High School Counselor Week

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


September 24, 2020

Big Picture

New Dashboard Tracks Coronavirus Cases In Schools Across 47 States
NPR – September 23, 2020
A new national effort asks K-12 schools to voluntarily — and anonymously — report their confirmed and suspected coronavirus cases, along with the safety strategies they’re using. The COVID-19 School Response Dashboard was created with the help of several national education organizations.

Study: Schools still struggle with distance learning, but key solutions are emerging
Education Dive – September 23, 2020
As education leaders grapple with distance learning and reopening schools safely, common best practices are becoming part of the strategy. Maintaining connections and supporting students’ social-emotional needs is a top priority for many administrators

2020 Survey of Admissions Leaders: A Mess of a Year
Inside Higher Ed – September 21, 2020
The process of building a class to educate has never been easy. In recent years, community colleges and nonelite liberal arts colleges have had great difficulties. But this year…

Top colleges should grow, rather than crow about rejecting nearly everyone
The Washington Post – September 19, 2020
Even the most prestigious — and thus the most rigid — institutions of higher learning might consider serious reform to get back on their feet.

Columns and Blogs

Is College Worth It?
Post – September 23, 2020
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

Why is the “Why Us?” such an important essay?
Tribune News Service – September 23, 2020
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 


Free program provides college counseling for high schoolers, resources for educators
Altoona Mirror (PA) – September 19, 2020
Runway is designed to provide the resources that underclassmen need to move forward on their college planning journeys through videos, guides and monthly newsletters with reminders for important deadlines. The course keeps things focused and simple, with college counselors mapping out every step of…

Guidebook, online seminars demystify college application process
WINK News (FL) – September 22, 2020
A former guidance counselor is breaking down college applications into a simple step-by-step process. Dr. Amanda Sterk’s book College UnMazed has guided families through…

Johnson City school counselors only a call away for students, families
Johnson City Press (TN) – September 20, 2020
Counselors are continuing to find unique ways to connect with their students and families. They have made home visits, held counseling sessions on front porches, participated in Zoom calls; and counselors are also going into the community…


Amid Educational Upheaval, Many Parents Wonder: Should I Still Plan to Save for College?
BusinessWire – September 22, 2020
Despite Concerns about COVID-19 and Distance Learning, Most Parents Agree College is Still Worth the Cost

College Alternatives 2020: Can You Use A 529 for a Gap Year?
Your Teen Media – September 21, 2020
This summer, my school district’s online mom group was flooded with posts seeking advice on what teens should do about college: Take a year off? Study closer to home? Many parents had opinions: ‘Don’t do it! They’ll never go back!’ they’d say.


University of Washington provides inside look on admissions process to be ‘transparent’
KING5 Seattle, WA – September 20, 2020
College admissions are often a process kept behind closed doors, but the UW wants to be a transparent example of how a public university builds its class.

Admissions Process & Strategy

Facing a New School Year With Less Stress During a Pandemic
NACAC Admitted Blog – September 18, 2020
As a former high school counselor, I know the start of a new school year is exciting. The journey toward college and the future can, however, cause some apprehension under the best of circumstances…

The college search and the coronavirus
Sudbury Town Crier (MA) – September 22, 2020
What’s the same, what’s different about applying to college in the fall of 2020?

You Paid A Ton For College, But The Campus Is Off-Limits? Here’s A Better Idea
Forbes – September 20, 2020
A four-year college costs a lot of money to attend. And many won’t even let you on campus. Are there alternatives? Rick Kahler, president of Kahler Financial Group in Rapid City, SD, and his college-age son found out that there are

Financial Aid/Scholarships

5 Benefits of Federal Student Loans Over Private Loans
Credible.com – September 21, 2020
Some of the benefits of federal student loans include access to income-driven repayment options and student loan forgiveness programs.

How to Pay for College Using Overlooked Strategies
U.S. News & World Report – September 21, 2020
Students might not be aware of these strategies to pay for college, including options created in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Senators push bipartisan plan to ‘finish fixing’ the FAFSA
WWLP News, MA – September 17, 2020
Twenty million families fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid every year, but lawmakers say many others give up because the form is too complicated. Members of the Senate education committee have been working for years to change the application. Proposed further changes include reducing the form to 30 questions, streamlining the financial data verification process, and allowing those who are not in touch with a parent to apply as independent students.


More Bad News for the SAT
Inside Higher Ed – September 23, 2020
Hundreds of thousands of students who registered to take the exam in September or October will be unable to take it.

SAT test centers cancel dates, frustrating students and parents
WTOP News (DC Region) – September 22, 2020
According to the College Board, test centers have closed or rescheduled at the last minute in some cases, which has made rescheduling difficult for students.

What to Weigh Before Dropping an AP Class
U.S. News & World Report – September 21, 2020
Withdrawing from an AP course is a decision that should not be made lightly. Consider these three factors.

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Coronavirus-Related Resources

• New • COVID-19 School Response Dashboard
Maps schools’ responses to the pandemic across the United States (data submission voluntary)

Live Updates: Latest News on Coronavirus and Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed

Live Coronavirus Updates: Here’s the Latest
The Chronicle of Higher Education

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

Does Your Application Need to Show a Spike?
University of Virginia Admissions – September 10, 2020
What does “spike” mean to you? If you’ve been spending time on websites where college admission advice is given out in the last few years, you’ve probably seen it used…This idea didn’t come out of admission offices.

Understanding the Ins and Outs of Financial Aid
Southwestern University – September 23, 2020
Looking for tips on how to pay for college, especially in the year of COVID-19? We’ve rounded up our suggestions for students and their families.

What Are We Looking for in an Applicant?
Tulane University Admission Blog – September 22, 2020
I’ve said this before many times; we never want for our applicants to participate in specific activities, write about essay topics or in general just do specific things because they think its what colleges ‘want to see.’ There is almost nothing, literally, in this entire process that every university you are applying to is searching for in your application…

The Basics of College Admission: Part 2
Georgia Tech Admission Blog – September 22, 2020
I hope you are hungry and have a big spoon because these three episodes are filled with nutrients to sustain you through your admission experience.

Teen Health

Decreasing Funding for Health?
Inside Higher Ed – September 22, 2020
New survey data from the American College Health Association suggest colleges are decreasing their funding to health services, keeping residence halls open and varying widely with regard to testing.


College Students With Disabilities at Higher Risk of Drug Abuse: Study
The College Post – September 21, 2020
College students with physical and cognitive disabilities use illicit drugs at significantly higher levels than their non-disabled peers, a study by Rutgers University has found. They were also more likely to be current marijuana and cocaine users and to have tried heroin.

Students with disabilities have unique needs, should not be short-changed during pandemic
NC Policy Watch – September 21, 2020
For many parents and caregivers, seeing their child struggle through virtual learning can be both frustrating and heartbreaking. However, for those with children who have disabilities, they may also be witnessing a violation of their child’s civil and educational rights.