High School Counselor Week

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


October 10, 2019

Big Picture

51% of young Americans support tuition-free public college
CNBC Make It – October 2, 2019
With significant support among young voters, many believe it is time to start making free college a reality. Here’s how it might work

A new wrinkle in the college admissions process
Crain’s Chicago Business – October 7, 2019
Will a new data-driven tool that takes into account a student’s neighborhood help diversify college populations, or is it just one more factor in an overly complicated admissions process?

Ed Dept allots $71.6M to boost proactive school safety measures
Education Dive – October 9, 2019
The U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday announced $71.6 million in federal funding to improve school safety and student access to mental health resources.

The students disappearing fastest from American campuses? Middle-class ones
The Hechinger Report – October 2, 2019
Anxious about diversity and their bottom lines, more schools offer money to the middle

Will a Bachelor’s Degree Matter as Much for Gen Z?
Harvard Business Review – October 7, 2019
Underemployment and pathways to careers are increasingly pressing issues as colleges and universities haven’t come close to keeping up with the digital skills demanded by employers.

Columns and Blogs

ACT Announces Testing Changes. What They Mean to Counselors
Post – October 9, 2019
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D
PSAT – your intro to standardized testing for college
Tribune News Service – October 9, 2019
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 

Students vote ‘no confidence’ in college admissions
Post – October 9, 2019
The Explorations Blog with Nancy Griesemer


Guidance counselors evolve with Valley students’ experiences, needs
The Daily Item (PA) – October 5, 2019
Guidance counselors today come to their job with certain skill sets that they might not have had or needed 10, 20 years ago and that is because kids’ needs change over time

New California Laws Address College Admissions Scandal
CBS Sacramento – October 4, 2019
The laws tighten rules on when colleges can admit students who don’t meet standard eligibility requirements; require schools to tell the Legislature if they give preferential treatment to some applicants; and prevent people found guilty in the scandal from receiving tax benefits

Proposed laws would require counselor-to-student ratios in schools
The Daily Item – October 5, 2019
The Pennsylvania School Counselors Association is backing companion bills in the Pennsylvania House and Senate that would increase student access to school counselors, psychologists and social workers.


5 Tips for Parents Helping Teens With the College Search
Seattle Magazine – October 8, 2019
From his insider’s perch as a college counselor with more than 20 years of experience, Herrington and his team have developed a College Handbook with valuable recommendations. Here are his top five tips for caregivers helping with the college search.

7 Little Ways to Deal With the Emotional Roller Coaster That Is College
Self – October 4, 2019
As a psychiatrist on a college campus, I find that I’m only getting busier this time of year. It makes sense that fall brings up a lot of feelings like stress and anticipation of new beginnings for a lot of people—whether or not it’s their first year of college.

Facts for Families: Helping kids (and parents) adjust to college
Journal Gazette & Times Courier – October 5, 2019
Making new friends and living without family may be a real challenge, but parents need to know that they require that challenge and will usually survive to see dramatic growth.


The evolution of school counselors
WINK News – October 7, 2019
Historically, the term “guidance counselor” was used to refer to school counselors, but over the years those helping students through the academic and social world have taken on a larger role. Dr. Russ Sabella of Florida Gulf Coast University stopped by to explain.

Admissions Process & Strategy

Be prepared for upcoming deadlines
NewportRI.com – October 5, 2019
From early action to standardized test registration, deadlines are coming fast.

Fees, fees, more fees: It can cost $100 for each college you apply to this fall
North Jersey Record – October 3, 2019

The Strategy Behind Building Your College List
Forbes – October 3, 2019
Students mistakenly believe applying to countless universities puts them at an advantage, but in fact, it isn’t a smart application strategy. As you add more schools to your college list, you might be hurting your chances. A balanced college list is essential, but it is something that students struggle to build. So, what is the best strategy?

Why Make a College Application Resume?
Pleasanton Weekly – October 3, 2019
Many colleges recommend and some even require a resume of your activities and achievements in high school. Here are some tips for creating an effective one.

Career & Technical Education

7 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With Just a High School Degree
Money – October 3, 2019
It should be noted while you can hold these jobs without a college degree, that doesn’t mean you can get them right out of high school.

