The COVID-19 outbreak has added a new level of stress to the already emotional college application and decision process. As a result of the pandemic, students are worried about fast-approaching decision deadlines, the impact of remote learning on their GPAs and transcripts, and access to ACT and SAT tests, which they were hoping to take — or take one more time to improve their scores.
The good news is colleges are committed to doing what they can for these prospective students. Many are reassuring them they will be flexible and understanding, and they are implementing policies and changes to support incoming freshmen as well as high school juniors who are just starting to research colleges without the benefit of being able to step foot on campus.
What changes are colleges (as well as the College Board, ACT) making and, more importantly, how will they affect you as a parent or student? Here are the top 10 college admissions announcements this past week:
- The April 3 ACT and May 2 SAT have been postponed
- Many colleges have announced they are going test-optional for the class of 2021
- The National Candidate Reply Date, or enrollment deadline for incoming freshmen, may be extended to after May 1
- Most colleges will accept Pass/No Credit grades on high school transcripts for the class of 2021
- AP tests will be 45 minutes long and taken from home. IB tests between April 30 and May 22 have been canceled.
- Many colleges will accept self-reported grades and test scores from the Common Application
- Most colleges are offering Virtual College Visits and Accepted Student days
- Some colleges may offer admission deposit refunds if a student decides they’d rather attend somewhere else.
- Colleges will review applications with the understanding that school activities, sports, competitions, and part-time jobs may all have been canceled, impacting a student’s activity section
- Colleges will continue to send out updates in the weeks and months to come
As we all navigate this changing process, it’s more important than ever to continue to check your college websites, portals, and social media and your own email for updates. We will also continue to keep you updated as we have news that we think will be helpful to students and families.
Be safe, be kind, be well and stay positive!