Prior to COVID-19, most colleges and universities had elaborate admissions guidelines that were designed to present holistic images of their applicants. Some of the criteria they used to form these snapshots included a student’s GPA, test scores, the academic rigor of their school, extracurricular activities , letters of recommendation, The experience of volunteering and work, as well as his essay.
But the pandemic has changed all that. For example, some high schools no longer calculate grades are canceled some ACTIVITY extracurricular . In addition, during the summer, students failed to get internships, participate in summer programs, prepare or take standardized tests, volunteer, and sometimes even work. As a result, many students feel that their applications are not as robust as they could be.
Consequences of COVID-19
In fact, according to a survey conducted by Art & Science Group in collaboration with the College Board, almost 45% of growing seniors said that COVID-19 affected their grades or the power of applications.
For example, 30% of white and Asian students said they could not participate in extracurricular activities, while almost 25% of black and Hispanic students could not participate in summer educational programs.
In addition, 21% of black students and 13% of white students said their grades were «compromised» by the pandemic. Meanwhile, 23% of students in the lowest income category in the survey said they failed to work to save money for college.
Moreover, the widespread cancellations in the spring and last summer prevented many students from preparing for or taking the ACT and SAT tests. In fact, at the time of the survey, two-thirds of those surveyed had not yet taken the SAT and almost three-quarters had not yet taken the ACT.
And up to 51% of underrepresented minority students, 51% of low-income students and 51% of students from first generation others were less likely to take the tests. For this reason, the class of 2021 is likely to submit very different college applications than those who graduated in 2019 and 2020.
What to expect
Colleges and universities have had to adapt to meet this ever-changing landscape of student candidates. Some have made their application requirements optional, created virtual campus tours and are actively involved in matching the playing field as much as they can to meet their needs. challenges students face, especially since some areas of the country have been more affected by coronavirus than others.
Here’s a closer look at what your student can expect when applying to college this fall and winter.
Optional testing schools
Some colleges are waiting to see how the high school pandemic affects this year before making a final decision on whether or not to implement an optional testing policy.
That being said, there are a significant number of colleges and universities that have already made the decision to become optional for exams. According to the National Center for Correct and Open Testing (FairTest), more than 1,600 accredited colleges and universities have taken the optional test for admission in 2021.
Therefore, before paying money for your child to take ACT or SAT, visit FairTest site to determine if the schools your child is applying to are optional for testing this year. Also, keep in mind that just because a school is optional for the exam does not mean they are blind to the exam.
In other words, if your child is doing well on standardized tests, be sure to include test scores with their application. If you do this, you will strengthen your demand and be a stronger candidate.
However, if your student is struggling with standardized tests or has anxiety Before exams, you can consider skipping exams and highlighting the other grades.
If your student is considering not sending standardized test scores, you need to make sure the rest of their application is strong enough. Although not submitting scores is a good option for students who do not do well in standardized tests, it also means that the rest of their application will be more weighted.
So, if you and your student believe that your application would improve by including standardized test scores, and your student can take an exam before the application deadline, then definitely take the exam and submit your scores.
Tests canceled or postponed
When it comes to taking standardized tests, some students will find it easier to schedule and take tests than others. As he ACT As the VILLAGE They have scheduled exam dates, but allow each exam site to determine whether or not to offer the exam. Both organizations suggest that students monitor their test locations to ensure that testing continues to be provided as planned.
If you intend to take the SAT or SAT test, you can visit College Board website to determine if your exam site has canceled an exam. The site also indicates whether or not a recovery test will be offered.
As for the ACT, they do not have a cancellation list. But you can research your test center to make sure the test is offered before you schedule it.
Both organizations also encourage students who intend to take the tests to register as soon as possible for the tests they wish to take. With limited test dates and locations, plus an outstanding number of students who failed to take the tests in the spring or summer, availability is limited. Both encourage students to wear masks when they take their exams.
Visits to the virtual campus
In the past, students showed interest in a college or university by visiting campus. But with many campuses closed to students this fall, admissions officials have begun offering virtual campus tours for potential students. Many also reach out to students through virtual question and answer sessions, personalized emails and social media.
Here are some ways your child can get the most out of this situation:
- Have draws up a list of schools that interests them.
- Encourage your child to contact their high school admissions counselor and begin developing a relationship, even if only through email and virtual calls.
- Contact one or two teachers in the desired specialty to introduce yourself and to inform you about the courses offered.
- Follow your best choices on social media to gather information and show interest in the school, especially if your student likes or shares the information you post. (Make sure your teen clean your in number of social media before you pursue the best universities).
A word from Verywell
While COVID-19 has completely changed the college admissions process this year, there are some unwanted positives to all of these changes. First, the pandemic has leveled the playing field when it comes to making college visits and doing a lot of extras to improve the demand for college that low-income students can’t always afford. No one does these things, so you force students to be creative to make the app stand out.
Second, because many campuses are closed, it is much easier for students to contact admissions professionals because they do not travel much. As a result, make sure your student reaches out to them and builds a relationship. They are also very likely to be very empathetic about what students are experiencing, as their lives have also been affected by COVID-19.