High School Counselor Week

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


November 4, 2021

Big Picture

All K-12 Students Can Now Get the COVID-19 Vaccine. Here’s What It Means for Schools
Education Week – November 2, 2021
While undoubtedly this is a huge moment for families who have been awaiting a vaccine for their younger children, it might not drastically change the situation in schools in the near term. Regardless of whether parents opt for the shots, all K-12 schoolchildren are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, which, in and of itself, is an important step forward for schools struggling to offer safe and consistent in-person schooling.

Free College Is Dead in Congress, but It’s Alive and Well in the States
The Chronicle of Higher Education – November 3, 2021
President Biden’s plan to make two years of community college tuition-free nationwide is going nowhere in Congress at the moment. But across the country, such ‘College Promise’ programs continue to grow among state and local governments as elected officials look for ways to improve college going and work-force preparation. [requires free account]

College tuition is now rising at a rate lower than inflation
CNBC – October 27, 2021
Amid declining enrollment due to Covid, this year’s increases in tuition and fees were very low by historic standards, according to a report. When adjusting for inflation, college costs effectively declined at community colleges and public and private four-year schools.

Columns and Blogs

Weekend Deadlines? Yeah—About That…
Post – November 3, 2021
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

College interview primer
Tribune News Service – November 3, 2021
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 

18 things to know about applying early decision to college
Post – October 19, 2021
The College Solution with Lynn O’Shaughnessy 


Using tech to scale student counseling and support
SmartBrief – November 2, 2021
Like many school counselors, I serve a large caseload of students and have searched for effective ways to help these students build the healthy coping skills they need to navigate their stress and make life a little less overwhelming. Last year, I discovered how my team and I could use a blended technology solution to bridge this gap. In the time since — especially as student needs have grown through the pandemic — technology has helped us in several vital ways.

Caring adults helped me turn my life around. Here’s what I owe the next generation of struggling students.
Chalkbeat – November 1, 2021
As a counselor and coach with the nonprofit Communities In Schools, I helped students navigate remote learning, and I will continue supporting them now. But the trauma that students have endured concerns me, especially as I know firsthand how the feeling of being disconnected can lead young people off track.

High School Students and Counselors Are Burned Out
Inside Higher Ed – November 1, 2021
One of the things Ursinus College does to stay in touch during the pandemic with high school counselors is send out a survey. Most of the questions, and answers, weren’t that surprising (we’ll come back to them). But the most important message may have been…


College admissions season: What to expect
Fox 11 Los Angeles (CA) – November 2, 2021
Early decision deadlines are coming up in November and now is the ideal time for prospective college students to get familiar with the processes in place. One expert shares tips on what high school students should be focused on when it comes to getting into college.


Make time to meet with your child’s school counselor
The Guam Daily Post – November 2, 2021
While meeting with teachers is very important, parents of high school students should also make the time to talk with their children’s school counselors, the only people who can speak authoritatively about your child’s entire high school career. Below are some suggested topics to discuss…

Parents: Stop taking out parent loans for your kids’ college
Herald & Review (IL) – October 31, 2021
As a parent, you are responsible for taking care of your child, but you are also responsible for taking care of yourself. Sadly, there are a number of ways that parents can sink their own financial ships by taking on debt for their children’s education.

Admissions Process & Strategy

How to write an interesting college essay from a boring prompt
CT Post – November 1, 2021
College essays are difficult to write because they address broad prompts. But if you take time to separate out the parts that comprise the prompt’s implied argument, you might revise the prompt to suit your needs and curiosities. You might create a question that you’d love to answer.

Ways Colleges Offer Alternatives to Study Abroad
U.S. News & World Report – November 1, 2021
With travel restrictions in place, colleges and universities redefined global education by offering asynchronous and synchronous virtual alternatives, allowing students to collaborate with individuals and employers throughout the world without boarding a plane.

Maximizing Your Campus Visit Experience
DECA Direct – November 1, 2021
“Is there truly a best time to visit college campuses? What are my options if I can’t visit campuses in person? I don’t even know which questions to ask when I’m on a college tour!” Three college admissions professionals help you answer these questions and more

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Check net price calculators to get idea of college costs
Alice Echo-News Journal (TX) – November 1, 2021
The U.S. DOE requires all colleges to have a calculator on their websites. It’s important to remember that the calculation is only an estimate, and to look at the net price, not the net cost. The net price is how much a family can expect to pay toward a student’s technical or college education, including any loans.

Tuition-Free Community College Out Of Biden’s Plan—But Larger Student Financial Aid Grants Are Still In
Forbes – October 28, 2021
Roughly $40 billion has been allocated toward higher education including increases to the maximum Pell Grants for enrolled students. he framework will also increase the Labor Department’s annual spending on workforce development at the community-college level.

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Early Decision vs Early Action

sponsored by Fastweb

Early decision vs early action
Help students learn more about these college admissions plans.

Inside The Admissions Office

How many colleges should I apply to? Your college search questions, answered.
University of Illinois Admissions – October 21, 2021
Option paralysis is the name of the game when it comes to the college search process, and it’s something everyone falls prey to at one point or another. Still, you can go about the application process in a smart, efficient way that minimizes your chance of feeling like you’re swimming upstream without a paddle in sight. And just to be clear, there isn’t one right answer to the question.

Career & Technical Education

Google granting all US community colleges free access to its career certifications
TechStory – October 31, 2021
Google has said that all the certifications under Google career certificates will be made available to all community colleges, and career and technical high schools in the States. All four certificates are now recommended by the American Council on Education, and will be recognized as college credit for up to as many 12 credits, equalling some four college courses at the bachelor’s level.

Women have been marginalized in the building trades. The infrastructure bill could change that
The Hechinger Report – November 3, 2021
Advocates say the bill – along with workforce funding in Democrats’ domestic spending proposal – present an opportunity to bring down barriers that have long kept women and people of color from construction jobs

Research spotlights strategies to improve career and technical ed
K-12 Dive – October 29, 2021
A pair of reports released this week detail strategies for strengthening career and technical education programs to expand students’ access to clear pathways for jobs in high-paying, in-demand fields.

Call for better career counseling programs in U.S. schools
Big News Network – October 31, 2021
The U.S. does a poor job of steering students toward good jobs, according to a new study. The study also found the current system is deeply inequitable and that high-achieving students from low-income families have only about a 30% chance of getting a good-paying job by the time they hit their thirties.