School Curriculums for Today’s Economy Consider Technical Education with Vocational Training
Milwaukee Independent – October 7, 2019
Unlike old-fashioned vocational education, high school-level Career and technical education (CTE) does not really prepare people for jobs directly after high school.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

2020 FAFSA questions: Do I need to register for the draft?
Chicago Tribune – October 3, 2019

Don’t Fear FAFSA, Make It Work For You
Forbes – October 2, 2019
There’s a lot of advice circulating about FAFSA strategies. Some might improve prospects for aid, but also may produce adverse consequences for family finances. In my work with families, here are questions I encounter most often:

How to get college scholarships: 6 tips for how and where to look
New Jersey Record – October 8, 2019
In interviews, counselors recommended that students narrow the search by checking family networks and online programs to find offers that fit their backgrounds and skills.

Money expert Dave Ramsey tells students: Skip the ‘dream’ college and go to school where you can afford
CNBC Make It – October 7, 2019
Only about 9% of students cited affordability as the most important element in choosing their school. That’s happening, in part, because parents, and society as a whole, are allowing students to “take a kid’s approach to an adult decision.”

Why the best time to apply for college financial aid is now
CNBC – October 4, 2019
Time is of the essence for applicants and state grants are finite. In more than a dozen states grants are first-come first-served until the dollars run out

Subscribe to our Weekly Emails

Inside The Admissions Office

5 Essay Writing Tips to Get You Through the Fall
Tufts Undergraduate Admissions
October 4, 2019

I’ve lost track of the number of application essays I’ve read – as an admissions officer and as a college counselor – but thankfully I have learned a few essay-writing lessons along the way.

Four Tips for Writing the UVA Application Essays
The UVA Admission Blog
October 8, 2019

There are so, so many people who have essay advice for you. Do you all even have time to read all that? I have four tips. Let’s get on with it…

Teen Health

Better Sleep Equals Better Grades in College
HealthDay News – October 7, 2019
The fact that there was a correlation between sleep and performance wasn’t surprising, but the extent of it was, said one researcher.

What we know about the US vaping illness outbreak
Daily Iowegian (IA) – October 3, 2019
U.S. health officials continue to look for patterns in the hundreds of serious lung injuries reported. What we know so far:


Students will soon be able to retake specific sections of the ACT
CNN – October 9, 2019

The option to retake a single section of the ACT isn’t the only change announced. Students will also be able to take the test online at test centers, and ACT will report a “superscore” for students who have taken the exam more than once.

ACT test changes could mean higher scores, especially for wealthy students
USA Today – October 8, 2019
The changes are meant to better serve students and spare them unnecessary time taking tests, said a vice president at ACT. She said the changes were not taken for the sake of being competitive with SAT or to increase the ACT’s market share.

Questioning their fairness, a record number of colleges stop requiring the SAT and ACT
The Hechinger Report – October 9, 2019
Results are mixed, but suggest that making these tests optional is improving diversity


Student with Disability Speaks Out Against Discrimination
Pepperdine Graphic – October 2, 2019
By speaking up, Mazen said she seeks to help people understand that not all disabilities look the same. She strives to change the fact that the word “disabled” inherently conjures up images of wheelchairs.

Students should not have to pay for their disabilities
The Daily Texan – October 3, 2019
For years, UT Parking and Transportation Services has put a price tag on accessibility for the disabled population — the most recent example being the new $300 D+ parking permit created this past summer.

College Visits

5 Things to Know About Planning College Visits
SheKnows – October 8, 2019
We consulted the experts to help make this next stage in your kid’s education go as smoothly as possible.

Open houses, visits affect college choice
Cleveland Jewish News – October 3, 2019
While you can search online or seek advice, students should not ignore firsthand experience. That’s where a college visit enters the picture.

Student Voices

Early AP registration deserves a one
The Talon – October 7, 2019
Isabella Borkovic is a student at Los Altos High School in CA
Virtually everybody except The College Board is against earlier registration deadlines. As a senior, this new change is especially infuriating.

I’m a legacy student, and I’m not ashamed
The Daily Pennsylvanian – October 6, 2019
Agatha Advincula is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania
Top universities and colleges like Penn consider legacy status because they understand the important role legacy plays in contributing to their brands. That said, legacy is just as closely tied with a school’s spirit and community as it is with its prestige.