High School Counselor Week

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


September 30, 2021

Big Picture

Stress and short tempers: Schools struggle with behavior as students return
Chalkbeat – September 27, 2021
Alyssa Rodriguez expected a rocky readjustment this school year. The Chicago social worker figured she’d see more students who felt anxious, frustrated by their schoolwork, or disoriented by unfamiliar routines. A month into school, she says she underestimated the challenge ahead…

Tutors wanted: Inside the nationwide sprint to build big new programs to catch students up
Chalkbeat – September 27, 2021
Several states and many school districts are launching massive tutoring programs of their own with coronavirus relief money. The idea is not just sporadic after-school homework help, but tutors working with small groups of students, during the school day, two or three times a week…

Congressman Kim Introduces Bipartisan Bills to Improve Transparency in Student Financial Aid
Insider NJ – September 28, 2021
The Helping Students Plan for College Act addresses the practice of scholarship displacement, which occurs when schools reduce a student’s aid award when they receive an outside scholarship. The FLAT Act addresses the practice of financial aid ’front-loading’…

Columns and Blogs

The Media is Not a College Applicant’s Best Friend
Post – September 29, 2021
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.
Should you bother to fill out the FAFSA?
Tribune News Service – September 29, 2021
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 


How Are Missouri’s School Counselors Holding Up During The Pandemic?
MissouriNet – September 28, 2021
A representative of the Missouri School Counselor Association notes, ‘Personally, I’ve been asked to do more presentations to staff on staff wellness than I’ve had to do on student wellness. I think that’s very telling…’

Connecticut schools need counselors, not cops
CT Mirror – September 28, 2021
We live in a world where harsh disciplinary practices for our children are prioritized more than their education and well-being. Unfortunately, this rings true for tens of thousands of children in Connecticut and millions across America.

UB conference to address how bystanders can stand up to bullying, harassment and assault
University of Buffalo, NY News Center – September 28, 2021
What should you do when you witness bullying or harassment? The UB Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention will explore what actions you may take and more during its 10th annual conference, to be held virtually this year.


Applying For College Is Stressful, Here Are Some Tips For Standing Out
Moms – September 28, 2021
Schools get many more applicants per year than they have space so catching their eye is so important. Your teenager will have to do some hard work but the end result can reap benefits for decades. Here are a few tips to help your teenager’s college application stand out.

Admissions Process & Strategy

How important are class grades in college admissions? Experts weigh in
Today Show – September 28, 2021
The answer is simple… well, kind of.

The College Admissions ‘Melt’ Down
NPR (LISTEN) – September 27, 2021
On today’s show, we visit the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where the school has found itself with too many students. The Hechinger Report’s Jon Marcus explains why ‘melt’ has been so much harder to figure out in recent years. [full transcript available at https://www.npr.org/transcripts/1041011021]

The newly unpredictable calculus of who gets into college
The Hechinger Report – September 28, 2021
Colleges try to adapt to a new game in which applicants hold more of the cards


AP English Language Free-Response Questions Prep
U.S. News & World Report – September 27, 2021
Master the three types of questions on this portion of the exam, which is worth 55% of your total score.

What testing changes should students know?
Concord Monitor (NH) – September 27, 2021
Q: I have a college-bound senior and a sophomore in high school. I know a lot has changed with standardized testing, but what do we need to know?

Will the SAT and ACT ever be removed from the U.S. News rankings?
Higher Ed Dive – September 16, 2021
This year, higher education groups, including the NACAC, had hoped U.S. News would make one change — ridding the SAT and ACT from its methodology. It did not. Standardized test scores remain 5% of the rankings formula. This percentage has declined over time. But next year’s rankings may be different.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

College Board announces easier CSS Profile, plus a ‘lighter, shorter’ version
Higher Ed Dive – September 23, 2021
Students from families earning up to $100,000 will now be able to freely apply to the College Board’s CSS Profile, a tool used by some 300 colleges to award students institutional financial aid packages. Higher education institutions typically use the CSS Profile to glean more information from low-income students about their financial need than what is provided by the FAFSA.

What’s changing in the new FAFSA and what’s not
Seattle Times – September 25, 2021
Big changes are coming to a notoriously complex form that students need to submit to qualify for college financial aid — but the changes will mostly appear gradually, over the next few years.

How to get more financial aid for college
CNBC – September 28, 2021
To get any college aid, students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. For the 2022-23 school year, the FAFSA filing season opens Oct. 1 — and the sooner you file, the better. ‘Just about everyone is going to qualify for something…’

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FAFSA Checklist

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FAFSA Checklist
Simplify the FAFSA process for your students with this easy to use FAFSA Checklist. All the requirements are clearly outlined to help students and parents prepare to complete the form.

Inside The Admissions Office

Application Tips from the Directors
Tulane Undergraduate Admissions – September 17, 2021
We were once all lost high schoolers applying to college. I know I personally was miserable while applying to school, and often felt lost. We know many of you are experiencing some anxiety now as application season has begun, so we banded together to provide some of our top tips…

How to write your best college application essay
University of Rochester – September 28, 2021
The University of Rochester’s dean of undergraduate admissions offers college applicants some dos and don’ts in writing the personal statement.

The College Application Survival Guide
University of California, Davis – September 14, 2021
If you’re about to apply to college, you might already have a knot in your stomach, and it’s tightening. Maybe you feel like everything depends on nailing your applications. (No pressure, am I right?) Don’t worry! As a UC Davis Aggie, I’ve been through this process before, and I’m going to give you the help you need to survive.

Coronavirus-Related Resources

Emergency Broadband Benefit
An FCC program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Provides a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households.

ASCA Toolkit: Virtual High School Counseling
American School Counselor Association

College Board Coronavirus Updates
College Board

AP Online Classes and Review Sessions
College Board on YouTube

U.S. DOE: COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel
U.S. Department of Education