Here is my next installment of developments in the college admission process in light of COVID 19. (And there will be a Part 3!)
SPRING 2020 GRADES-If you attend a school that has gone to a Pass/Fail grading system, you do not have to worry. I have listened to multiple admission officers say that they understand that distance learning in the pandemic will shift what transcripts look like. If your school continues to assign traditional grades and your academic performance drops due to the impact of the quarantine, there is a space in the Common App to explain that. And your School Counselor can discuss your circumstances in the recommendation that they write. You just need to ask them if they can include these details in their letter. This pandemic is happening on a global level and college admission representatives are well aware that this impacts their applicants.
WAITLISTS-When I have a senior that is offered a spot on the waitlist of a selective school, I congratulate them and tell them to accept the spot if they want to be considered for admission, should the school have room. But I also tell them that they need to move on from the college that waitlisted them and deposit at a school where they were admitted. And they need to be invested at this school because that is where they will likely go in August. But this year is different. Waitlists are already moving. (Normally they do not have any movement until after the May 1 deposit day). There are several factors behind this shift. International students that were admitted may not be able to travel or get the visas they need. Students that planned to attend a college far from home might reconsider and forego their acceptance at a school that requires air travel. And of course, families that have had economic upheaval might seek more affordable options for the fall. So if you are on a waitlist, fingers crossed that you get a spot!
SENIOR DEPOSITS-If you are a senior facing the May 1 deposit deadline, and you are struggling to make a decision due to any number of different factors in light of COVID 19, you can call the schools that you are considering and ask for an extension. If more time will help you gather the information you need, call the admission office and speak with them to see if they can extend the deposit deadline for you.
FINANCIAL AID-If a family has had a dramatic shift in their finances since they filled out the FAFSA and possibly the CSS/Profile, by all means, reach out to the school and have a conversation. Financial Aid offices are well aware of the toll that the pandemic has taken and they expect that families will be reaching out with special circumstances and seeking a professional judgement.
Stay tuned for Part 3 tomorrow!