Is COVID-19 Revolutionizing The College Admission Process?

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Standardized testing and grades stalled after state mandated quarantines drove kids off of campuses, forcing many Universities and Colleges to search for alternative ways to select students. Getting an acceptance letter might be easier than it’s ever been in the past, but don’t be so fast to overlook the crisis Covid-19 may also bring when it comes to paying for the hefty tuition price tag. Now what? This seems to be the question of admission officers, college presidents and students that had once been relentlessly focused on standardized tests scores.

SAT and ACT scores aren’t the only concern but how the pandemic will affect the financial aid process is a whole new worry.

Covid-19 is causing financial aid offices to have to reassess the needs of families due to the new circumstances which comes abreast the sky high unemployment rates and stay in place orders all over the country. This year might be the perfect year for some high-school graduates to take a leap year, but FASFA has announced that families that have experienced a financial shock could amend their applications and request more aid from that college or university. However, buttressed against addressing the financial aid issues, colleges may soon find themselves fighting over students to fill seats.

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Numerous colleges, such as Boston University, George Washington University, University of California System, revealed their decision to admit students on a “test-optional” basis in 2021. Though to test or not to test has been an ongoing topic for debate, advocates for the “test-optional” implementation believe strongly that the previous entrance admissions tests are simply biased anyway, believing that colleges have used testing policies to become either more exclusive or diverse.

There will be an overwhelming amount of admission officers searching for a means to measure potential and performance for students applying for the 2021school year.

Colleges will most likely see is a creative college enrollment year like no other in the history of admissions. With Advanced Placement tests diluted down due to distant learning and a grading system converted from averages to pass/fail.

There is no doubt that GPA’s and class ranks will be too compromised to be the sole determining factor to earn any student a “you’ve been accepted” letter.

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Maybe a first for some, but Colleges and Universities will be looking at the admission process through new glasses and hopefully it’s a pair that can measure what’s meaningful for success and not just what’s easily measurable. With SAT and ACT scores being scarce or obsolete for the upcoming college year, colleges all over the United States will most likely be piecing together a broader admission process that will be challenging.

This pandemic has put colleges on an accelerated track to adopt a number of alternative methods when it comes to the admission process. Unsure when or if there will ever be some normalcy restored again, more and more colleges are now looking into providing virtual tours of their campuses to adhere to social distancing law requirements.

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