High School Counselor Week

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


September 28, 2023

Big Picture

Real or hoax? Intention of 40% of school shooting threats unknown
K-12 Dive – September 20, 2023
New research could be a starting point to develop best practices for schools to respond to threats and prevent campus violence, study’s co-author says. Although there has been research about school shootings and behavioral threat assessments, this publicly available study is the first empirical review of school shooting threats

How to Increase Socioeconomic Diversity at the Ivies
Inside Higher Ed – September 19, 2023
A new report says a 5 percent increase in low-income students admitted would result in more socioeconomic diversity among Ivy League students.

Columns and Blogs

Remembering Deren Finks
Post – September 27, 2023
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D.

Making the best use of teacher workdays
Post – September 20, 2023
College Advice & Timely Tips with Lee Bierer


With fewer school counselors, Black kids pay emotional price
New York Amsterdam News – September 21, 2023
Every day across the United States, students look forward to seeing one particular person when they walk into school. It’s not a classmate or a teacher, but rather, their school counselor—the one person they feel truly hears, protects, and values them during the time they spend on campus. But when that counselor has potentially hundreds of students assigned to them, it’s tough to check in with each and every student about their individual emotional well-being and mental health. That’s why in July, at the ASCA annual conference, both the progress made in decreasing the student-to-counselor ratio, as well as the work that still has to be done, were on the agenda. In addition, the conference also looked to explore why schools attended primarily by white students show the most improvement when it comes to these statistics.

It’s More Important Than Ever To Tell High School Seniors Why You Applied — And Help Them Apply, Too
Forbes – September 22, 2023
When schools in nearly every state and the District of Columbia host American College Application Campaign (ACAC) events, hundreds of thousands of students will apply. These school-based events help students begin and complete the college application process. Today, our #WhyApply Day kicks off the season of college application activities. #WhyApply encourages more students to apply to college, particularly those students who often face systemic barriers to access and opportunity, including students from low-income families and those who would be the first in their families to attend college. #WhyApply inspires students to express their ambitions and to think introspectively while providing educators, mentors, family members, and those who support students with a conversation starter about why they applied to college.

As student mental health needs leap, schools seek a next generation of counselors
MPR News (MN) – September 25, 2023
Student mental health problems have become chronic in the COVID-19 era with school disruptions and family illnesses taking a toll. It’s not possible to reach all the kids who need help. Hoping to ease some of those pressures, the Bemidji school district and 17 others across Minnesota and North Dakota are working with Minnesota State University Moorhead to get more counselors and psychologists in schools. Those involved in the effort say it’s showing promise. With a five-year, nearly $7 million federal grant, the university hoped to recruit 26 counseling candidates in the first year; 42 signed up. So far this year, it’s placed 20 counseling students in 17 schools across 13 districts.


How to Protect the Teens You Love From Diet Culture BS
Self – September 22, 2023
The physical changes that go down during adolescence can do a number on a person’s self-perception. So when you add the fact that teenagers are also steeped in diet culture—which dictates that thin bodies are better than fat ones and that food is something to be feared and controlled—their body image becomes all the more fragile. It’s no surprise, then, that it can be really, really difficult for teens to nourish themselves without guilt and feel comfortable in their own skin.

Teens May Consider Suicide More Than Parents Realize: Doctor Shares How to Help
Iredell Health System (NC) – September 25, 2023
According to a study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, half of parents don’t know their child has had thoughts about suicide, and three in four parents are unaware of their child’s thoughts of death and dying. There can be several reasons for this disconnect, including lack of communication, the stigma around mental health issues, developmental factors, and online and peer influence, to name a few.


College hopefuls face changing admissions landscape after Supreme Court ruling
PBS News Weekend – September 23, 2023
This fall is the first college application season in which schools are prohibited from considering race and ethnicity when making admissions decisions, after June’s landmark Supreme Court ruling. Sandy Baum, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute’s Center on Education Data and Policy, joins us to discuss how this affects college-bound students and their families.


Admissions Process & Strategy

It Is Time To Change Math Requirements In College Admissions
Forbes – September 24, 2023
Why are so many elite colleges expecting their applicants to take calculus? Because they can. Admissions rates at the most selective colleges, averaging around 20% in 1980 are now in the low single digits. These colleges have raised the bar to such a high level for minimum consideration as an easy way to cull the applicant pool. But is the expectation of calculus helping them to admit students prepared for the 21st century?

