“The whole human race suffers from three basic misconceptions. They believe they must do well, that other people must treat them kindly, nobly and do their bidding, and that conditions must be absolutely just so -- or else they become horribly depressed. It’s deadly for people to feel that they must have these things. These things are contrary to the facts of life. They are preferences. I’m into changing people’s musts into preferences.” - Dr. Albert Ellis, Civilization, August/September 1998


A new free resource for you comes from Ethan Sawyer, The College Essay Guy: College Application Hub.
Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success resources page. You’ll find a useful PowerPoint and Locker tutorial here.
Guide to the Common Application— this is a terrific step-by-step guide to completing the current Common App from the generous folks at CollegeWise.
WACAC Counselor Toolkit - a free resource from the Western Association for College Admission Counseling. While some of the information here is California specific, you may find some useful tools here.
The Counselor’s Toolbox - highly regarded by some of my high school counselor friends, this fee-based resource, created by a Massachusetts high school counselor, has printable material to get you through the year.
Counselor Connection - resources for college counselors from the College Board.
Leading Success - resources from the National Association of Secondary School Principals, including tools for creating a college-going culture in your school.
College Board College Guidance Center - free resources and professional development opportunities from the College Board.
CollegeData Resources for Counselors - this website includes grid charts of schools accepting the Common App and those accepting the Universal App.
Common App Tutorials for Counselors
College Mapper - I’ve just discovered this website from Susanna Cerasuolo, an experienced high school teacher and counselor, and like what I’ve read thus far. Lots of handouts here.
Educate to Career - recommended by Steven Antonoff, there are quite a few free resources for school counselors at this site.
Tips for the College Recommendation - from the College Board.
Guide to Letters of Recommendation - from Vanderbilt University.
Tips for the College Recommendation - from the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University.
Creating a High School Profile - from the College Board. The high school profile is a critical in aiding readers in understanding the student within context. Review your profile today!
Checklists for Academic and Financial Preparation - checklists beginning in elementary school, from StudentAid.ed.gov.
Developmental Assets Framework - from the Search Institute.
FAFSA Counselors Handbook - from fsa4counselors.ed.gov.
Knowdell Card Sorts - career counseling resources.
NCAA High School portal - resources for counselors.
Rugg’s Recommendations - very popular search tool for counselors. Not free, but so useful, I’ve stuck it in here.
Sample High School Profile - I like this sample because it is concise yet comprehensive, from the College Board.
Stress - a lot of resources for helping students manage stress can be found at the website of the Angst movie.
Teaching Student Safety: Online Safety Guide for Students - from Edudemic.com, this article has links to several resources for teaching students about online safety.
Teaching Student Safety: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse - from EnoughAbuse.org, this site provides training materials to help educate students and families about sexual abuse and how to prevent it.
Challenge Success - "Strategies for Healthy, Engaged Kids and Strong Schools"
STEM Career Counseling Toolkit - from the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity. Includes lesson plans, scavenger hunt, tools for girls interested in STEM.
My Student Is Undocumented: A Guide for Educators - from the National Education Association and Own the Dream.
DACA Toolkit - counselor toolkit from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
IACAC Guide to Advising Undocumented Students - from the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling.
“Eight Tips for Counseling International Students at U.S. High Schools” - article from NACAC
The Jack Project -- great resources if you work with students with mental health issues.
NCAA Guide for College-Bound Student-Athletes - from NCAA Eligibility Center
Resources for counseling cross-cultural and third culture kids: TCKidNOW and International Family Transitions.
Early College Awareness - activities for creating early college awareness.
Harvard University Strategic Data Project Summer Melt Handbook.
Families In Schools - transition to middle school, high school, and college workshops for school and CBO counselors.
Hoagies' Gifted Education Page - resources for educators working with gifted youth.
PEERS Training - UCLA workshop training for those interested in helping young people on the spectrum with life skills.
Going To College with ASD — good advice and resources listed here for your students with ASD.
Reasonable Accommodations Explained — from the APA, this is a good resource to help you explain to families the difference between accommodations in high school and college.
Set to Go - wonderful resource for helping students with transition to college, from the JED Foundation.

STATE CAREER/COLLEGE PLANNING WEBSITES (also see the Career-Specific area and Major Considerations in College Process):

California Career Zone
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Rhode Island

Also see National Career Development Association.


School Counseling Degree Programs - note that some of the links provided for these programs at the ASCA website are no longer working. You’ll have to search the school website to reach the program page.

California has long understood the need for college counseling education for counselors, so shameless plug coming. (Note all the UC listings are Extension program offerings. In addition to these programs, UC-Irvine offers a Certificate in College Counseling for independent consultants [see Independent Consultants content area for link].)

University of California - Berkeley College Admissions and Career Planning Certificate Program
University of California - Los Angeles College Counseling Certificate Program
University of California - Riverside College Counseling Certificate Program
University of California - San Diego College Counseling Certificate Program

American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and regional affiliates.
Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools
College Board Workshops and Summer Institutes
National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and regional affiliates.
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
NOSCA: National Office for School Counselor Advocacy, now "Counselor Connection," from the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center
Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions

American Institute of Certified Educational Planners - show them you know!

