How will the college admissions process change in 2020?
In light of the recent corona-virus pandemic, an already equivocal college admissions process has now become even harder to navigate for high school rising seniors applying to colleges as part of the Class of 2025. In this article, we present to you some of the key factors in college admissions that will be looking completely different for the coming year.
Most prestigious colleges in the US have made standardized testing such as the SAT and ACT– an important factor in college admissions– optional, stating economic disruptions to candidates and lack of access to testing sites. The entire Ivy League, along with other top colleges like Stanford, Williams, and Amherst, have implemented a test-optional policy for the 2021 application season with some colleges eliminating the requirement of submitting test scores. For instance, Davidson College, a highly selective liberal arts college, is implementing a three-year pilot program that will make submitting standardized test results optional.
It should be noted by students, however, that not all colleges have eliminated the standardized testing requirement. While standardized testing will not cause any disadvantages to students’ applications as made clear by universities, it can still provide a significant boost. According to TMRW, submitting an excellent score can make you stand out, especially at a time when extracurricular activities like volunteering, sports, or other leadership activities are inaccessible. Moreover, standardized testing also helps validate students’ abilities, especially in a time where a semester’s worth of grades have been converted into Pass/Fail for a majority of candidates.
Apart from most colleges dismissing the need for standardized testing, COVID-19 has also presented enrollment issues for all colleges in the US. It is predicted that it will be slightly easier to get into colleges this upcoming season, according to Robert Massa’s article in The Conversation titled “5 ways that the coronavirus will change college admissions this fall.” Massa argues that the waiting list for colleges will be longer as some international students will not be able to attend colleges because of the pandemic. However, this notion can be argued as more and more students who are admitted to the Class of 2024 are planning to defer their enrollment to the fall of 2021 or, in other words, take a gap year as colleges shift their classes online. Prospective and current students have not been happy with the idea of paying exorbitant tuition and attending online classes, complaining about the loss in their pure college experience. This could lead to universities lowering their acceptance rates for the Class of 2025 as they look to handle the backlog of students who are choosing to defer enrollment.
An increase in virtual visits will plausibly be the scenario for many college applicants. It is pretty straightforward to understand that most colleges will look forward to restricting or lessening the entry of visitors. Likewise, it will be equally risky for students to travel to new places, especially for those traveling by air, and thus, many of them will probably make full use of virtual tours and online Q&As.
We hope we have covered all the details that will assist you in planning your moves for the upcoming application cycle. Please feel free to use the box below if you have any further questions, and our team will be happy to assist you.
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Some sources used to validate our opinions: