Tag coronavirus

COVID Admissions

The ripple effects of COVID-19 are just starting to make their impacts.  It’s safe to say that the coronavirus has upended the college admission process for the coming year.  You probably have a lot of questions and colleges are just starting to make adjustments to their admission process for next year.  Here are some of the topics that students and colleges are grappling with:  

I was going to take the May SAT but it is canceled.  

CollegeBoard and ACT have been monitoring the pandemic in an attempt to provide students with options.  Currently the June 6 SAT is still scheduled.  ACT has tests scheduled for June 13 (rescheduled from April) and July 18.  However, it’s true that you may only have one opportunity to take the test.  As a result, many colleges have announced they are going to be test optional (at least for the 2020-2021 application year).  FairTest has a list of test optional schools and schools that will be temporarily test optional.   

All of my activities are canceled for spring – what should I put on my activity list?  

Colleges understand – no sports, no spring performances, no student council or volunteer hours.  Your activity list may look a bit different than what you had planned.  Maybe it will include all the books you read while staying at home, a new language you taught yourself on Duolingo, or the tech support you offered your grandmother so you could all keep in touch.  If necessity is the mother of invention, maybe boredom is the mother of creativity.  Time to get creative.        

We are doing online learning – they say our grades will be pass/fail.   

Colleges are going to be making a lot of adjustments to the way they consider applications.  Don’t panic about your grades not looking like they normally would.  High schools across the country are doing their best in this unprecedented situation.  Many colleges are doing the same for their own students – offering them the option to have pass/fail grades.  They will be understanding of whatever your school decided for grading.   

I think COVID-19 will make a great essay topic.  

It’s possible that the pandemic has changed your school/life experience in dramatic ways.  It would be natural to think this would make a perfect college essay.  But don’t forget, many students are sharing this same experience. You want your college essay to stand out, attract attention, or be remembered by the admission staff.  Consider whether your experience or perspective is unique.  You don’t want to be just another coronavirus essay…    

What about college visits?  

Many juniors were planning college tours for spring break and those in person tours were likely canceled.  However, there are still plenty of opportunities to get to know a college.  Take an online tour, attend a virtual admission events, chat with student tour guides, follow a school on Instagram and comment on a post.  Not only does this help you gather information, but colleges also track these online connections as part of “demonstrated interest.”  Some colleges consider demonstrated interest in the admission process.  Hopefully, in person visits will resume in the fall.     

Take Action 

The best advice as always is to stay informed.  Visit the websites for the colleges you are considering to find updates on admission policies and requirements and be in touch with your advisor about changes to your upcoming applications.  NACAC is providing this online resource to students and families as a centralized place where you can check for updates on all your schools.   

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Testing Updates

Coronavirus cancelations seem to be coming in from all directions – schools, weddings, concerts, even the Olympics have either been canceled or rescheduled.  The SAT and ACT are no exception.  It’s likely that your spring test schedule (along with your other schedules) looks very different now than it did a week ago.  With updates coming in on a rolling basis from testing organizations and colleges, it’s important to stay informed.  Check your email regularly, create a system for organizing important information, and stay in touch with your counselor.     

SAT Updates  

  • The May 2, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration has been canceled.  
  • The June 6, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration is still scheduled.  However, CollegeBoard will continue to assess health and safety recommendations and provide updates to registered students as soon as possible in case of changes.   
  • Refunds will be issued to students who are registered for canceled test dates. 
  • College Board will provide future additional SAT testing opportunities for students as soon as possible in place of canceled administrations.

ACT Updates 

  • ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13 across the U.S.  All students registered for the April 4 test date will receive an email from ACT in the next few days informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or a future national test date. 

AP Exam Updates 

  • Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home.  
  • Some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh. Other students may want more time to practice. For each AP subject, there will be 2 different testing dates. 
  • The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each AP Exam, and additional testing details will be available by April 3. We’ll also unlock any relevant free-response questions in AP Classroom for digital use so students can access all practice questions of the type that will appear on the exam. 

IB Exam Updates 

  • The May 2020 examinations scheduled between April 30 and May 22 for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme candidates have been canceled and will not be rescheduled. 
  • Depending on what they registered for, students will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on student’s coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programmes. 

Take Action 

The good news is you will have time to take the SAT or ACT before college deadlines.  We may also see more colleges becoming test optional as a result of this spring.  The full impact of these cancelations and other changes on college admission won’t be known for some time.  Meanwhile, stay healthy and stay safe and stay connected (virtually) with your school and friends.  You – Generation Z, more than any generation – have the tools, ability, and creativity to make something extraordinary out of these strange circumstances. 

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Testing Updates

As a senior, it’s unlikely that you were planning to take the SAT or the ACT but coronavirus cancelations may still impact your spring test schedule.  You may have AP or IB exams, or possibly SAT Subject tests on your calendar however, testing organizations are working swiftly to reschedule or revise most of these exams.  With updates coming in on a rolling basis from testing organizations and colleges, it’s important to stay informed.  Check your email regularly, create a system for organizing important information, and stay in touch with your counselor.    