I generally stay away from individual articles, but the source that these useful articles came from is not a page I would normally include.

“Communication Strategies” - an article for parents and teachers of students with disabilities - from PBS.org
Disability.gov’s Guide for Family Caregivers - from Disability.gov
Eye to Eye - a mentoring program.
“Homeschooling and Special Needs Children” - article from HSLDA
Resources for Educators - links to numerous tips in the Landmark School/Landmark Outreach resources page at LDOnline.
“Routines and children with disabilities” - article from an Australian site, the Raising Children Network (so do not, unless you are Australian, go to their link on rights and the law)
SAFE - Student Advisors for Education - students in the SAFE program discuss their LD's and needs in the blog "I Speak of Dreams"
“Teaching Students with Special Needs” - article from TeacherVision.com

FINANCIAL AID (See quotes in the Financial Aid section of The College Process. You may want to use them for college night financial aid sessions.):

Also see Financial Aid sections in The College Process and Research.

FAFSA Completion by High School - keep track of the number of students from your school who have completed and submitted the FAFSA, from Federal Student Aid.
Federal Student Aid for Non-U.S. Citizens - information page from Federal Student Aid.
College Advising Guide for Undocumented Students - from the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC).
My Student Is Undocumented: A Guide for Educators - from the National Education Association and Own the Dream.
NASFAA: Students, Parents & Counselors - learn about financial aid from the experts at the National Association for Student Financial Aid Administrators.
Pell Abacus - financial aid estimator for students who qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch, from College Abacus.
Resources for Counselors from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrations (NASFAA).
State Financial Aid Programs - find state grant and scholarship, as well as state and regional tuition exchange, programs at this interactive map page, from NASFAA.
Resources for Educators from FinAid.org.
College Goal Sunday - trying not to repeat, but you may want to see if you can bring College Goal Sunday to your area or volunteer.
uAspire - with offices in Massachusetts, Florida and California, this organization, like College Goal Sunday, partners with high schools and community organizations to provide free advising and workshops to students to help them fill out their FAFSA and understand their aid packages.
American Student Assistance - provides “neutral information about student loan debt.”
Student Aid Tips Sheets for Working with Unique Populations - from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. This is a great resource for you.
Student Loan Calculator - from smart asset.
SwiftStudent - free resource to help students write FA appeals letters.
Tuition Assistance Programs for Foster Youth in Postsecondary Education - downloadable .pdf from the Education Commission of the States


I’ve been an advocate of teaching financial literacy for over ten years. If your school can fit it into the curriculum, I’d push for it. Here are some sites with exercises you might want to use:

Article: “Top Ten Student Financial Literacy Resources On The Web” - from cheapscholar.org. This article includes suggestions for apps to help people manage their money (e.g. Mint.com).
Everfi - this is a 6-8 hour program for high school students. It's not free but meets Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy National Standards.
Hands on Banking - in English and Spanish, financial literacy for all ages from handsonbanking.org.
High School Financial Planning Program - a "free turnkey financial literacy program specifically focused on basic personal finance skills that are relevant to the lives of teens in Grades 8-12."
My Money - from the federal government.
Money Matters - from the Federal Trade Commission (available in Spanish).
MoneyU.com - highly recommended by a former student, whose school uses MoneyU to fulfill its state’s mandate to include financial literacy in their curriculum.
Navigating Your Financial Future - a website of the Florida Department of Education.
Practical Money Skills - home of the Financial Football game.
SALT Money Coach - from American Student Assistance. Find some interesting infographics at this site.
Saving for College - search and compare state 529 plans here.
Time for Payback - from Next Gen Personal Finance, this clever "game" helps students understand the hidden costs of college and how choices affect what they'll ultimately owe.


Center for Student Opportunity (now called I’m First) - sign up for their Opportunity Knocks newsletter to receive the latest information on upcoming fly-in programs.

GAP YEAR OPTIONS (also see listings in College Process area):

GapWork.com - this site is based in Britain and has options for paid and volunteer gap year positions.


Newsela.com - free to individual student users, this teaching tool for schools helping students earn their GED (or learn how to read non-fiction and think about it analytically) comes highly recommended.


Hedberg College Maps
Wintergreen Orchard House College Maps


Laurel Springs School
EPGY Program at Stanford

Before recommending any online classes, be sure to check with colleges regarding their policies toward online coursework. An easy way to do this is to ask college reps when they visit your school. In addition to the two suggestions above, the UC’s have also approved courses from the following online providers:

Advanced Academics
APEX Learning Virtual School
Brigham Young University Independent Study
Connections Academy
Florida Virtual School
K 12, Inc.
Michigan Virtual High School
National University Virtual High School
Riverside Virtual School
UC Irvine Extension
VHS, Inc. Virtual High School Global Consortium


These resources will be of particular help if you are working in a Harvard-or-Bust environment.

