How the Pandemic Has Affected College Admissions and More
Last spring when the pandemic hit the United States many changes took place almost immediately. Colleges switched to virtual classes, the ACT and SAT cancelled test dates, competitions were either cancelled or changed to virtual events, and graduations, as well as other celebrations, were either cancelled or postponed. These are a few of the negative affects of the pandemic upon life in the US, particularly college life! Understandably, many students were very disappointed with the changes that took place. However, even in the midst of all of these negative outcomes, there have been a few positive changes to celebrate!
WAIVED APPLICATION FEES: Let’s start with the college admissions process. Many high school seniors began contemplating taking a gap year instead of starting college during the a health crises. As a result, many colleges have waived their application fees. That’s a monetary advantage, especially to students who apply to several colleges!
TEST OPTIONAL: Because the ACT and SAT had to cancel so many test dates, many colleges became test optional, using a student’s GPA rather than test scores to determine acceptance and academic scholarships. That is great news for students who have high GPAs yet who do not test well, are unable to test, or who have test anxiety! On the other hand, test optional does not mean test blind meaning that students who have received high test scores are able to submit those scores to test optional colleges. Because the CLT (a third college test option) is an online test, it became a virtual test option for many students, continuing to offer test dates.
VIRTUAL OPTIONS: Since colleges began sending their students home, switching to virtual classes, many professors became technologically savvy, increasing their experience with zoom, video presentations, and more. In addition, colleges began adding virtual tours to their websites. In some cases, students are able to sign up for live tours that include the ability to ask questions throughout the virtual tour! This is a huge advantage for students who live far away from the colleges they are considering. With a virtual tour no-one has to spend money traveling to visit colleges! Virtual tours do not replace on campus tours, but they are a great way for both students and their parents to become more familiar with what certain colleges have to offer.
DUAL ENROLLMENT: Many high schools also switched to virtual classes and, as a result, high school students have enrolled in dual enrollment classes so that they could be earning high school and college credit at the same time. They figured if they were going to be taking all of their classes virtually anyway, they may as well earn college credit.
MORE CONSIDERATIONS: Another benefit to the challenges brought on by the pandemic is that families have become closer, operating at a slower pace, spending time together, and re-evaluating goals and plans for their students. In some cases students are deciding to take a gap year, wanting to wait and see what the future holds. That decision may, or may not, impact scholarships once those students decide to go to college. At Bryan College, gap year students are not penalized unless the students are part of a gap year program that includes college credit and, if that is the case, they would enter as transfer students. When students take a gap year that does not include earning college credit, then they come in as freshmen with all the same offers and opportunities as recent high school graduates. The disadvantage to having so many students post-pone college for a year is that there is now an increased number of prospective students applying to colleges that have limited spots for incoming freshmen.
RECAP: Not everything as been negative during 2020-2021!
- Application fees have been waived.
- Although the SAT and ACT cancelled dates, the CLT went virtual.
- Many colleges became test optional, using either GPAs or test scores (whichever are higher) for admission and scholarship purposes.
- Colleges added virtual tours to their website.
- College professors became more tech savvy when classes went virtual.
- Many high school students began taking dual enrollment classes.
- Families slowed down, spent time together, and re-evaluated future plans.
As you have read, in spite of the inconveniences caused by COVID’s entry to the United States, there have been a few positive outcomes as a result!
By the way, if you have seniors in high school interested in joining a martial arts academy, receiving a music or theater scholarship, or want to attend a free scholarship event at Bryan College, earning another $1,000 to $3,000, let me know. Time is of the essence for those opportunities.