High School Counselor Week

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


September 10, 2020

Big Picture

Back to School or Back to Remote Learning? Depends on Where You Live.
EdSurge – September 4, 2020
It’s back-to-school season. But with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging in the U.S., classes are shaping up to look very different this year. For starters, many students won’t actually go into a school building. Instead, they will participate in fully remote instruction.

Computer glitches disrupt classes as schools return online
AP News – September 9, 2020
Students across the U.S. ran into computer glitches Tuesday as they began the school year with online instruction at home because of the coronavirus, adding to the list of problems that have thrust many a harried parent into the role of teacher’s aide and tech support person.

‘Shame and blame’: Are college COVID-19 cases the fault of campuses full of reckless partiers? Experts, students say no
USA Today – August 31, 2020
Though sizable student gatherings have spawned COVID-19 outbreaks on campuses nationwide, experts said chastising students for socializing is harmful, ineffective and fails to consider students’ developmental needs.

In nationwide ruling, judge blocks DeVos rule on aid to private schools
Chalkbeat – September 8, 2020
A federal judge has voided a controversial rule created by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that would have effectively directed more coronavirus relief dollars to private schools. The ruling applies nationwide.

Columns and Blogs

Key Questions to Ask Your College Reps
Post – September 9, 2020
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

Freshman survival skills – beyond Covid
Tribune News Service – September 9, 2020
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 

How to take advantage of college admission changes during COVID-19
Post – September 7, 2020
The College Solution Blog with Lynn O’Shaughnessy

Resumes may be more valuable than ever for students without test scores
Post – September 4, 2020
The Explorations Blog with Nancy Griesemer


ASCA Back-to-School Resources
American School Counseling Association – September 1, 2020
As schools begin reentry and/or virtual learning, school counselors will face unprecedented challenges. As student advocates, school counselors have an important voice to add to these discussions as the school year begins. Below you’ll find resources and information to help you as you navigate this new terrain.

New state of mind for East County counselors
YourObserver.com (FL) – September 9, 2020
School counselors face more challenges as a result of COVID-19

Pandemic worries elevating anxiety levels, especially among students, educators say
WDRB.com (KY) – September 9, 2020
Many people are feeling stressed, and Suicide Prevention Week, which runs through Saturday, is focusing on students and young adults.

Don’t take away our students’ mental health counseling, cash-strapped N.J. district pleads
NJ.com – September 7, 2020
As part of Murphy’s latest state budget proposal, the School-Based Youth Services Program, which serves 100 New Jersey school districts, is on the list for elimination. It represents a budget savings of $11 million – and is the price needed to keep the program afloat for the remainder of the fiscal year.


It’s Not Funny: How To Talk With Kids About Online Meanness and Cyberbullying
Children and Screens – September 3, 2020
Cyberbullying is a relatively new phenomenon in the scheme of things, and parents who didn’t grow up with it may underestimate the effects it can have on children, including anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, poor academic performance, and impaired physical health. Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development has brought together an interdisciplinary group…

Keep your kids safe online: All you need to know about internet safety at school and home
Allconnect Blog – September 9, 2020
Knowledge of internet filtering settings and state laws is the first step to keeping your kids safe on the internet.

Admissions Process & Strategy

College Admissions Flex Amid COVID-19
Richmond Magazine (VA) – September 8, 2020
The pandemic changes the college application process as admissions leaders encourage students to pursue dreams and tell their stories

When and when not to submit test scores in applying to college
Austin Statesman (TX) – September 7, 2020
Joining the revolving door of changes coming at you in response to COVID-19, colleges and universities are now test-optional, test-blind, test-flexible or still requiring standardized tests for admissions. But what does that even mean and how can it impact your chances at gaining admissions?

The coronavirus may change college admissions forever
The Virginian-Pilot – September 8, 2020
In the context of a pandemic that has killed about 190,000 Americans and economically devastated many millions more, getting into the college of your dreams is a boutique concern. But for many teenagers who have organized their school years around that goal, it’s everything. And it’s going to be different this admission season. It may well be different forevermore.

