High School Counselor Week

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


October 7, 2021

Big Picture

Facing Covid vaccine mandates, some students withdraw from college
CNBC – October 3, 2021
In order to safeguard in-person learning, hundreds of colleges said Covid vaccines are mandatory for fall 2021. Not all students accepted this.

The Justice Department will address threats against school officials and staff
NPR – October 5, 2021
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has directed federal authorities to meet with local law enforcement over the next month to discuss strategies for addressing the increase in ‘harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school board members, teachers and workers’ in public schools across the country.

From Google ads to NFL sponsorships: Colleges throw billions at marketing themselves to attract students
The Hechinger Report – October 1, 2021
Spending on marketing by universities and colleges is hard to track; it’s often spread among many departments, including student recruiting, athletics and fundraising, and not required to be disclosed. One survey, however, found that institutions spend between $429 and $623 per enrolled student, per year, on marketing.

Columns and Blogs

Think Paying for College, Not FAFSA
Post – October 6, 2021
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

Application Don’ts
Tribune News Service – October 6, 2021
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 


Broward Schools couldn’t find enough counselors. The district started training its own
WLRN News Miami (FL) – October 4, 2021
A $2 million federal grant is supporting an internship program aimed at creating a pipeline of mental health providers for schools.

This high school faced adversity with creativity and increased their FAFSA completion by 11%. Here’s how they did it.
EdNC – October 4, 2021
Repetition is key to success, according to 12th grade school counselor Leslie Rucker. Many of the students Rucker worked with were hit particularly hard economically by the pandemic. And according to college advisor Rose Botaish, staying on top of…

Kids reporting depression, suicidal thoughts, say school counselors
Kentucky Today – October 6, 2021
The pandemic has had a large negative effect on student mental health, school counselors told members of a General Assembly Committee. Noted one counselor, ‘I’m sad to report that, like the national statistic, the number of suicide threats at my own school has skyrocketed since COVID.’


How can you make your college application stand out?
WBTV Charlotte (NC) – October 4, 2021

The last 18 months have turned the college application process on its head. A lot of opportunities to stand out have been hard to come by, so what can set your college application apart? Casey Near from Collegewise says it’s all about getting creative. [transcript included]


Getting a head start on saving for your child’s college education
WFSB News 3 (CT) – October 4, 2021
It’s no secret that college costs a lot of money. Those costs were already scrutinized, but the pandemic has forced many families to take an even deeper look into their child’s future education.

Admissions Process & Strategy

Here are the 5 most valuable — and 5 least valuable — college majors
CNBC – October 4, 2021
If you are looking to get the best return on your investment in a college degree, you may want to consider a major in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. In fact, the most valuable major is…

Another record year for college applications? Please, no
Yahoo! News – October 4, 2021
With the first round of college admissions deadlines days away, my advice for this year’s high school seniors is simple: Apply to fewer colleges. It will benefit you and every other student applying.

The College Tour Now Available On Amazon’s IMDb TV
Cision PR Newswire – October 5, 2021
Each episode of The College Tour highlights a college or university through the eyes of its students, faculty and alumni, providing prospective students with an intimate look at life on campus beyond what is written in brochures or websites. It is now available on free IMDb, as well as across The College Tour platform including its mobile app and website.


How important is it to take AP classes for college admissions?
Today Show – October 4, 2021
It’s the most common question college admissions counselors get: Is it better to take a standard or honors class and get an A, or take an AP class and get a B?

Top 10 Resources for Free SAT Prep
BestCollege.com – October 4, 2021
You don’t have to blow your budget on SAT prep books and tutors to get a great score. You can find several helpful — and totally free — resources online to help you study for the exam

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Big changes to financial aid and college savings plans
KARE 11 (MN) – October 5, 2021
Four big changes are coming to the way parents and students apply for financial aid and save for college.

Students miss out on billions in college aid due to these 4 common FAFSA misconceptions
CNBC – October 5, 2021
The idea that runs rampant, that ‘The FAFSA won’t help me,’ or ‘The FAFSA’s not for me, that’s for other families’. That idea is grounded in falsehood. Here are four of the most common misconceptions about the FAFSA

As FAFSA Completion Rate Declines, Students Could Lose Out On More Than Financial Aid
Forbes – October 5, 2021
If you don’t fill it out, you could lose out on potential grants, scholarships and low-interest federal student loans. Even more troubling, research shows that high school students who don’t complete the FAFSA are less likely to enroll in college altogether.

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Inside The Admissions Office

Do I Need Four Years of a Foreign Language?
Tufts Admissions Blog – October 3, 2021
As you have been researching potential colleges lately, I’m sure you’ve come across a handful of confusing distinctions. This quick guide should hopefully give you a better understanding of your situation regarding your plans for the future, but it’s not a replacement for a conversation with a school counselor or teacher.


Special ed questions on charter school apps violate federal law, complaints allege
Chalkbeat – October 5, 2021
The complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights identify 29 Colorado charter schools that ask a question about disability status in their application. The federal office has opened investigations into all of them.

Coronavirus-Related Resources

Emergency Broadband Benefit
An FCC program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Provides 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