Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones in 2020! They say every cloud has a silver lining and I suppose every pandemic does too. I want to point out a few things that the Coronavirus has brought to college admissions that we can be grateful for. As we head into the final stages of the 2021 application cycle, as well as the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought it would be appropriate to look at three changes that are an advantage for applicants:
1. There has always been a lengthy list of schools that offered a test-optional application plan. The group Fairtest.com maintains an excellence set of resources to find schools that do not require standardized testing for admission. You can access their website here, But that list has expanded geometrically. Colleges that require test scores for the 2021 cycle ( and I think that this will be a continued benefit for the 2022 kids) are in a minority and if testing is not your strong suit, this is an advantage for you.
2. Colleges are operating in a world where the complex data that they use to build and shape a class are not going to work as effectively as they have in the past. It is going to be harder for schools to predict who will come, so whatever a college’s admit rate has been in the past, my guess is that they are going to have to admit more students to fill their class in 2021. These increased rates of admission are an advantage for seniors.
3. Everything that you used to see when you visited a college has been moved online and then some. You can stream live tours, information sessions, videos on specific majors or what the housing is like. You can engage with current students and admissions representative in chats. Admissions offices have done an incredible job creating online opportunities to engage with them and there are excellent resources available. There is no substitute for seeing a campus in action, but this is a great place to start.
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended so many aspects of our lives but the list above are things to be grateful for if you have a 2021 college applicant. Health and happiness to you and your family as 2020 comes to an end.