Boost by Kaplan Teams Up with Find Your Grind to Inspire and Help Pre-College Students Chart their Education and Career Paths
BusinessWire – August 17, 2020
With data showing that 30% of undergrads change their major at least once within three years of initial enrollment, Boost seeks to help bridge the gap between the college experience and career readiness. Find Your Grind’s virtual mentorship program allows Boost students to learn from professionals who’ve…

Financial Aid/Scholarships

How COVID-19 May Impact Applying for Financial Aid
Lifehacker – September 8, 2020
Your financial aid forms for the 2021 to 2022 academic year will consider your family’s income from 2019. If your income has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, you may need to ask for an awards adjustment.

5 things high school seniors should do now to help win scholarships
KTRK-TV Houston (TX) – September 8, 2020
With so much uncertainty about how the school year will play out during the COVID-19 pandemic, some high school seniors are wondering what can be done about college scholarships.

Reasons why you could be denied a federal student loan
Fox Business – September 8, 2020
Yes, you can be denied a federal student loan for many reasons. It’s a common misconception that completing a FAFSA loan application means you’ll automatically get approved for federal student loans. In reality, not everyone is eligible.

The Secret World Of Paying A Cosigner For Your Student Loans
Forbes – September 8, 2020
There’s nothing illegal about paying someone to cosign on student loans, but there are risks for both the initial borrower and the cosigner to consider. There are also alternatives when it comes to borrowing money for school that …


Back-to-School Resolutions for At-Home ACT Testing
U.S. News & World Report – September 7, 2020
Just as the College Board announced its plans to cancel the creation of an at-home SAT, the ACT publicized that it would be moving forward with such a testing arrangement. Commit to doing these three things to prepare for the launch of an online, at-home ACT.

Many California high school seniors still want to take SAT/ACT even though they are optional at many colleges
EdSource – September 8, 2020
While many dates to take the SAT or ACT in the past few months have been canceled due to the pandemic, those students still hope to take the exams this fall on testing dates that do not get eliminated by health restrictions. Counselors, however, are urging them to calm down.

When Algorithms Give Real Students Imaginary Grades
New York Times – September 8, 2020
In-person final International Baccalaureate exams were canceled for thousands of students this spring, so computers stepped in — to disastrous effect.

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Coronavirus-Related Resources

Live Updates: Latest News on Coronavirus and Higher Education
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Live Coronavirus Updates: Here’s the Latest
Inside Higher Ed

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)

Inside The Admissions Office

10 Pieces of essential admissions lingo… and what you need to know about them
Tufts Undergraduate Admission – September 4, 2020
I’ll be the first to admit it: college admissions can be a little buzzword-y sometimes. When I was in high school, I remember internally groaning as I heard admissions officers spew what felt like the same words over and over…

Our Top Ten Application Tips for 2020
Tulane University Admission Blog – September 2, 2020
One thing you can always count on us for at Tulane is transparency. We believe there should be no ‘secrets’ in the college application journey.

The Basics of College Admission
Georgia Tech Admission Blog – September 2, 2020
Each summer we host a program for faculty, staff, and friends of Georgia Tech who have kids in high school. This has come to be known as ‘Admission 101.’

Teen Health

American Academy of Sleep Medicine Organizes First-Ever Student Sleep Health Week
Tyler Morning Telegraph (TX) – September 8, 2020
One of the best ways students can prepare for success this school year is to commit to getting the healthy sleep they need to learn, function and grow. Yet, more than half of parents (57%) with school-age children say that they have a child or teen who does not get enough sleep on school nights…

College Quarantine Breakdowns Leave Some at Risk
New York Times – September 9, 2020
Colleges are trying to isolate students who have the coronavirus or have been exposed to it, but they are running into a host of problems.