SAT Updates  

  • The May 2, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration has been canceled.   
  • The June 6, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration is still scheduled.  However, CollegeBoard will continue to assess health and safety recommendations and provide updates to registered students as soon as possible in case of changes.   
  • Refunds will be issued to students who are registered for canceled test dates.  
  • College Board will provide future additional SAT testing opportunities for students as soon as possible in place of canceled administrations. 

AP Exam Updates 

  • Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home.  
  • Some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh. Other students may want more time to practice. For each AP subject, there will be 2 different testing dates. 
  • The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each AP Exam, and additional testing details will be available by April 3. We’ll also unlock any relevant free-response questions in AP Classroom for digital use so students can access all practice questions of the type that will appear on the exam. 

IB Exam Updates 

  • The May 2020 examinations scheduled between April 30 and May 22 for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme candidates have been canceled and will not be rescheduled. 
  • Depending on what they registered for, students will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on student’s coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programmes. 

ACT Updates 

  • ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13 across the U.S.  All students registered for the April 4 test date will receive an email from ACT in the next few days informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or a future national test date. 

Special Note for Seniors 

The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on students everywhere but it can feel especially egregious for seniors.  This was your year!  Suddenly things like senior trips, senior prom, graduation, the “last time I get to…” are being snatched away.  We are heartbroken with you that your high school experience is ending this way.  

But this is still your year and there’s a lot of it left!  Communities around the world have come together in the midst of unprecedented circumstances.  You – Generation Z, more than any generation – have the tools, ability, and creativity to make something extraordinary out of these strange circumstances.  We hear you and we feel your hurt – but we are also excited to see you soar!  You were made for this!     

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Virtual Visits

The coronavirus has drastically altered life around the world, and while college admissions isn’t life and death, it’s safe to say that the admissions process has been upended.  Colleges around the country have canceled in person classes and most have adopted an online format for the remainder of the semester.  With that, it’s certain that spring college visits will be occurring in non-traditional ways.  So how can you get a feel for a college when the campus is closed?   

In the coming weeks, it’s possible that we will see many colleges postpone the May 1 enrollment confirmation date.  For now, it’s best to assume that you may need to make some choices without doing an in-person visit.  The NY Times had some great suggestions for “Making Decisions When Colleges are Closed”.  It boils down to using your virtual resources.  

  • Virtual Tour – Many schools already have a virtual tour available.  In GuidedPath, you can find nearly 500 virtual tours through YouVisit on the college profile pages.  Other collections of online campus tours include YoUniversityTV or CampusTours.com.   
  • Extended Virtual Visit – Admissions offices around the country are scrambling to enhance their virtual visit options for seniors.  Stay in touch with the schools that have accepted you to find out what they will offer.  Zoom meetings with admission officers, chats with student tour guides, FaceTime appointments with financial aid counselors, or phone calls with faculty or advisors.  Universities are excited to welcome you to campus as an admitted student even if that means welcoming you remotely.   
  • Crowdsource a Connection – Chances are you may know someone who knows someone who is a current student.  And now that those current students have largely returned home, they may be available and excited to chat.  Reach out to your friend network or your college advisor to make a connection.   
  • Stay Positive – Although it is certainly an unprecedented time for colleges and the country, college campuses aren’t going anywhere.  Students will return to school and you will have a place in a freshman class.  For now, it’s all about making the most informed choice possible.   

Take Action 

The best course of action is to stay informed and stay in touch with the colleges to which you have been admitted.  Check your email daily and check college websites for updated deadlines and procedures – including financial aid, enrollment forms, housing contracts, orientation and registration.  Expect a lot of communication from colleges in the coming weeks.  Be sure to have a method for organizing this information.  And keep in touch with your advisor to stay on track.    

read more

Virtual Visits

The coronavirus has drastically altered life around the world, and while college admissions isn’t life and death, it’s safe to say that the admissions process has been upended.  Colleges around the country have canceled in person classes and most have adopted an online format for the remainder of the semester.  With that, it’s certain that spring college visits will be occurring in non-traditional ways.  So how can you get a feel for a college when the campus is closed?   

If your spring break plans included college visits, what should you do now?  It boils down to using your virtual resources.  

  • Virtual Tour – Many schools already have a virtual tour available.  In GuidedPath, you can find nearly 500 virtual tours through YouVisit on the college profile pages.  Other collections of online campus tours include YoUniversityTV or CampusTours.com.   
  • Extended Virtual Visit – Admissions offices around the country are scrambling to enhance their virtual visit options and reformat spring visit days.  Stay in touch with the schools you were planning to visit to find out what they will offer.  Zoom meetings with admission officers, chats with student tour guides, and many other creative options will give you a first look at the campus.   
  • Crowdsource a Connection – Chances are you may know someone who knows someone who is a current student.  And now that those current students have largely returned home, they may be available and excited to chat.  Reach out to your friend network or your college advisor to make a connection.   
  • Stay Positive – Although it is certainly an unprecedented time for colleges and the country, college campuses aren’t going anywhere.  Students will return to school and you will have a chance to visit.   

Take Action 

For now, it’s all about staying informed on changes.  From new test dates for SAT or ACT, to possible changes to the admission timeline, stay in touch with your advisor for the most accurate information.  Check your email daily and check college websites often for updated deadlines and procedures.  Expect a lot of communication from colleges in the coming months.  Be sure to have a method for organizing this information.   

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