High School Counselor Week

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


September 9, 2021

Big Picture

COVID-19 at school? 2 in 3 parents support mask mandates as many worry kids will get very sick
USA Today – September 7, 2021
Parents are more skeptical of online learning than they were last school year, according to a new USA TODAY/Ipsos poll, which found declining optimism about distance learning. More than 1,000 schools, having just reopened, halted in-person learning and went back online because of COVID-19 outbreaks. Thousands of children are quarantined.

Schools grapple with thousands in isolation or quarantine as delta variant rages
NBC News – September 3, 2021
Schools that have opened their doors to students amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus already are grappling with how to best continue teaching students when hundreds and sometimes thousands of them are in quarantine.

Booted from class: Colleges penalize unvaccinated students as Delta surges
Politico – September 7, 2021
The institutions started the summer by waving the prospect of scholarships, laptops, game consoles and more in front to students who got a Covid-19 shot. Now, as millions move back to campus, hundreds of schools are mandating vaccines and penalizing students who resist without a medical or religious reason.

Columns and Blogs

Improving College Access Now, in Your Building, for Free
Post – September 8, 2021
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

A Senior Fall To-Do List
Tribune News Service – September 8, 2021
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 
Writing a great college essay
Post – September 7, 2021
The College Solution with Lynn O’Shaughnessy  


This NYC counselor is helping students work through COVID-era trauma
Chalkbeat – September 7, 2021
After Randy Bowen —a school counselor of 14 years — lost three family members to COVID-19, started an evening meditation group to help his students deal with pandemic-era stresses ranging from social isolation to food insecurity.

COVID remote learning eroded mental health by race, age, income, data indicate
CIDRAP (University of Minnesota) – September 21, 2021
A study late last week in JAMA Network Open reveals a small link between COVID-19–related school closures and worse child mental health, particularly among older and Black and Hispanic students and those from low-income families.

Guidance counselors transition to in-person senior counseling
Saratoga Falcon (CA) – September 5, 2021
For the Class of 2022, counselors have been making up for the lost interaction by providing options to meet primarily in person to discuss the college application process, like scheduled in-person appointments, while also maintaining an online presence.


Insurance Checklist for Parents Of College Students: What You Need to Know
Rolling Stone – September 6, 2021
Aside from paying tuition and buying books, college students and parents should gain some know-how regarding the types of insurance that might be wise to consider

How much college debt should students and parents take on? Here’s how to figure it out.
Fox Business – September 5, 2021
Some parents vow they’ll find a way to pay for an expensive, elite college. But at what cost to family finances?

Admissions Process & Strategy

The College Admission Double Standard
Forbes – August 19, 2021
As a high school counselor, I regularly receive feedback about the experience of searching for and visiting colleges. When I met with my seniors this month, it became clear that they were faced with disappointing, generic messaging. Students, given this reality, you need to be better consumers. If you are visiting college campuses in person, and you start to hear the franchised spiel, don’t be passive. Instead…

Why high school freshmen should be thinking about college now
News-Press (FL) – September 3, 2021
With high school just starting, college probably is the last thing on the minds of high school freshmen. But it should be. Here are five tasks that ninth-graders should be doing now to get a head start…

Career & Technical Education

Can Culinary Schools Really Go Online?
FSR Magazine – September 1, 2021
Online programs offer a more affordable and flexible alternative to culinary school, but can they deliver the same high value as in-person classes? While the idea has raised eyebrows — and still does, to a degree — more industry professionals are coming around to the idea, thanks in part to COVID-19

Top 25 jobs that do not require a college degree
AZ Business Magazine – September 8, 2021
While retail and hospitality have faced significant challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic, other industries still offer amazing opportunities with lots of growth, strong salaries, and future job security, all without a college degree. These jobs do require some training, but fast-track options are available at local community colleges and trade schools for a fraction of the cost of a four-year program

College debt crisis drives more students away from four-year schools
CNBC – September 5, 2021
As college costs continue to rise, interest in more affordable options has spiked during the pandemic. For some students, even a coding boot camp can be an alternative to a four-year degree.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

FAFSA applications for the 2022-23 school year open soon — 4 things you can do now to prepare
Fox Business – September 7, 2021
While the 2022-23 academic year seems like it’s in the distant future, now is the time to decide how to pay for college. Rising college students can begin filling out the FAFSA form for next year beginning on October 1. Keep reading to learn how you can start preparing for the FAFSA now and what to expect after you’ve applied.

Student debt is still awful. So why are we students still taking out loans?
Slate – September 6, 2021
How do we shake free of the toxic notion that loans are inevitable? It starts by flipping the script.

The Most Unusual Scholarships and Education Grants To Help You Pay For School
Yahoo! Finance – September 7, 2021
These days, scholarships exist for just about everything and anyone; you don’t need to be an A-plus student, an awesome athlete or terrific on the tuba, either. No, you have opportunities to earn niche scholarships based on…

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Inside The Admissions Office

How the Olympics Explain College Admission– Part 2
Georgia Tech Admission Blog – August 26, 2021
Now that you know how colleges review applications, it’s time to look at three important ways you should approach your college admission experience like an Olympian.


Dealing directly with race in special education is bringing some success
EdNC – September 7, 2021
When Hickory Public Schools landed on a warning list for identifying a significantly disproportionate number of Black students as having mild intellectual disabilities in 2017, it took a look at its practices. Upon closer examination, the district realized the disparity extended to many other areas, too.

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