High School Counselor Week

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


September 1, 2022

Big Picture

Back to School for K-12 students: Issues Ahead
US GAO WatchBlog – August 30, 2022
We’ve reported on these mounting challenges during the last couple years. Today’s WatchBlog post looks at our work on the issues students, educators, and schools are facing including pandemic learning loss, absenteeism, achievement at virtual charter schools, school redistricting, and bullying.

Dropouts Now Face a Steeper Climb to Earn a Diploma Post-Pandemic
Education Week – August 29, 2022
More than two years of academic and emotional disruptions during the pandemic have significantly increased both the number of students who dropped out of high school and the intensity of support needed to get them back on track.

Teachers say politicians, parents stressing them out
K-12 Dive – August 30, 2022
Parents and politicians are the top sources of ‘a lot of stress’ for teachers, according to survey data from Teachers Pay Teachers…The external pressures on educators from debates over teaching autonomy, curriculum restrictions and feelings of diminishing respect could impact whether school systems can successfully recruit and retain classroom leaders

These 4 charts explain emerging teacher shortage data
K-12 Dive – August 25, 2022
Recent research shows a teacher shortage hitting the South the hardest, but is the problem widespread? It’s difficult to know given the lack of comprehensive data, but a team of researchers recently began to gather nationwide data on raw counts of teacher vacancies by state.

Columns and Blogs

What’s New in College Admissions?
Post – August 31, 2022
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D.

Get going on that college essay
Post – August 31, 2022
College Advice & Timely Tips with Lee Bierer

CollegeData: Evaluating A College’s Financial Aid and Merit Scholarships
Post – July 2022
College Solution with Lynn O’Shaughnessy


Digital Self-Harm Linked to Dramatic Rise in Youth Suicide Attempts
Florida Atlantic University – August 30, 2022
Digital self-harm is defined as the online posting, sending or sharing of hurtful content about oneself anonymously. Since research is clear that traditional forms of self-harm (cutting, burning, hitting oneself) are linked to suicidal ideation and attempts, it stands to reason that youth who post cruel, embarrassing or threatening content about themselves do so for similar dysphoric or abnormal reasons. A recent study is the first to empirically demonstrate an association between digital self-harm and suicidality.

Stress tests: Schools seek mental and behavioral health solutions
Laramie Boomerang (WY) – August 27, 2022
Anxiety and stress levels are up for many students, parents, staff and teachers as they return to campuses and classrooms. Students and parents want to feel more empowered and in control over potential emergency situations. That is part of a much larger mental and behavioral component to addressing school violence, according to counselors and school safety experts across the country.

School counselors are a light for students in a dark time of school violence
KRCG (MO) – August 24, 2022
School counselors across mid-Missouri have worked to modify their plans to have more relaxed students who have a better handle on their mental and emotional health.


Why Parents Need To Chill Out About Their Kids Doing Extracurriculars
CafeMom – August 28, 2022
When it comes to talking about college admissions, it’s important to first understand a really essential truth: Most colleges admit most of their applicants. There are nearly 4,000 degree granting colleges and universities in the US and a majority of them admit at least 65% of the students who apply. Even for schools where every application is read by a person or committee, extracurriculars may not factor too much into the admissions decision. Some admissions counselors even intentionally give lower weight to extracurriculars in the process for equity reasons.

Demystifying the College-Going Process
Diverse Issues in Higher Education – August 25, 2022
Parents want to hear directly from colleges about the true cost of attendance. If institutions can improve their communication with families, they can help to close equity gaps in higher education. EAB’s survey found that Generation X parents have less wealth, more debt, are increasingly anxious, less trusting, and more transactional than parents of the past, and Black and Latinx families are the most concerned about finances.

Admissions Process & Strategy

12 Tips for Writing an Application Essay in 2022
LandonBuford.com – August 29, 2022
Students-to-be are requested to submit application essays to add a bit of personality to the whole process. These essays help admissions officers understand who they are dealing with and if an applicant really deserves a seat in the program. Of course, you can address professionals who can make your application outstanding. But you can also master this art by yourself and make your application essay stand out. All you need is to learn and follow a few tips…

26 Admission Questions You May Not Have Thought Of
College Parent Central – August 30, 2022
As most students try to evaluate the colleges on their list, what they really want to know is whether this school is the place that they will feel comfortable and at home. Will it provide the experiences that they need to reach their goals? Will they find their people and be able to experience the life they want to live? This may be harder to determine with standard answers.

