Admissions Considerations During COVID-19

In a matter of days admission updates and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic change drastically. As a family with students applying or looking towards the future to apply to college, these times may feel uncertain. A key piece to college applications lies in one word: CONTEXT. Context is the piece of information provided that a college will take into consideration when making decisions. So while you may not be able to take an SAT or ACT, or obtain an official transcript, or play in your sport this Spring, remember this word. Because colleges will not fault a student for something that is completely out of their control. They will instead, consider the context.

As of today, April 1, 2020, the UC system has announced they will suspend SAT/ACT and minimum grades needed for the 2020-2021 admission cycle due to COVID-19. Many colleges, including the University of Oregon, Oregon State, Boston University among others, have stated they will go test optional for the class of 2021.

As a student and a family, it is a time to focus on what you can control. Although you may not be able to tour colleges, to sit for an ACT or visit a school you were admitted to, you do have an opportunity to access information at your fingertips and make educated decisions and personal goals based on your needs and priorities.

Rest assured, colleges will respond, and do operate in the benefit of the student. In a climate where students are home learning, there can be opportunities to get creative and also take a breather from the hustle of high school and a jam-packed schedule. Now is an opportunity to think outside the box and use the time at home to focus on strengths and get creative.

  • Create a YouTube channel
  • Write a book
  • Organize virtual soccer practices
  • Build an art portfolio
  • Create a video game
  • Journal
  • Tutor younger students virtually and offer support for parents with young children from afar

Control what you can. Enjoy time with family, continue to do well in your classes and complete assignments and think of an activity you can do at home or virtually that still creatively showcases your strengths. And remember, context is key, you cannot be faulted for what is not available to you. So think about how you can spend your time in a meaningful way. And don’t forget all of the ways you can virtually tour and research a college from home.

Published by Casey Barneson

Author of The College Wellness Guide. Beverly Hills High School College Counselor.

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