Students Know What They’re Looking for Online. Are Colleges Delivering What They Want?
EdSurge – September 21, 2023
in the last couple of decades, since the introduction of online instruction in higher ed, students now expect a much wider range of options — a collection of novel approaches, inconceivable before the digital revolution, including participating online in breakout rooms, joining online study groups, watching recordings of class sessions posted later for study and reflection, and more. But are colleges paying attention to what online students want most? Are virtual classes delivering what they expect?

What are legacy admissions — and do colleges need them?
CNN – September 25, 2023
Legacy college admission is an advantage given at birth, in which the children of a school’s alumni receive special consideration in the college admissions rat race. But after the US Supreme Court overturned race-based admissions over the summer, attention toward this already criticized practice intensified. In 2022, Eighty-nine percent of college admissions directors did not support the use of legacy admits, and three-quarters of public colleges and universities didn’t even provide a legacy preference. The American public also isn’t in favor of the practice.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Over 360 colleges agree to common standards for financial aid offers
Higher Ed Dive – September 26, 2023
The commitment, announced Tuesday, was devised by the College Cost Transparency Initiative, a task force created last year by 10 higher education associations including the American Council on Education. The coalition has been attempting to influence colleges’ financial aid practices, urging them to ensure their offers are easily understood. Overly complex and opaque financial aid letters are a perennial issue in higher education. More than 360 colleges have agreed to a set of standards to use in sending out financial aid offers, a step to demystifying an often confusing process for students and families.

What You Need to Know About College Tuition Costs
U.S. News & World Report – September 20, 2023
The cost of college might seem less expensive at state schools, but sticker prices can be deceiving. Many higher education experts recommend that prospective students look beyond published prices, since the tuition listed may not be the actual amount they’ll pay after financial aid and institutional grants. For college-bound students and their families, here’s what to know about tuition costs.

Career & Technical Education

Why Wait To Graduate? Georgia Apprentices Start Training As Sophomores
The 74 – September 26, 2023
Most 14 year olds in the U.S. are picking what classes to take as high school sophomores this time of year. Walker Reese was picking the company where he wanted to launch his career. Reese, now 19, had a huge head start on his career through a groundbreaking program: The German-inspired Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training starts students as apprentices sophomore year, likely the youngest members of any apprentice program in the U.S.

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Inside The Admissions Office

The College Application is NOT a Form. It’s YOUR STORY!
Georgia Tech Admission Blog – September 21, 2023
Over the years, I have tried to shine a light on what people often misunderstand in the college admission experience. This has ranged from explorations of waitlists to examinations of deadlines to explications of supply and demand and institutional missions. Recently, I have also come to appreciate the massive disconnect between how students approach and complete the application and how it is actually read in admission offices…If you view the application as a story, it will change the entire way you approach applying to college.

Teen Health

Homeless and suspended
Chalkbeat – September 27, 2023
Federal education law explicitly seeks to help homeless children and youth stay in school, in the hopes academic opportunity will allow them to break the cycle of housing instability. Taking them out of class could worsen their chances of success. And California, which has the third-highest rate of student homelessness in the country, is not the only state where available data suggests children and youth without stable housing are more likely to experience discipline.

Girls are in a mental health crisis. A program in some Kansas City schools could help
KCUR Kansas City – September 21, 2023
Two schools in the Hickman Mills district are participating in a national program that provides counseling and clinical mentoring to girls who have experienced traumatic stress. The education nonprofit Youth Guidance launched the program Working on Womanhood — or WOW — in 11 Chicago public high schools in 2011. The school-based counseling and mentoring program was developed by Black and Latina women to help girls in their community who experienced high levels of trauma but received little mental health support.


Testing executives, including College Board, talk future of admissions exams
Higher Ed Dive – September 26, 2023
Three top executives from major testing organizations — ACT, College Board and ETS — spoke at NACAC, acknowledging the shift in many institutions no longer mandating the SAT and ACT.

When to Take the SAT, ACT
U.S. News & World Report – September 25, 2023
Experts suggest not waiting until senior year to take the SAT or ACT for the first time.