High School Counselor Week

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


November 21, 2019

Big Picture

4 Reasons Why Students Don’t Receive the Degrees They’ve Earned
EdSurge – November 19, 2019
Millions of Americans have earned some college credit but no degree. Some experts think institutions of higher education—not former students—are partly to blame.

Return on Students’ Investments Varies Over Time
Inside Higher Ed – November 14, 2019
Colleges ranking highly after 10 years aren’t necessarily the same ones at the top after 40 years, report says. The middle tier is a perhaps surprising mix of public, nonprofit and for-profit institutions.

What’s the Difference Between a College and a University?
The Atlantic – November 19, 2019
Many colleges—often obscure ones of middling selectivity—have converted to universities in recent years, seemingly in the hopes of raising their profiles. But whether there’s a material distinction between a college and a university depends on whom you ask—and many people don’t know the difference.

Education Department releases wage, debt data for specific college majors
The Hill – November 20, 2019
Previously, users of the department’s College Scorecard could only see the median earnings and median debt for all graduates of a given school. Now, users can see program-specific information.

Columns and Blogs

The Counselor’s Holiday
Post – November 20, 2019
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D

Navigating the Thanksgiving tightrope
Tribune News Service – November 20, 2019
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 

Opening doors through community service
Post – November 20, 2019
The Explorations Blog with Nancy Griesemer


What Matters In College Admission
Forbes – November 20, 2019
I am sitting in my school counseling office reviewing a high school senior’s college application, and I have asked why there is no mention of the hours he spends at home after school caring for his grandfather. This matters, as do many contributions that young people make, not to earn “points” for college admission or to impress others, but because it is what they have to do, or who they are, and a reflection of what they value.

Hip-hop artist uses story to give students college planning tips
Middletown (DE) Transcript – November 15, 2019
Dee-1 has partnered with Sallie Mae to create a program called The Bridging the Dream Tour. The program travels to multiple high schools across the country where he shares his story, a motivational message and practical tips, and gives away two $1,000 scholarships. Best known for his song ‘Sallie Mae Back’, he spoke to students about the importance of finishing college and how to make it financially possible.

Beyond teachers: Estimating individual school counselors’ effects on educational attainment
MultiBriefs – November 14, 2019
School counselors are largely neglected by the literature, especially compared to the huge volume written on teachers, though counselors’ effects on educational attainment appear similar in magnitude to teachers’ effects. A paper by a Harvard Ph.D. candidate provides quantitative evidence on the causal effects of individual high school counselors.


Study: Only 9% of Parents Talk to Kids About Managing Student Loans
The Motley Fool – November 17, 2019
If you’re not part of that minority, it pays to sit down with your kids and explain what taking out loans really entails — and warn them not to go overboard.

Tips for late-stage college planning
Boulder Daily Camera – November 17, 2019
Most of us know the basics when it comes to college financial planning…

Yes, your kid can get a degree with no debt, here’s how
Worcester MA Telegram – November 17, 2019
I’ve found that when people start with a promise to themselves and their children—a degree with no debt—they make different choices. And those choices help folks achieve real wealth sooner.


College essay tips for college student applicants
KUSI San Diego – November 19, 2019

The CEO of Hamilton Education stopped by Good Morning San Diego to give some advice on writing college essays. He offers a few tips to keep in mind, emphasizing that students should use the basic elements of storytelling, rather than essay writing. Written summary with key points provided

Admissions Process & Strategy

10 steps that will speed up your college application process
AZ Big Media – November 20, 2019
College admissions might feel more competitive than ever due to the increased applicant numbers, so taking extra time to craft a strong college application is key.

The college kids attend isn’t as important as the majors they choose
MarketWatch – November 18, 2019
In reality, the colleges matter far less than the majors chosen, and multiple studies have shown elite schools don’t offer any extra payoff for most graduates. Here are the most important facts to know as you navigate the college admissions process and decide how much to spend.

U.S. Colleges Step Up Admissions Spot Checks After Scandal
Bloomberg – November 20, 2019
As the admission season begins, Yale University, Bowdoin College and Pomona College are among those conducting spot checks or verifying some information on applications to find signs of cheating or embellishment, according to school officials, and inaccurate or fabricated information may lead to offers being withdrawn. Other institutions may follow suit.

The Benefits of BFA Training + What to Know About the Application Process
Backstage – November 14, 2019
I’m happy to report there are innumerable ways in which a BFA helped my acting career —and it can help you too. Here are some of the need-to-know aspects of the current admission process depending on the program.