Active Minds - organization dedicated to increasing awareness of mental health issues and supports on college campuses.
The Jed Foundation - college campus programming. Also see their Set to Go website for transition to college programming.
“The Race to Nowhere” - if you work in a highly competitive environment and have not yet arranged a viewing of this film for your families, you should think about it.
The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B- by Wendy Mogel.
Hope and Worries Survey - from the Princeton Review, this survey compares student responses to those of their parents.
Signs of Suicide Prevention Program — programming for students, parents, and staff from Elyssa's Mission.
“Time Out or Burn Out for the Next Generation” - an article on the benefits of a gap year by William Fitzsimmons and Marlyn McGrath Lewis at Harvard College.


How to Raise an Adult - companion website to the bestselling book.


“The Postgraduate Year” - from About.com, includes a listing of schools offering PG years.


University of Illinois Library’s website on the Rankings - the most comprehensive site on rankings I’ve seen.
“College Rankings: History, Criticism and Reform” - a report from the Center of College Affordability and Productivity.
“What Will They Learn? A Guide to What College Rankings Don’t Tell You” - from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.


High school counselors should be aware of any reciprocity agreements their states may have with other states and any articulation agreements between area two-year and four-year schools. I used to have a link in the classroom to a listing of state reciprocity agreement sites, but the link no longer works. While this one is not the original URL, this site may be helpful: National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. Also check out articulation agreements at the websites of your local community colleges, or see if your state’s Board of Higher Education has a page devoted to articulation agreements at their website.


College/Career Counseling:
Appointlet - scheduling software.
Bridge U - new, with a broader search (both U.S. and overseas schools) than Naviance.
Calendly - scheduling software.
Doodle - scheduling/polling software.
FollowUpThen - email reminder system.
Naviance - from Hobson’s.
Hobson’s (more from Hobson’s).
Maia Learning - career and college counseling, document submission, syncs with Google Calendar.
SCOIR - college search, counselor outreach to colleges, import application history to create "heat maps," send documents, student "backpack" where they can save materials (like the Coalition locker).
Parchment - when you send transcripts with Parchment, it tracks date sent, date received, and date downloaded by the college.
MyCollegeOptions, from NRCCUA.
Remind.com - free text reminder system, highly recommended by counselors. You have the option to set communication to one-way or two-way.
RepVisits.com - create customized college rep appointment calendars. Highly recommended by counselors.
SENDedu - a free, secure electronic document transfer service. Sounds like a terrific money-saving resource for you.
SignUpGenius.com - free tool for scheduling parent/student conferences and more!
Career Cruising

EZAnalyze - new Excel-based free software to help counselors track how they spend their time
Power School
Infinite Campus
Education Edge - both this and Whipple Hill send you to separate Blackbaud pages, so both appear here.
Whipple Hill - from Blackbaud.
Senior Systems - transcripts, report cards, and more.

For Students:
Homework Planning Apps - apps for your students to get and stay organized.


Association of American International Colleges and Universities
Bachelor Degrees Worldwide
CampusFrance - programs in France taught in English.
DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst - search engine that enables search by language, degree, and major.
EducationUSA - opportunities for study and work abroad.
EducationUK - from the British Council.
The Complete University Guide - for your students interested in going to college in the U.K., this website explains the application process.
School Year Abroad - for your students who want to study abroad during high school.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program - studying abroad? Get travel alerts from the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
Studying in Switzerland
Study in Holland - this site explains the college process in Holland and contains a search engine of the programs taught in English in Holland.
TopUniversities.com - this page takes you to their study in Germany page, but you can research schools all over the world at this site.

SUMMER PROGRAMS (also see Gap Year above):

Summer Program Finder -- terrific search tool for summer programs.


Counselor Resource Guide to the Redesigned Assessments - from the College Board
Instructions for Concording New SAT Scores to Old SAT Scores - from the College Board
Educational Testing Service (ETS)
The College Board
National Merit Corporation
National Merit Cutoff Scores - this site posts a listing of the cutoff scores by state.
Khan Academy - free online SAT test prep.
Magoosh.com - this reasonably-priced online test prep has been recommended to me by several counselors.
Number2.com - free online ACT test prep.
Spark Notes - free online test prep.
SAT Score Use Practices by Institution - from the College Board. Always have students double-check the policies of schools they plan to apply to, as they are subject to change.
ACT - (limited) free online test prep at ACT site.
Fairtest.org - website of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, you can search for test-optional colleges here.
SAT Prep on a Budget, from the Perfect Score Project. Some great advice in here -- for your tenth grade college talk (be sure to read the comment at the end on the type of calculator students will need, as that will save them even more money)!


National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs - find alternative options for your students here.


College-Visits.com - organized trips around the country for you and your students.

Counselor Tours:

Wiki has a fairly comprehensive listing of college tours.


Best First Year - advice from Harlan Cohen, author of The Naked Roommate. Note there is a fee to access the (numerous) videos provided.


Khan Academy - great free resource for your students.