High School Counselor Week

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


September 17, 2020

Big Picture

‘Life Is in Chaos’: How 13,000 High School Students Are Weathering the Pandemic
EdSurge – September 15, 2020
The pandemic has created enormous challenges for the 56 million K-12 students in the United States, but the heaviest burden has fallen on underserved minorities and learners whose family members have never attended college. That is the clearest takeaway from survey results…

Analysis finds CARES Act funding fell well short for many public colleges
The Hill – September 15, 2020
A new analysis finds that the majority of the country’s largest public college systems received significantly less coronavirus aid from the government than they needed, leading to massive budget shortfalls.

Cyberattacks Disrupt Learning Even More During COVID-19
Education Week – September 14, 2020
Just two weeks into the school year, the Rialto schools in California had to shut down virtual instruction for a week due to a malware attack. The malware attack also forced the 25,500-student district to collect–and fix–thousands of school-issued digital devices…

The latest crisis: Low-income students are dropping out of college this fall in alarming numbers
The Washington Post – September 16, 2020
The drop-off in college enrollment is unusual and particular to this pandemic – typically enrollment jumps during economic downturns. Trends so far show especially steep drops among Black students and rural White students who are facing multiple setbacks including financial and job losses, difficulty paying for college, a higher number of coronavirus cases in poor communicites, and inadequate internet access.

Columns and Blogs

It’s Really a Brand New Year
Post – September 16, 2020
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

Stray from the cliche
Tribune News Service – September 16, 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


How High School Students Feel About College After the Pandemic
EdTech – September 16, 2020
AdobeEducation surveyed 1,000 high school students and 250 high school college placement counselors to gauge their sentiments about school and their plans after graduation.

How the Common App, the College Advising Corps and an AI Chatbot Are Saving the College Dreams of Low-Income Students During the Pandemic
The 74 – September 15, 2020
Last spring, college adviser Anthony Scales took on some extra duties that put him on the front lines of an effort to rescue the college dreams of tens of thousands of students…

School Counselors Jesus Campos and Kristen Lee Help Students Cope During COVID-19 Crisis
Noozhawk – September 15, 2020
Key members of Santa Barbara’s education team are continuing their dedication to student support and help in a world of distance learning.

Tackling college applications during unprecedented times
Gaston Gazette (NC) – September 15, 2020
School guidance counselors and advisors from school districts across Eastern North Carolina are on the front line of helping guide them…but how they are making that connection this year may be a little different.


Fall Semester Means College Planning for Seniors and Parents
9&10 News (Northern MI) – September 14, 2020
The start of a new school year has many students doing online learning from home. But tackling a college plan still has to move forward.

Parents: Stop taking out parent loans for your kids’ college costs
Grand Island Independent – September 13, 2020
What parents don’t realize is the true cost they bear when they take on student debt. Parents who take on Parent PLUS Loans have precious few forgiveness options. And the PLUS loan program allows parents to borrow far more than they can comfortably — or ever — repay! Or if parents strip the equity in their home, or even co-sign for a loan…

Q&A: Families and Mental Health Issues in College
U.S. News & World Report – September 14, 2020
Two experts offer guidance to students and parents getting set for freshman year of college.


What to know before you apply for financial aid
during COVID-19

ABC23 Bakersfield, CA – September 15, 2020
The pandemic has already prompted many students to rethink their college plans, but on the financial front, there are some tips to consider. Justin Draeger, NASFAA President is featured.

Admissions Process & Strategy

5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic could affect your college application
The Conversation – September 16, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has intensified college application anxiety. I make this observation as an admissions dean who, as of late, has not just been answering emails and questions from parents…

6 Common College Admissions Myths
U.S. News & World Report – September 15, 2020
Get a feel for how much grades, tests and your resume really matter from those who review the applications.

How to Apply to College for Free
U.S. News & World Report – September 14, 2020
Free college applications can save qualifying families hundreds of dollars in costly fees.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Don’t Make These Common Errors On The FAFSA
Forbes – September 13, 2020
With more than 100 questions, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) presents families with many opportunities for mistakes that will affect the student’s eligibility for college financial aid. Here are 10 of the most common…

How Are Test Optional Colleges Handling Merit Scholarships?
Capstone Wealth Partners – September 11, 2020
Up until now, the vast majority of test optional colleges still required a score in order to award merit scholarship money…Not every college is awarding merit aid without an ACT or SAT test score, but many are…more than at any time before.

SAT score waived for UGA, other Georgia college admissions, but still required for scholarships
Online Athens (GA) – September 14, 2020
There are other reasons than admission for Georgia students to take one of the tests. A standardized test score is still a requirement to get some so-called ‘merit’ scholarships. It’s going to take action by the legislature and governor to fix the problem…


September and October 2020 ACT Test Center Cancellations and Rescheduled Test Centers
ACT.org – September/October 2020
Searchable table including test date, site name and location and test center code.

Difficult Day for the ACT
Inside Higher Ed – September 15, 2020
The college admission test was supposed to be given Saturday, but many testing centers were closed. ACT is not releasing numbers of canceled tests and has said that it hopes to have more tests given in hotels or conference centers to avoid the closures.

Admissions Without Tests
Inside Higher Ed – September 14, 2020
Test-blind (as opposed to test-optional) admissions is on the rise.

Combination of Limited College Admission Testing and ‘Test-Optional’ Policies Set off a Scramble
Education Next – September 14, 2020
The Covid-era mix is shaping up as a worst-case scenario from an equity perspective.

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Coronavirus-Related Resources

Live Updates: Latest News on Coronavirus and Higher Education
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

Shaping Your College List
Tufts Undergraduate Admission – September 4, 2020
We’re in the prime window for rising seniors to be finalizing college lists, narrowing down to roughly 8-10 institutions to which you’ll submit applications. For lots of students, list-making can be the most overwhelming, chaotic stage in the college search process, but I happen to think it’s the most fun…

College Rankings

College Raptor’s 2021 Best Colleges Rankings
College Raptor – August 26, 2020
In these various lists, we shine the spotlight on the best colleges and universities that the US has to offer. Many of the brand new lists are inspired by current events. We’ve divided these rankings into multiple handy categories, allowing students and their families to more easily find schools that fit with what they’re looking for

Niche 2021 Best Colleges
Niche – August 21, 2020
Explore college rankings based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of student and alumni reviews, and see how we calculate these rankings.

Princeton Review: The Best 386 Colleges 2021
The Princeton Review – August 18, 2020
For our 29th edition, we surveyed 143,000 students from across the country so we can tell you which college has the best food, best career services, happiest students, and more. Find out if your dream school made one of our 62 lists.

U.S. News Best Colleges
U.S. News & World Report – September 14, 2020
Expert advice, rankings and data to help you navigate your education journey and find the best college for you. As part of its updated methodology, we considered numerous factors including ones directly connected to COVID-19.

Washington Monthly 2020 College Rankings
Washington Monthly – August 31, 2020
The Washington Monthly magazine today released its 2020 College Guide and Rankings, the socially conscious alternative to U.S. News & World Report. While U.S. News rewards colleges and universities for their wealth, exclusivity, and prestige, the Monthly ranks them on how well they serve the country as a whole…

World University Rankings 2021
Times Higher Eduation – September 2, 2020
THE World University Rankings 2021 include more than 1,500 universities across 93 countries and regions, making them the largest and most diverse university rankings to date. The table is based on 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators that measure an institution’s performance across four areas: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.