Four steps to debt-free college advising
The Philadelphia Inquirer – August 30, 2022
President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan is a big down payment on economic opportunity for young Americans, but it is not enough. For the last 10 years, I have counseled hundreds of predominantly Black and Latino students in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware on college access. As impactful as I know the president’s action will be, there are some fundamental things that we can do right now as a society to address college financing before young people are shackled by onerous educational debt.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Pay attention to application deadlines for financial aid
Newberry Observer (SC) – August 30, 2022
As students make their plans for beginning or continuing their postsecondary education, they should try to get all the financial aid they can. To make sure they do so, they need to apply for that aid on a timely basis. Every scholarship or grant they receive will reduce their dependence on student loans.

What is a Pell Grant? Everything to know about this need-based financial aid
NJ.com – August 26, 2022
A Pell Grant is a type of federal financial aid that is need-based and more often than not does not need to be paid back. Here’s what you need to know about this highly desirable form of financial aid.

How to get the college degree without the debt
KSAT (TX) – August 30, 2022
College can be exorbitantly expensive, but some strategies can help you graduate with minimal or no debt.

Career & Technical Education

America’s Best and Worst Colleges for Vocational Certificates
Washington Monthly – August 28, 2022
We’ve put together these rankings, using Education Department data similar to what the department itself will draw on for its gainful employment calculations. We selected the 10 most common undergraduate certificate programs, then ranked the colleges that offer them by the median earnings of their students one year after graduation—which was 2019, the most recent earnings data available. For informational purposes, we also show the median student debt and debt-to-earnings ratio for each program.

New Poll From Third Way Shows Voters Want Accountability For Career Education Programs
Forbes – August 29, 2022
Most students head to college, hoping they will graduate and land a job earning more than if they had gone straight to work after high school. Unfortunately, over 1,700 career education programs leave their graduates earning less than the average income of a worker with a high school diploma.

Why Blue-Collar Work Can Give Gen Z A Fresh Competitive Advantage
Forbes – August 30, 2022
Little to no education debt, low barrier to entry and a great career that stretches their skills: blue collar fields are winning the hearts and minds of Gen Z.

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Inside The Admissions Office

Colleges LOVE Acronyms: Defining Acronyms in the College Search Process
Tufts Admissions Blog – July 26, 2022
Ah yes. Acronyms. When you scroll through any college website, any ‘how to apply to college’ guide, or seemingly helpful’ advice on how to navigate finding colleges that are good fits for you…walls of jumbled letters seem to appear before you. DI. EFC. ED. EA. REA. R1. FAFSA. The list goes on and on and on. So I’ve compiled a list of some of the acronyms you’ll come across…

What’s the best degree to get?
University of Nevada Reno – August 17, 2022
It’s one of the most common questions in college admissions. The truth is, it’s a difficult question to answer because everyone has a different perspective about what ‘best’ means. Read our summary of the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data and find out what role it can play in helping you find a major.

10 DOs and DON’Ts as you and your child navigate the College Admission Process
Emory University Admissions – August 22, 2022
For many students, their college choice is their first adult decision, and it can come with its challenges. Likewise, it can be difficult for parents to know how to guide their child without making decisions for them. Our advice—as counselors and parents—is to let your child drive, but you can be there to help coordinate the effort and provide support as a sounding board as needed.

Teen Health

‘Social exclusion’ is the most common form of school bullying — not violence
StudyFinds – August 29, 2022
The stereotypical bully usually threatens smaller classmates with physical violence, but researchers from the University of Missouri find the most common variety of bullying is actually much more subtle—’relational aggression’ bullying is a much more common issue. This variety of bullying usually involves socially excluding peers from group activities and/or spreading harmful rumors, and can wreak havoc on a young psyche, both emotionally and socially.

41% Of Teenagers Can’t Tell the Difference Between True and Fake Online Health Messages
Neuroscience News – August 29, 2022
The results highlight a need for better training of teenagers to navigate a world where fake health news is so widespread. Health mis- and disinformation are a serious public health concern, with an increased spread of fake health news on social media platforms in the last few years. Fake health news can lead to poor health choices, risk-taking behavior, and loss of trust in health authorities.

Teens view drugs and alcohol as less risky, but use is down
K-12 Dive – August 29, 2022
Today’s teens perceive alcohol and substance abuse as less risky than teens did in the past, even as there have been significant declines in alcohol and drug use among students in grades 9-12 since 2009, according to the School Health Profiles report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


High schools across the country launch first AP African American studies course
CNN – August 29, 2022
The College Board announced a pilot program in February, and courses began this month with the start of the school year. The first of its kind, the program will expand the following academic year to add additional schools and is expected to be available to all interested high schools in the 2024-25 school year

I am a high school senior. Please make me take the SATs.
NBC News – August 27, 2022
I never thought I would say these words but … please keep standardized testing for college admissions. Standardized tests help level the playing field for college admissions, particularly in the face of rampant grade inflation.