High School Counselor Week

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


October 1, 2020

Big Picture

College Common App Drops Question About Discipline, Citing Racial Disparities
The Wall Street Journal – September 30, 2020
The Common Application is scrapping a question that asks applicants to reveal whether they have been subject to disciplinary action in high school, aiming to eliminate what it says could be an obstacle for Black students considering college. Counselors who submit recommendations for applicants will no longer see the question on their portion of the Common App either.

Campus life sans Covid: A few colleges write the playbook for pandemic success
Politico – September 28, 2020
Schools finding success are deploying methods health experts have recommended for months for the whole country to keep the virus under control.

The Pandemic Pushed Universities Online. The Change Was Long Overdue.
The Harvard Business Review – September 29, 2020
Pre-pandemic, there was already widespread acknowledgement that the traditional higher education business model is seriously challenged. Fall 2020 marks a clear inflection point as students, educators, and government leaders alike scrutinize the price and value proposition of higher education…

Columns and Blogs

Do This to Improve Your College Options
Post – September 30, 2020
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

More ways to say why?
Tribune News Service – September 30, 2020
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 


Arizona School Counselors Seeing Students More Stressed, Anxious This School Year
KJZZ (AZ) – September 28, 2020
When schools were forced to close this spring and shift to distance learning, one school counselor, sent out surveys every week or two to see how her high school kids were doing. Suicide is a leading cause of death among children ages 10 to 14 years old in the state.

Austin ISD to check every student’s mental health with one-minute, one-on-one Zoom call
KTXS (TX) – September 25, 2020
Austin ISD counselors are dedicating time to have one-on-one meetings with every single one of the district’s 80,000 students to check in on their mental health.

Righetti High School seniors receive college and career information during drive through event
KEYT News (CA) – September 28, 2020
During the brief spin through the school’s west end parking lot, students received important college and career readiness information from school counselors. They also had an opportunity to connect with key community partners, such as…


How To Recognize Mental Health Decline In Your Kids, From A Psychotherapist
MindBodyGreen – September 29, 2020
Identifying signs that children are struggling with mental health can be a challenge for parents because it can manifest in many ways.

Podcast Episode #52: Saving for College
Northeast Ohio Parent – September 27, 2020
No matter how old your kids are, what they will do after high school is something you probably have started to think about. A big question is most likely how you are going to pay for it. On the latest episode of aParently Speaking…


How Covid-19 is Changing College Admissions
FOX 5 Washington DC – September 29, 2020
Jessica Brown, President of the “College Gurl” Foundation, and Student Cameron Cary joined us this morning with what you need to know before applying to college.

Admissions Process & Strategy

Forbes’ Guide To College Admissions During The Pandemic
Forbes – September 29, 2020
How do you put together a strong application when it’s nearly impossible to take an admissions test, your school switched to pass/fail grades in the crucial spring term of your junior year and your extracurriculars and summer job all got canceled because of the pandemic? The good news: College admissions officers feel your pain.

How 8 Missouri High School Seniors Got to College
U.S. News & World Report – September 29, 2020
Learn how these students at a high school outside St. Louis weathered the pandemic and got accepted to private and public colleges.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Pandemic Increases Importance of Filing Early for Financial Aid
The New York Times – September 25, 2020
The new FAFSA form, which is out on Thursday, requires last year’s tax data. But families that have lost income this year may need to take extra steps to qualify for help.

The FAFSA opens Oct 1—and it’s more important than ever to complete it ASAP
CNBC Make It – September 29, 2020
While the share of families filing the FAFSA has been decreasing in recent years, the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic is expected to lead to an increased need for financial support. Schools often distribute student aid funds on a first-come, first-serve basis in order of when students complete the financial aid applications, and this year it will be more important than ever that students complete the FAFSA as soon as possible.


1,600 Colleges Are Now Test-Optional. How Many Will Go Back?
EdSurge – September 25, 2020
The University of Massachusetts Amherst has historically required prospective undergraduate students to submit a standardized test score as part of their applications. In fact, doing otherwise has never seriously been considered… until the pandemic changed the conversation.

3 Things To Know About ACT Section Retests
Yahoo! News – September 28, 2020
Due to the delays prompted by the novel coronavirus, the rollout of section retesting has been postponed — along with the option to test digitally — until 2021.

Crushing – or at least surviving – the SATs and ACTs
Low Country Parent (SC) – September 30, 2020
Last year in the U.S., 2.1 million students took an SAT, and 1.9 million took an ACT, with 550,000 taking both. Most colleges require either and accept both, though there is a growing movement to make the tests optional. With the onset of COVID in 2020, most

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Coronavirus-Related Resources

COVID-19 School Response Dashboard
Maps schools’ responses to the pandemic across the United States (data submission voluntary)

Live Updates: Latest News on Coronavirus and Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed

Live Coronavirus Updates: Here’s the Latest
The Chronicle of Higher Education

COVID-29 Data Dashboard
C2i (College Crisis Initiative)

School Counseling During COVID-19
American School Counselor Association

College Board Coronavirus Updates
College Board

AP Online Classes and Review Sessions
College Board on YouTube

COVID-19 Resource Center
National Association of School Psychologists

U.S. DOE: COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel
U.S. Department of Education

Where to Get Free WiFi for Students During COVID-19
Campus Technology

College Virtual Tours
compiled by Rebecca Chabrow, M.A. with assistance from Collegewise

The impact of COVID-19 on high school counselors and the college search process: A national survey.
RNL & High School Counselor Connect (2020)

Inside The Admissions Office

Uncomfortably Comfortable Owning the Admissions Process
University of Georgia – September 29, 2020
You will hear college admissions offices use the phrase ‘Take ownership of your application process,’ and we mean it. You (the student) should be the one to set up visits or sign up for virtual tours, you should be the one to ask the questions, and you should be the one to call or email us about your application. We love parents, but when we hear someone say ‘We have applied to …’, we cringe a little.

What is the Counselor’s School Report?
University of Virginia – September 29, 2020
As students read application instructions and start working on their Common Apps, they sometimes wonder about the School Report (also called the SSR or Secondary School Report) that counselors submit to support the application.


How Can Universities Help Disabled Students with Remote Learning?
EdTech – September 28, 2020
Here are some tips on how to make online, hybrid and remote learning more accessible for students with impairments.