High School Counselor Week

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


October 20, 2022

Big Picture

Opinion: If We’re Serious About Student Well-Being, We Must Change the Systems Students Learn In
EdSurge – October 14, 2022
It’s time we acknowledge that our education systems are directly contributing to the youth mental health crisis. And if we are serious about student well-being, we must change the systems they learn in. Here are five bold steps that high schools can take to boost mental health.

Out-of-Pocket Spending on School Supplies Adds to Strain on Educators
NEA News – October 14, 2022
In a nation facing a severe educator shortage, why do we still expect teachers and support staff to subsidize schools?

Students, Parents React to ‘Grueling’ Spate of School Shooting Hoaxes
Newsweek – October 13, 2022
Families were paralyzed with fear as active shooter threats rocked schools across the U.S. this week, only to be uncovered as hoaxes. The trend of ‘swatting,’ or hoax calls designed to set off a forceful and immediate response from armed law enforcement, has ticked up dramatically in recent months. At least 113 instances of swatting calls were reported across 19 states between September 13 and October 5, according to NPR.

Columns and Blogs

College Essay Advice for Seniors
Post – October 19, 2022
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D.

7 Tips to fight writer’s block
Post – October 19, 2022
College Advice & Timely Tips with Lee Bierer

Applying Early Decision: Advantages and Disadvantages
Post – October 13, 2022
The College Solution with Lynn O’Shaughnessy


Giving high school students long-term mentors can help more to graduate and enroll as first-generation college students
LSE US Blog – October 18, 2022
The lack of college counsellors in many schools makes it more difficult for some students to succeed and gain access to a college education, especially those who would be first-generation college students. Leah Glass looks at the effectiveness of mentorship programs, such as iMentor in New York City, finding that mentors can fill an important gap left by the lack of college counselors to ensure that disadvantaged students are able to access higher education.

Social Media Has Made Teen Friendships More Stressful
TIME Magazine – October 14, 2022
Public health data signals a genuine crisis in adolescent mental health: rising rates of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. But as we worry about tweens and teens who are struggling, we can’t ignore another mounting toll—the burdens that are shouldered by their friends and peers in an ‘always on’ world

These School Shooting Survivors Are Building Remarkable Networks of Friendship and Support
The Washington Post Magazine – October 19, 2022
The mental health response to school shootings in the United States is often led by the school district, supported by a patchwork of nonprofits like the Red Cross, government organizations like the FEMA, and local volunteers. From her experience on the ground, Psychologist Franci Crepeau-Hobson, a crisis-response expert, sees survivor relationships, especially those centered on activism, as a key part of moving forward, along with psychological care from professionals.


Teens Can Be Tough on Parents. Staying Close Can Make All the Difference.
U.S. News & World Report – October 11, 2022
Parents who make an effort to spend quality time with their teens – while offering affection and understanding — are more likely to remain close to them as they enter adulthood, new research suggests.

Admissions Process & Strategy

Colleges that ditched test scores for admissions still struggle with bias
KQED (CA) – October 17, 2022
One college admissions officer at a large public university described how test-optional admissions had spurred more disagreements in his office. A third reader on an application was often called in to break a tie. Without SAT and ACT scores the job of admitting students had become more subjective and more time-consuming. ‘Admissions officers described a ‘chaotic’ and ‘stressful’ process where they lacked clear guidance on how to select students without test scores. Admissions officers at selective colleges were also ‘overwhelmed’ by the volume of applicants that test-optional policies had unleashed. ,

Ethical College Admissions: Should Colleges Admit Students Who Haven’t Applied?
Inside Higher Ed – October 17, 2022
Some have started to do so, especially for low-income students. Jim Jump considers the issues.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

These colleges promise no student debt: ‘Loans are not part of the deal’
CNBC – October 12, 2022
To make college more accessible, a growing number of institutions are eliminating student loans altogether. More than 20 schools now have ‘no-loan’ policies, which means they will meet 100% of an undergraduate’s need for financial aid with grants rather than education debt.

Some states and community colleges offer free skilled trades courses
NPR – October 17, 2022
There isn’t much federal aid for students who want to learn skilled trades, but some states and community colleges now offer free courses.

What You Need to Know About Financial Aid for Trade Schools and Community Colleges
TD Stories – October 17, 2022
The following are several financial aid options to consider for trade schools and community colleges. You may be able to use one or more sources to fund your education and achieve your career goals.

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Teen Health

3 Out of 4 Teens Reported Adverse Event that Puts Them at Risk for Poor Mental Health
Healthline – October 17, 2022
The CDC has recently released a report about the COVID-19 pandemic and adolescents’ mental health. About 37% of those surveyed reported poor mental health during 2020. At least 73% reported at least one adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) during that time, and 12% experienced three or more. Those who had experienced ACEs were more likely to report mental health problems and suicide attempts than those who did not.

Teen Suicides Jump 29% Over the Past Decade, Report Finds
MedPage Today – October 12, 2022
It’s rising in all sub-populations. It’s rising for all genders, and for adolescents across all socioeconomic statuses. Nevada saw the biggest increase; American Indian/Alaska Native teens most vulnerable overall


‘A worrisome trend’: ACT scores continue to decline, dropping to lowest levels in 30 years
USA Today – October 12, 2022
The national average composite score for the graduating class of 2022 was 19.8 out of a possible 36, down from 20.3 among the graduating class of 2021, the lowest average score since 1991. 42% met none of the benchmarks, and 22% met all four.

The Psychological Toll of High-Stakes Testing
Edutopia – October 14, 2022
High-stakes tests often create enormous anxiety and return muddy data. Turning down the pressure may alleviate the problem.