The French journalist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr once quipped, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” Loosely translated, the more things change, the more they remain the same. This year was filled with unprecedented change…how many times have we heard or used that expression? Ironically, for the world of college counseling in North America, it wasn’t a year of unprecedented change…it was a mere four months. In a mere four months, my school went from 100 percent residential to 100 percent online. Our numeric grading system went on hiatus and pass/fail became the norm. We witnessed placid juniors morph into angst-ridden young adults lacking self-efficacy and wanting the confines standardized tests provided. And yet, senioritis remained relentless. Some things never change.
When I left my office on March 13, I took what I needed in case I would be working from home for a few weeks. The prospect seemed possible and probable at that time. The list of counseling office responsibilities during the last months of the school year is long and filled with many gatherings. My school has 3,400 students in grades 9 through 12. Recognition ceremonies dominate that time of the year, as is the case in all high schools. Collection of information from our seniors and the preparation of our underclassmen for the next school year fill the days of our counselors. Once it was announced we would not return for the rest of the school year, the transition to online delivery of services was swift. Within the first few weeks, many services, including conducting special education annual review conferences, enrollment intakes, and scheduling meetings began occurring virtually. Checking in with our most vulnerable students occurred daily. Professional development continued via Zoom each week and regional conferences were also attended virtually. A plan was set up to recognize students in different ways, since in-person events had to be canceled.
Is your college application essay about money, work, social class, or another related topic?
If so, The New York Times wants to hear from you.
Will incoming college freshmen opt to stay closer to home this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic?
Early enrollment data from a handful of US colleges suggests that may the case.
According to a recent article from the Associated Press (AP), commitments from in-state students have increased by 26 percent at the University of Texas at Arlington, 20 percent at The Ohio State University, and 15 percent at Michigan State University.
“Students want to be closer to home in case an outbreak again forces classes online,” the article notes. “Some are choosing nearby schools where they’re charged lower rates as state residents.”
How can counselors and others best assist high school juniors who are kicking off their college search amid the shutdown?
View a transcript of our most recent #NACACchat. Special guests included Jill Cook, assistant director with the American School Counselor Association; Lindsey Barclay, member services manager with the National College Attainment Network; Jennifer Davis, digital content marketing manager with The Common Application; and Tracy Jackson, school counseling supervisor with Loudoun County Public Schools.
The number of colleges still accepting applications for fall 2020 continues to grow.
More than 770 institutions have openings, financial aid, and housing available to qualified freshmen and/or transfer students, according to NACAC’s College Openings Update.
When survey data was first posted on May 5, the list included roughly 700 colleges and universities. Since that time, dozens of additional institutions have added their information. The update, which includes public and private schools, continues to be modified by colleges and universities. It will remain on NACAC’s website through June 30.
Among 600 US higher education institutions, 88 percent anticipate that international student enrollment will decrease in 2020-21, with 30 percent predicting a substantial decline. These results come from the second in a series of surveys from the Institute of International Education (IIE) analyzing the effects of COVID-19 on US campuses.
Since March when IIE released its first survey—focused on mobility to and from China where the virus originated—COVID-19 has infected more than 3.2 million people globally with more than a million cases in the US. The current report focuses on international mobility more globally, with specific attention to actions US institutions took in spring 2020 and plan to take for summer and fall 2020.
NACAC shared some big news with its members earlier this month.
After a year-long search, the association selected its next chief executive officer. Angel B. Pérez, currently the vice president for enrollment and student success at Trinity College (CT), will assume his new position at NACAC on July 15. He succeeds Joyce E. Smith, who is retiring after more than 30 years with the association.
What should students and families know about financial aid during these unprecedented times?
Experts from The Urban Assembly, the Seldin/Harring-Smith Foundation, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the National College Attainment Network, and the National Scholarship Providers Association shared their thoughts during a recent #NACACchat.
Join us Tuesday, May 19, for a #NACACchat Twitter discussion focused on advising high school juniors amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The chat will kick off at 2 p.m. ET. and will be led by @NACAC. You’ll have a chance to connect with colleagues from across the country, learn from experts, and share your own insights during this hour-long discussion.