High School Counselor Week

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


October 21, 2021

Big Picture

Most college students don’t graduate in four years, so college and the government count six years as ‘success’
The Hechinger Report – October 10, 2021
Colleges have gradually moved the finish line to give themselves credit for success if students graduate in six years — or even eight as reported on the government’s College Scorecard site. That more than half of students take longer than four years to earn a bachelor’s degree, ‘is just appalling.’ With more students earning college credit while in high school through Advanced Placement, dual enrollment and other programs, ‘the question we should be asking is why does it even take four years?’

Rising HS Dropout Rates & Declining Community College Enrollment Are Twin COVID Crises. How to Fix the Broken Education Pipeline
The 74 – October 18, 2021
The details are all too plain — the nation’s public schools lost more than 1.1 million students last year, or 2 percent…community colleges enrolled 476,000 fewer students, an 11.4 percent drop. As learning moved online, adolescents lost the support and stimulation of their peers, the discipline of extracurricular activities and, often, adult …

New effort to start COVID vaccination sites at schools on the way
Chalkbeat – October 20, 2021
Ahead of the expected authorization of the COVID vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, the Biden administration says the shots will be distributed to school-based clinics as well as pediatricians’ offices, pharmacies, and other sites. School-based clinics have already vaccinated many students 12 and up ; among children 12-17, polls found that about half had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Columns and Blogs

Transcript Frustration? Tell the Colleges
Post – October 21, 2021
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

Please don’t write like this…
Tribune News Service – October 21, 2021
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 


420,000 homeless kids went missing from schools’ rolls last year. They may never be found
The Hechinger Report – October 15, 2021
A week before school started, Mike Carr waited at the front desk of the only emergency youth shelter in his southern Utah county. Many of the methods usually used to find and enroll homeless kids — teacher referrals, in-person searches, visits to classrooms — were unavailable to homeless education liaisons like Carr last year. But even as most schools resume in-person instruction…

School counseling, job training the focus of latest violence-prevention effort in East Baton Rouge
The Advocate (LA) – October 13, 2021
In yet another year that’s seen record murder rates in the city-parish, the partnership among the BRPD, NAACP, YWCA and several other groups aims to reduce crime by providing high school students with job training, educational opportunities and counseling. The program is being piloted with ninth graders at Glen Oaks High School and…

Study correlates SROs with increased risk of school firearm discharges, disciplines, arrests
K-12 Dive – October 15, 2021
Research suggests school police don’t prevent school shootings or gun violence in schools, and worsen rates of suspension, expulsion, arrests and police referrals for Black students, as well as chronic absenteeism rates for students with disabilities.


Parent Plus Loans: How Much Debt Are Parents in and Can It Be Forgiven?
Yahoo! Finance – October 18, 2021
While a loan without a cap may seem appealing, there’s potential for parents to get into serious debt. 1 in 3 parents with federal parent PLUS loans say they wouldn’t have taken out the loan if they could do it all over again.

The Two Crucial Aspects of College Admissions that Parents Must Be Part Of
Grown & Flown – October 16, 2021
There are two areas, I would argue, where a role for parents — as well as for guardians, mentors, or other adults providing guidance to a young person —is not only appropriate but can also be critical.

Admissions Process & Strategy

Almost Free College – Only Pay When You Finish A Course: University Of The People
Forbes – October 18, 2021
You’d probably be surprised if I told you that there’s an accredited, degree-granting college today with more than 100,000 students from around the world that has no campus and no tuition. Yet at the University of the People, students pay an application fee of $60 and an assessment fee at the end of each course of $120 for an undergraduate course and $240 for a graduate level course. That’s it.

October is College Application Month!
Collegiate Parent – October 5, 2021
This month and next, high schools across the U.S. are sponsoring free College Application Week (or Month) events where students and families can get help with the application process. Many states offer an opportunity to apply for free to colleges and universities in the state. To find an event in your state…

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Everything to Know About Filling Out the CSS Profile
Money – October 12, 2021
there’s another financial aid form you may also need to fill out: the College Scholarship Service Profile. The CSS Profile is the application required to access institutional aid, including grants and scholarships, from about 230 colleges. Each year, the profile gives access to…

Free FAFSA Help: Here’s Where to Get Advice From College Aid Experts
Culpeper Star-Exponent (VA) – October 12, 2021
Every year, online forums are flooded with exasperated parents wondering how to answer questions on the FAFSA. Some are fairly straightforward, such as ‘can my student qualify as independent if we’re not paying for college?’ (Answer: No.) But many other questions revolve around an unusual domestic or financial situation, especially this year…

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Common FAFSA Mistakes

sponsored by Fastweb

Common FAFSA Mistakes
FAFSA mistakes can delay processing. Review these 10 common FAFSA mistakes and share with your students to support them as they complete their FAFSA.

Career & Technical Education

High schoolers are training to drive 18-wheelers amid a shortage of truck drivers
NPR – October 13, 2021
When thinking about the trucking industry, the first thing that comes to mind about its drivers is that they tend to be older — experts say the average trucker is 54 years old. But given the nationwide truck driver shortage, that’s changing. A high school in California is now training teens to enter the industry through its truck driving school program.

Why CTE?: Students find careers that give them purpose and allow them to earn a living
The Rogersville Review (TN) – October 16, 2021
When I was still a classroom teacher, I would often tell my students that there are two myths that permeated public education. Both are just as false today as they were then.


ACT Scores Fell During Pandemic
Inside Higher Ed – October 18, 2021
The scores have dropped every year of the last five — and this year’s drop was the largest. A total of 1,295,349 students took the ACT during the year, a decline of 375,000 students. Some of the other statistics released by ACT…

Coronavirus-Related Resources

Emergency Broadband Benefit
An FCC program providing a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households.

ASCA Toolkit: Virtual High School Counseling
American School Counselor Association

College Board Coronavirus Updates
College Board

AP Online Classes and Review Sessions
College Board on YouTube

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