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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: Michelle Obama

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July 4, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Mrs. Obama: School counselor among country’s toughest jobs

First Lady Michelle Obama addresses members of the American School Counselor Association during their annual conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Tuesday. AP photo.

First Lady Michelle Obama addresses members of the American School Counselor Association during their annual conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Tuesday. Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack / The Associated Press.

School counselors — that oft-maligned group expected to perform emotional triage, academic guidance and college advising for millions of students every year — are attracting increased attention from some pretty high-profile folks.

First Lady Michelle Obama noted earlier this month:

While we talk a great deal about the role of teachers and principals and parents in preparing kids for higher education, often, engaged school counselors … are the deciding factor in whether young people attend college or not.

She reeled off a typical counselor’s day: Perhaps ministering to a girl who’s been bullied, then dealing with “the kid who’s been kicked out of every class.” Later, meeting with a distrustful parent and finally, trying to convince a promising student who refuses to apply to college, that “she has what it takes to succeed in life.”

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Comments | More in News | Topics: counselors, Michelle Obama, Obama

February 14, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Students leaving financial aid on the table, site says ‘get yours’

Does the idea of filling out government financial aid forms leave you cold? Consider logging onto the Get Schooled this weekend, where a cheery set of videos (featuring First Lady Michelle Obama) and step-by-step instructions from advisers willing to work with students online could provide the necessary boost.

That’s a very good thing, because 1 million students who qualify for college money never file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (better known as FAFSA), and leave thousands of dollars on the table.

Despite its name, the FAFSA is not a single program, but rather the gateway for nine federal student-aid programs, 605 state-aid programs and most of the financial aid available through individual colleges and universities.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: FAFSA, financial aid, higher ed