High School Counselor Week

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


October 22, 2020


High School Counselor Week is on vacation
Publication will resume November 5th


Big Picture

COVID Upended the Traditional College Search. But Higher Ed Can Partner With Community Groups to Open Doors for Low-Income Students of Color
The 74 – October 20, 2020
Even without the traditional means of outreach, colleges can rely on an invaluable, yet unheralded asset to engage talented students nationwide: college access and success community-based organizations (CBOs), a collective of nonprofits devoted to widespread postsecondary access and attainment.

Hackers Smell Blood as Schools Grapple With Virtual Instruction
The Wall Street Journal – October 19, 2020
Tech staff struggle to ward off attacks, including ransom demands

Kaplan Survey: Colleges Give Themselves Mediocre Grades On Reopening Campuses During the COVID-19 Crisis
Odessa American – October 19, 2020
When evaluating how they reopened their campuses this fall amid coronavirus, most colleges and universities acknowledge that they have not earned high marks, according to a new Kaplan survey of admissions officers at over 300 institutions of higher learning across the United States

Pandemic has shaken colleges’ future enrollment prospects: survey
Education Dive – October 19, 2020
More than half of college enrollment officers said in a recent survey they expect the pandemic to significantly affect how they build their applicant pools going forward.

Columns and Blogs

The Two Phrases That Kill a College Application
Post – October 21, 2020
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

Don’t make these applications mistakes
Tribune News Service – October 21, 2020
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 

Researching whether a college will close
Post – October 12, 2020
The College Solution Blog with Lynn O’Shaughnessy 


‘Long time coming,’ Expert says pandemic sheds spotlight on the need for more counselors in Oklahoma schools
Oklahoma News 4 – October 20, 2020
From college prep and planning class schedules, to helping with social-emotional learning and mental health needs, school counselors have a lot on their plate. But that load could be lessened, pending approval of the State Board of Education’s proposed budget.

Conflicting Messages Exacerbate Student Detours on the Road to College
Education Week – October 20, 2020
It’s only October, but Dallas-based Sara Urquidez is one of the many college counselors nationwide who is already ‘very nervous’ about where her seniors will end up next fall.

JCPS reopening CARE Hotline helping those struggling with rent, paying bills, mental health and more
WAVE3 News (KY) – October 18, 2020
Jefferson County Public Schools is restarting its CARE Hotline to help connect families with needed resources and services, with a specific focus on counseling and mental health supports.

Strive for College Joins with College Board and CommonApp to Provide Virtual Mentoring to Millions of Underserved College Hopefuls
PR Newswire – October 19, 2020
New collaboration will integrate UStrive into student offerings to better support underserved high school students, as the pandemic drives unprecedented interest in virtual mentoring

Admissions Process & Strategy

Applying to College During Covid: What Parents and Students Should Know
The Wall Street Journal – October 18, 2020
Will schools be more generous or less with aid packages as they navigate the financial fallout of the pandemic? Is there more wiggle room to appeal an aid package? Are there still benefits to applying early? Will students who couldn’t take a standardized test miss out on merit aid?

Coronavirus pandemic may make it easier to get in to college, but not the Ivy League
CNBC – October 18, 2020
To secure next year’s class, colleges may admit more students, not less. However, the most selective schools will remain as competitive as ever.

Tips for selecting a college during a pandemic
St. Louis American (MO) – October 20, 2020
What a year to be thinking about choosing a college! A year of change has led to many adjustments in the typical ways that high school students determine which college is the best fit, and college counseling offices at high schools across the country are adapting to serve students and families.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

12 Financial Aid Questions To Ask Your College
Forbes – October 19, 2020
Each college may differ in how much financial aid it awards, the number of scholarships and grants it makes available just for first-year students, what it calls each type of financial aid and its financial aid appeals process.

Financial aid officials share how they’re advising college students now
Education Dive – October 15, 2020
We asked administrators how they are guiding students and families through a process made more complex by COVID-19.

Kids & money: Make FAFSA work for your family structure
Reading Eagle (PA) – October 18, 2020
Making mistakes about a student’s dependency status on the FAFSA can have costly consequences. Here are some guidelines to follow regarding blended families, those with divorced or unmarried parents and other familial situations.


Colleges can be covid-19 hotspots. Here’s how to talk to your kid about safety.
The Washington Post – October 19, 2020
Before dropping their teens off at college this year, many parents had a version of ‘the talk’ — except this one focused more on the coronavirus pandemic than sex.

Consumer Alert: How to protect your child from identity theft
WEAU News (WI) – October 18, 2020
Identity theft doesn’t just happen to adults. That’s according to consumer experts, who say parents can help protect their children’s private information online to prevent this from happening to them before they are adults.

Career & Technical Education

Groups argue selective admissions at vocational schools require fix
South Coast Today (MA) – October 19, 2020
A coalition of groups plans on Tuesday to publicly challenge the way public vocational-technical high schools rank prospective students, saying the method results in fewer admissions of African-American, Latinx, and English learner students as well as fewer students from low-income and working-class backgrounds.

New Report Shows Stunning Success of Apprenticeship Program as College Alternative
Foundation for Economic Education – October 20, 2020
The Federation for Manufacturing Education, an alternative apprenticeship program that works with community colleges and almost 400 employers across 13 states, boosted participant income by $45,000, research shows.

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Inside The Admissions Office

The Basics of College Admission: Part 3
Georgia Tech Admission Blog – October 13, 2020
Hear directly from my insightful and experienced colleagues about key elements of your college admission and application experience.


3 Ways to Succeed in Your AP Class
U.S. News & World Report – October 19, 2020
If you’re struggling academically in an Advanced Placement course, there’s still time to turn your grade around.

The Test Chasers: Parents Are Losing Their Minds Trying To Get Their Kid An ACT Or SAT Test In A Pandemic
Forbes – October 19, 2020
On October 10, my 17-year-old daughter Lexi, a high school senior, walked out of the Radisson Airport Hotel near Newark, New Jersey, with a disposable surgical mask snugly attached to her face. She had finally taken the ACT exam.

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)