process & Strategy

2023-24 Notification Dates For Early Decision, Early Action And BS/MD Programs
Forbes – November 27, 2023
Now that high school students have submitted their Early Decision (ED), Early Action (EA) and BS/MD program applications, they might be wondering about the timeline for their admissions decisions

5 Ways Students Can Boost Their College Applications Over Winter Break
Forbes – November 27, 2023
While the holiday season is a well-deserved break from classes, extracurricular activities, and other commitments, strategic planning can set students apart and enhance their college applications. Whether a freshman or senior, high school students should take advantage of their weeks off from school…Here are five ways students can use their time during the holiday break to enhance their admissions profiles:

The Ivy League Gets Attention, but Public Universities Are Far More Important
Scientific American – November 29, 2023
Media attention to Ivy League schools distracts from the much more important—and undersupported—public university system. Of the 14 million American students in four-year schools, about two thirds are in public schools, where the ethnic and racial makeup is much closer to the overall undergraduate population than it is at private schools, as well as close to the U.S. population in general. In these schools the largest obstacle to advancement is cost.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

New FAFSA To Launch By End Of Year
Forbes – November 28, 2023
The updated form is scheduled to go live by December 31, 2023, although applications may not be processed until late January and early February 2024.

Career & Technical Education

Is there significant potential for apprenticeships in the US market?
Higher Ed Dive – November 21, 2023
Apprenticeships remain outside the mainstream in the U.S., but broader adoption could open up a cohort of trained workers.

Opinion: College Is Not the Only Answer: 7 Policy Recommendations to Help Youth Succeed
The 74 – November 15, 2023
For generations, young people have been told that college is the only path to success. Yet, research shows that both students and employers are open to skills-based nondegree pathways, such as certificate programs, career training and apprenticeships. Unfortunately, most students aren’t aware of or don’t have access to these options, and employers have largely not embraced workers who lack degrees. These diverse education-to-career alternatives will struggle to gain traction if policymakers don’t provide supportive legislation and funding.

Work experience, not college, prepared employees for jobs, study finds
Higher Ed Dive – November 20, 2023
Half of the employees surveyed said they wished they had known how to manage career progression prior to entering the workforce.

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Teen Health

Helping Teens Navigate the Tricky World of Too Much Tech
Edutopia – November 27, 2023
In a world where their lives are heavily ‘shared and compared,’ author Devorah Heitner offers insights on how to support teens in finding balance in their tech-heavy lives.

Treatment Rates for Youth with Mental Disorders Are Consistently Low: International Study
ADDitude Magazine – November 22, 2023
Even after receiving a diagnosis, many children and adolescents do not receive mental health treatment, according to worldwide data collected over the past several decades.