High School Counselor Week

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


October 6, 2022

Big Picture

3 Ways to Promote the School and Work Friendships that Foster Student Success
The 74 – September 30, 2022
There’s no replacement for the education system’s important face-to-face role in nurturing cross-class and professional connections

Generation COVID: Record Numbers of Youth Opt Out of College, Work
Newsweek – October 7, 2022
Three years into the pandemic, high school graduates from the classes of 2020, 2021 and beyond are shunning college in record numbers. Overall, just 51 percent of Gen Z teens are now considering a four-year degree, according to a survey this year. Young people argue ‘my career doesn’t need college’ and talk about starting their own businesses (often as influencers). But behind the upbeat TikToks and occasional very public success stories, there are already troubling signs that the kids of Generation COVID aren’t alright.

New Federal Mental Health Funding Will Come Partly From Congress’s Anti-Gun Violence Bill
Teen Vogue – October 3, 2022
To address worsening mental health among young people across the country, the Biden administration will allocate more than $300 million in grants and awards for youth mental health services, funding the effort in part through the anti-gun violence bill passed by Congress in June.

Columns and Blogs

I’m possible
Post – October 5, 2022
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D.

Why is the “Why this college?” essay so important?
Post – October 4, 2022
College Advice & Timely Tips with Lee Bierer


How Delaware Educators Won Mental Health Supports for Students
NEA TODAY – September 30, 2022
Last year, through their union, Delaware educators convinced state lawmakers to invest millions of dollars in hiring more school counselors, social workers, and psychologists. Their example is a model for states everywhere. In fact, Connecticut educators took a page from Delaware’s playbook to get their own legislative package passed this year. Their success illustrates how educators can get stuff done when they raise their voices together. It also points to the importance of electing lawmakers who listen to educators, and want to support public schools and students.

Applications open for $280M in school mental health supports
K-12 Dive – October 3, 2022
The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday it is accepting applications for two grant programs aimed at increasing mental health supports for students. One grant provides funding to districts to increase school-based mental health service providers, the other encourages innovative partnerships between districts and higher education institutions to train school-based mental health services providers. The Education Department is planning to hold webinars this month for prospective applicants.

Demystifying Social-Emotional Learning and the Controversy Surrounding It
EdSurge – September 30, 2022
Pushback against SEL comes from a fundamental misunderstanding about what SEL is and isn’t, and why it matters for kids. Recent controversial arguments obscure many of the real, pressing problems in education right now—a mental health crisis, workforce shortages in sectors across the field, nearly two years of lost or lackluster learning experiences. And more than that, vilifying SEL will likely only move education in the wrong direction, educators and researchers say.

More local graduates entering workforce straight from high school
Wallingford News – September 30, 2022
Area high school staff have noticed an uptick in students going straight into the workforce, a trade or vocational school or attending a two-year institution and a slim decline of those pursuing a four-year college or university degree. School counselors and others discuss some of the reasons behind the trend, and how their school are responding to it.


10 Things You Should Stop Expecting From Your Teen
Moms.com – September 27, 2022
While they are capable of a lot, they are still kids. Expecting too much from them can turn out poorly for both the parent and child. To build on your relationship and foster their belief in themselves, it’s essential that we make sure they are capable of doing what we are asking for.

Admissions Process & Strategy

More adults, low-income students enroll when community colleges offer bachelor’s degrees, study suggests
Higher Ed Dive – September 30, 2022
Opponents of community colleges offering bachelor’s degrees often argue that these programs cause institutions to drift away from their missions of serving underrepresented students. But the new research suggests that the programs actually reinforce community colleges’ commitments to certain disadvantaged student populations.

Tips for first-generation students applying to college
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) – October 4, 2022
Finding the right fit is crucial for any student entering college — especially for first-generation students who don’t have relatives to fall back on for guidance — but it’s only one part of a difficult and important decision. Colleges and high schools, though, have resources and support systems available specifically to help those students flourish.

How Colleges Are Making Study Abroad Programs More Accessible
U.S. News & World Report – October 3, 2022
While some college students choose to study abroad as a way to expose themselves to varying cultures and languages, others do so to build workforce skills or prepare for a potential international career after graduation. Many colleges and nonprofit organizations are looking to make study abroad programs more accessible by offering scholarship options, differing curricula and passport assistance.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

What Are Tuition-Free Colleges?
Forbes – September 30, 2022
Tuition-free college can take many forms, including state-sponsored programs at community colleges, four-year schools that charge no tuition for students of certain income levels and schools that require work in exchange for lower costs. You’ll likely find a tuition-free option for nearly any type of college you’re considering. But it’s important to note that there may be eligibility requirements to get and maintain the benefit. Read on for a sampling of tuition-free colleges and the basics you need to know about their offerings before applying.

Why you should fill out the FAFSA — even if you’re not sure about college
Chalkbeat – October 3, 2022
Tuition sticker shock is a major reason students who want to go to college end up not going. But the true cost for students from middle- and lower-income backgrounds is often far less than the listed price of tuition after financial aid. Filling out the FAFSA helps students and families get a realistic idea of what college might cost. It also helps students and families make informed decisions about whether they can afford it.

‘I Hate FAFSA. I’m Going to Start Crying.’
The New School, Center for NYC Affairs – October 4, 2022
We discuss financial aid and its discontents with Kim Nauer, FAFSA guide author and founder of UnderstandingFAFSA.org, who breaks down why it can be so frustrating and the biggest reasons half of last year’s senior class didn’t bother to complete it.

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Inside The Admissions Office

Academic Interests: Don’t be Undecided
Tufts Admissions Blog – October 3, 2022
Now that I am an admissions counselor, I am finally able to answer my own nervous questions from my own college applications, and tell you exactly why you shouldn’t put ‘undecided’ under ‘Academic Interests’, even if you do in fact, feel undecided. First, we call them ‘interests’ and not majors for a reason…

Teen Health

Can a place to decompress at high school really help prevent suicides?
KSL.com UT) – October 3, 2022
Westlake High School is preventing suicides by providing a safe space for students to get mental health help through its wellness center, a new study shows. Prior to the wellness center’s opening, if someone went to the counseling center at the school, there were often too many students needing help and not enough resources to help them all. The wellness center relieved that and has provided a kind of ‘triage for counselors.’.

The Teen Mental Health Crisis: What Adults Can Do To Help
Cleveland Clinic – October 3, 2022
suicide has become the second-leading cause of death among American adolescents ages 10 to 14 years old. Why is this happening, and what can parents and other adults do to best support the teens in their lives? Dr. Benore helps us look beyond the headlines and statistics to figure it all out.


More colleges are making the SAT optional. Should high school students still take them?
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) – October 4, 2022
Three-quarters of bachelor’s degree-granting colleges and universities will not require ACT or SAT scores from recent high school graduates seeking to enroll in fall of 2023. However, students should look at their colleges to see if its policies are different than test optional, and also realize a blanket test-optional policy may not apply to all majors. Plus it’s worth checking to see if certain scholarships or honors programs require the tests.