The college admissions process can be daunting for everyone. The staggering number of colleges and universities to choose from, trying to meet testing requirements, building a well-rounded resume, writing admissions essays, participating in interviews, managing application deadlines, and applying for scholarships can easily seem like a very intimidating process. Add a worldwide pandemic to the mix and the challenge escalates.
With daily changes to the admissions process, it can create a great amount of unwanted stress for high school students and their families. COVID-19 presents so many unknowns in general, and even more specific to college admissions. Though many schools are thoughtfully navigating the fluid situation and are doing their best to put students first, the “not knowing” presents its own set of challenges. Distilling the overwhelming amount of new information can be laborious in light of these changes.
Through my continual research, inquiry, and professional education, I have found the following updates to be the most important when helping students and families understand the changes to college preparation and planning:
- Due to the closure of campuses in the spring and, potentially, over the summer, schools are increasing their online exposure. Colleges are implementing more robust virtual experiences to include: campus tours, information/Q&A sessions, departmental information sessions, the ability to meet with current students, and opportunities to meet one-on-one with admissions officers.
- College Board has already cancelled March, May, and June SAT test dates and the ACT cancelled their April test date. Both College Board and ACT have added additional test dates in the fall and are considering at-home testing. The testing cancellations have influenced many colleges to implement test-optional policies. Some colleges are adopting the policy change for one year, but others are making an institutional change.
- College Board has also implemented at-home, condensed AP testing in May and June. Acceptance of AP credits will be dependent on the school and they will take into consideration that the spring 2020 tests were at-home and open-note.
- Colleges and universities will change their admissions application review process. The majority of colleges will use a holistic review process because of the test and activity cancellations in the spring. The Common Application is also adding a section to address the impact coronavirus has had on the student’s life.
- Many organizations have increased public information and resource sharing with students and families. There is an abundance of webinars, online tools, and documentation available to communicate the daily changes to the admissions process.
- Colleges and universities are also working through this unprecedented time and do not have all the answers. However, they are working hard to ensure students are safe and feel comfortable with their future plans. While we wish we had the answers now, allow the schools to adjust policies in the best interest of students and share when they are ready.
In order to provide comfort and knowledge to students and families across the Western Slope with the constantly changing landscape, Myers Educational Consulting is offering a free, online webinar and conversation on Wednesday, May 13 at 5pm MST. The webinar is meant for high school freshman, sophomores, and juniors and their parents and will dive deeper into each of these updates. To register for the free opportunity go to: bit.ly/MECwebinar1 or contact Lindsey Myers at email@example.com.
Myers Educational Consulting, LLC provides comprehensive college and career guidance to students throughout rural Colorado. For more information visit: www.myerseducationalconsulting.com.
For more information about this topic please contact Lindsey Myers at 970.531.2090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.