Career & Technical Education

Survey of Graduates on Value of Credentials
Inside Higher Ed – November 18, 2019
Graduates of nondegree vocational programs are more likely to say their postsecondary credentials were worth the cost and made them an attractive job candidate than were graduates of terminal bachelor’s degree programs.

DeVos pushes alternative credentials, flexibility in speech to business leaders
EducationDive – November 13, 2019
The education secretary contended that high school students have been pushed to attend traditional colleges at the expense of the workforce. DeVos touted the department’s moves to give more flexibility to institutions by loosening federal policies on accreditation and federal student aid.

Poll: Young adults favor experience over degrees for job prep
EducationDive – November 19, 2019
While the teens and young adults responding to AP-NORC’s poll said job experience was the most valuable means of preparing for success in the workforce, more than three-fourths said they feel pressure to attend a college or university.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

FAFSA Says How Much You Can Pay for College. It’s Often Wrong.
New York Times – November 15, 2019
The form opens the door to student aid. But it’s ‘a terrible measure of what people can actually afford,’ one expert said. And many families will be asked to pay more, anyway.

Financial literacy courses for students on the rise, as college debt, other expenses increase
Observer Reporter (PA) – November 18, 2019
Trinity High School senior Kendle Haught was delighted to receive offers to attend both of her colleges of choice. But a major factor in Haught’s final decision about where to pursue her education is the cost and her student debt load. Thanks to a personal finance class she took as a sophomore, she believes she is more prepared to make a responsible decision.

What Are The Best Resources For Finding College Scholarships?
Forbes – November 14, 2019
Advice from an independent college counselor

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Inside The Admissions Office

Run Your Race
Georgia Tech Admission Blog
November 20, 2019

Seniors, as you run YOUR race this year—as you work on applications, await and receive admission decisions, and head into your final holiday breaks before heading to college—here are my TOP 5 hopes for you: 1) That you will not be overly influenced by…

Submitting Resumes, Research, and Writing Supplements
UVA Admission Blog
November 19, 2019

As application numbers increase, so do the emails from students who want to submit additional information…but please follow the application instructions. If someone is telling you that we needs things that aren’t listed in our application instructions, they are mistaken.

Teen Health

Most Parents Struggle to Spot Depression in Teens
U.S. News & World Report – November 19, 2019
Most American parents say they might have trouble distinguishing between a teen’s typical mood swings and possible signs of depression, a new survey finds.

E-cigarettes are especially addictive for teens. Here’s how to help them quit
Louisville Courier Journal – November 20, 2019
The electronic devices often contain potent doses of nicotine that make them highly addictive — especially for adolescents whose brains are not yet mature. Experts nationwide are working to create programs and therapies that directly address teen use.

How To Talk To Your Teen About STIs In A Helpful, Not Awkward Way
HuffPost – November 20, 2019
STIs are incredibly common in the US; about half of the 20 million new cases each year affect people between the ages of 15 and 24. HuffPost spoke to sex educators to find out how parents and caregivers can talk to teens about STIs in a helpful, not embarrassing way.


College Board To Honor Muslim Holiday By Giving Another Exam Date Option
Montgomery Community Media – November 15, 2019
To support students observing Eid-al-Fitr, all exams planned for May 13, 2021 will also be administered on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The full 2020-21 Exam schedule will be posted in mid-December.

Colorado Lawmaker Wants To End SAT Score Requirement On High School Transcripts
CBS Denver – November 13, 2019
“Even the best students may do badly on these tests, so we shouldn’t be requiring these tests be shown to the schools that don’t require these scores.”

Former SAT/ACT test administrator pleads guilty in college admissions scandal
NBC News – November 13, 2019
Igor Dvorskiy accepted nearly $200,000 in bribes to allow cheating on SAT and ACT exams, prosecutors said.

Student Voices

Seniors prioritize college applications
Scot Scoop – November 16, 2019
The author is a senior at Carlmont High School, Belmont, CA
To manage the critical deadlines, seniors have worked on their applications for months and are doing their best to avoid procrastination. The application process can be very time consuming and often incorporates itself into seniors’ everyday lives.

The transition
The Daily Princetonian – November 13, 2019
The author is a first-year student at Princeton
Last May, even after all of my high school classmates and I had decided where we would attend college, our college counselors invited us all back for a Transition Night — an introduction to the dramatic differences between high school and college life. Yet I found little truth in this romanticizing.