Mapping School Counselors & Navigating Admissions

Cooke Scholars receive college and career guidance at Scholars Weekend, as well as ongoing educational advising throughout the year.

August 9, 2019 – Here’s what we’re reading this week about the issues affecting high-achieving students. New reports compare K-12 district funding formulas and school counselor ratios. In higher ed, journalists describe how financial need creates barriers to college admissions and success.

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Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • “Although state averages provide a general sense of how states are meeting students’ school counseling needs, they can mask substantial differences in student-to-counselor ratios within states,” states the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). Its new report provides a district-level analysis.
  • The Education Commission of the States catalogs funding mechanisms from all 50 states. Categories such as “gifted and talented funding” and “at-risk funding for low-income students” allow for comparisons of how each state determines district allocations.


Higher Education:

  • “Though Varsity Blues set us off on our investigation, what we found was less a story of fraud than one of everyday inequality,” states Dana Goldstein in The New York Times. “Although some unknown number of 504 disability cases are likely misdiagnoses of students whose parents are particularly aggressive or anxious about academic competition, the majority of these wealth-related disparities are due to unequal access to psychological services.”
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education outlines additional disadvantages that students with financial need face in the college admissions process, including less access to “test prep, professional help with writing samples, high schools with strong curricula, campus visits, enriching summer activities, [and] sports teams.”
  • Michigan’s Bridge Magazine talks to students with financial need at the state’s highly selective flagship university, in order to better understand their social and academic challenges. The median family income at the institution is $154,000.


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • High-achieving high school seniors can now apply for the Cooke College Scholarship Program, and the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is accepting applications from community college students preparing to transfer to a four-year institution. Both programs provide up to $40,000 per year, as well as comprehensive educational advising and access to the thriving Cooke Scholar community.


Social Media Spotlight:


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When I applied to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program eight years ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Believe it or not, 7th grade me hadn’t yet taken his very first Spanish class, let alone considered himself a language guy; he had never even considered auditioning for a school play; he still spoke with a lisp; he had never been on a plane, let alone thought about leaving the country; he didn’t even go by Cris yet (that nickname would come a few years later). Yet somehow, despite everything I was and wasn’t, the Foundation saw something I didn’t and accepted me. Boarding school, summer programs, passports, college prep, financial aid — I didn’t always know what these words meant, not before the Foundation entered my life. But beyond the tens of thousands of dollars and countless plane tickets the Foundation has invested in me over these eight years, it’s the people that I’m still most grateful for. From the OG Cohort 11 squad I met when I was thirteen to the friends I just met this weekend and everyone in between, this is my favorite community, and this year’s Scholars Weekend was a much-needed reminder of how lucky I am to have met my favorite people in the world through such an incredible organization. I didn’t always know what this scholarship meant, but I do now — and now more than ever, I’m proud to call myself a Cookie 🍪

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Photo header: Cooke Scholars receive college and career guidance at Scholars Weekend, as well as ongoing educational advising throughout the year.