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.

Standardized Testing
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 110898755-test-form-with-pencilscore 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.

College Enrollment
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.

Virtual Visits.
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:

A very important factor in college admissions that applicants overlook

What are the most important factors when it comes to college application success? GPA? Test Scores? Application Essay? Every high school seniors work tirelessly on ticking all these boxes. And, eventually, the most common one which is missed is the “level of applicant interest” box.

Let’s cut straight to the chase – colleges do not want to take in applicants who applied without demonstrating much interest. They want to take in students who they believe could potentially attend their place so that colleges can maximize their yield rate. So, applicants need to make sure they are genuinely interested in the colleges they are applying.

The best way to demonstrate interest is by scheduling a visit to the college. You should also request an on-campus interview if you feel comfortable sitting for one. However, a visit may not be possible for international students or domestic students living quite far away from the college. The best course of action for such applicants would be to request for a virtual or an alumni interview if such opportunities are offered or recommended. It displays that you are keen to explore and learn more about the college. The other easiest thing that any applicant can do is join the mailing list. All it takes is to go to Google, type in “XXXX college mailing list” and then fill up a quick form. Also, if you have any concern about any part of your application, you should always reach out to your admissions counsellor.

All the best with the application season! May the odds be in your favour!

Interested on the secrets behind how much SAT, GPAs, and essays matter in the application process. This article is just for you: .

Average GPA of top US colleges

University/College name Average GPA Percentage of students who submitted GPA
Princeton University (2018)3.999.03%
Harvard University (2018)4.1899.52%
Stanford University (2019)3.9681.80%
University of Pennsylvania (2018)3.995%
Washington University of St. Louis (2018)4.1589%
University of California – Los Angeles (2019)3.95,845 students submitted
Emory University (2018)3.7895.40%
University of California – Berkely (2018)3.79100%
University of Southern California (2018)3.79100%
Carnegie Mellon University (2018)3.84100%
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (2018)3.8692%
Georgia Institute of Technology (2018)4.0799.46%
New York University (2018)3.6299%
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (2018)4.792.30%
University of California – Santa Barbara (2018)3.5597.05%
University of Florida (2018)4.4299%
Brandeis University (2018)3.8391.62%
Smith College (2018)3.9863.60%
Colgate University (2018)3.72100.00%
Davidson College (2018)3.93100.00%
Kenyon College (2018)3.9485.00%
Mount Holyoke College (2019)3.8480.00%
Oberlin College (2019)3.5887.59%
Scripps College (2018)4.1298.80%
Bucknell University (2018)3.56100.00%
Pitzer College (2018)3.9499.63%
Lafayette College (2019)3.5299.43%

Top colleges in the US providing the most financial aid to international students.

Here is the list of top twenty liberal arts Colleges in the US that provide the most financial aid to international students. Our data is based on the official data sets ( known as common data sets ) that colleges publish every year.
P.S. : Do note that the total cost ( tuition, room and board, insurance ) of attending these top tier colleges will approximately be USD 71,000 per year without any financial aid or merit based scholarship

Williams College
Amherst College 66,000
Swarthmore College 63,000
Wellesley College 64,500
Pomona College 59,400
Bowdoin College 56,900
Carleton College 46,900  
Claremont Mckenna College 51,000
Middlebury College 61,000
Washington and Lee University 60,600
Colby College 54,700 ( old data )
Haverford College 64,500
Smith College 56,100
Hamilton College 61,000
Vassar College 63,000
Colgate University 61,000
Davidson College 48,500
Wesleyan University 64,000
Bates College 59,000

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