We’ve previously discussed how COVID-19 might affect your SAT or ACT testing schedule. But how will the coronavirus affect your college admissions calendar in general?
Looking To The Past
The biggest question on everyone’s mind is how long will we be self isolating? In China, some areas that were no as impacted have begun to reopen schools. However, highly impacted areas’ schools still remain closed.
Looking at the 1918 Spanish flu, schools were closed anywhere from 1 month to 4 months.
In terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, K-12 schools will most likely be closed for a minimum of 8 weeks, which means many students will likely be out of school for the rest of the school year. Meanwhile, almost all colleges and universities around the country have already sent students home to finish the rest of the semester from home.
Effects on the College Admission Schedule
You may be wonder how you will take your AP tests in May or your SAT test that was cancelled in March. There is no need to freak out because every student around the world is in the same boat as you. If your SAT or AP test was cancelled or altered, so was everyone else’s.
Colleges and universities have been more deeply affected by the recent changes. They moved to online courses quicker than U.S high schools did. No college will be doing admit weekends this year, along with college tours and campus visits.
What this means for your college schedule is that you may have to make decisions about where you want to go for college without ever visiting campus and experiencing the spirit and vibe of the school.
Change to Admission Cycles
We don’t know exactly how colleges will change their admission cycles and dates for undergrad admissions. However, we can look to how they’ve adapted recently for transfer and graduate school applications.
Some schools, such as Boston University, have allowed more flexibility in their testing policies by allowing international students who can’t take the TOEFL or IELTS to take an online test with Duolingo.
In addition, schools have been extending transfer application deadlines by a few weeks.
The main take away from these changes is that colleges don’t want to penalize you because of something out of your control. This is good news for undergraduates who will be applying to colleges soon.
The Bigger Issue
The bigger issue how COVID-19 will impact high school learning. The longer schools are closed, the more likely school districts around the country will have to adapt to what private schools have been doing. Many private schools are equipped to give students full online classwork through a computerized system. But not every school district has the resources to implement this, as well as not every student in the school district may have access to a computer. As a result, there will be inequity with how students are learning.
This may mean your high school calendar will be adjusted. Possibly you will be taking classes in the summer, or having extended school days to catch up. This in turn can affect how and when you apply to college.
COVID-19 will also affect your extra curricular involvement. How will you stand out without your unique after school activities? I predict that this will result in colleges pushing back deadlines for applying. As of now, it is too early for colleges to make this call. But as we saw with transfer applications being pushed back, this may point to early decision/action applications being pushed to December instead of early fall. In addition, colleges may look at sophomore grades and extra curriculars more heavily than junior year.
What to Do In The Meantime
Life won’t return completely to normal until there is a vaccine. So the longer it takes to find the cure, the more our lives are stalled. This will affect your entire schooling in general as well as college admissions.
In the meantime, what can you do? If you have free time, you can prepare for the next SAT or ACT. Also, take this time to explore your intellectual curiosity as much as possible.
And remember, we’re all in this together.