College Admissions In a Post-Coronavirus World

Admission letter to a university
Four students wearing backpacks walking side by side at school

The college admission process has been the same for many decades, which focused on GPA, SAT/ACT scores, and extracurricular activities. This pandemic however, has completely shaken up the process and millions of students will have to face an admissions process that’s never been faced before. New resources need to be developed to help guide students through this new environment.

Here are some things that are expected to change

Many universities have dropped the SAT/ACT requirements in response to school closures and CollegeBoard canceling all SAT/ACT exams from March - June. For most schools, they only plan to drop the requirement until Fall 2021 but analysts are expecting them to just drop the test entirely. Although this was only done in reaction to the pandemic, this was just a tipping point to finally put the nail in the coffin for standardized tests as a consideration for admission. Universities have either been making the test optional or dropping it entirely due to huge pressure from students who believe admissions should not be based on a single test score and that this would bring a much more diverse pool of students. Placing less importance for these exams will make high school students less stressed, allowing them to focus on personal development and community contribution which is exactly what colleges are now looking for. This also means that the GPA will be given much larger consideration when it comes to evaluating a student’s academic performance while other factors such as extracurricular activities and socio-economic conditions will be given larger consideration as well.

What you should do

Top schools such as Dartmouth and MIT are considered the pinnacle of academic success yet even they are now saying that being the smartest in your class is not enough, they must show that they are good classmates and will contribute to the school environment and the community as a whole. Students should use the opportunity of being quarantined to focus on finding ways to make themselves stand out such as by starting a business and getting into community related activism.