Positive Changes in The College Admissions Process Due to COVID

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college admissions covid

Because of the pandemic, the year 2020 was a disaster on so many levels, especially for those attending college. Campuses closed, classes went virtual, and in many cases, students suffered. Events and celebrations were cancelled, including in-person graduation ceremonies. Students who did not have access to the internet had to figure out where to go for internet so that they could continue with the virtual classes. Colleges made changes and hoped for the best. That’s the negative outcome regarding college process, but there have been several changes made that are advantageous to many students!

TEST OPTIONAL: Because the SAT and ACT cancelled tests, many students were not able to provide tests scores to colleges that require scores both for admission and scholarship purposes. The CLT (which is a newer exam) was already an online test so they were able to go virtual and continue offering tests throughout 2020. However, many colleges do not accept the scores from the CLT (although many more are now taking a serious look at it) so students who were not able to take either the SAT or the ACT found themselves in a tough situation. Many colleges, as a response to this situation, have become test optional, using the student’s GPA for acceptance and for scholarship purposes. Test optional does not mean test blind. At the college where I work, we will use either the students’ GPA or their test scores (when supplied) in order to offer the highest academic scholarship earned. For students who have great GPAs but who have not been able to test, do not test well, or who have test anxiety, this is a huge advantage!!

VIRTUAL TOURS: When campus shut down then on-campus tours stopped. That’s a disadvantage. But, wait, there’s good news! Most colleges now offer virtual tours. Granted, virtual tours do not offer the same experience as an on-campus tour, but being able to take virtual tours is a great way to narrow down top college choices. Another advantage!

FEES WAIVED: More than a few 2020 high school graduates pondered taking a gap year. Students, in most cases, prefer to take classes in person, living on campus. If their college of choice was only offering virtual classes, many chose to take a gap semester or a gap year. For the most part, the applications for incoming freshmen decreased. As a result, many colleges have waived their application fees. For students who plan to apply to several schools, this is a financial advantage! At Bryan College, even though we exceeded our pre-COVID admission goals, we have not only waived the application fee for traditional students, but we have waived the fee for online and dual enrollment students too!

So, there you have it. Not everything that has changed during the 2020 pandemic has been negative! Students can now take advantage of these positive changes and take virtual tours, submit GPAs in lieu of test scores (in many cases), and save money thanks to waived application fees!

Pat Wesolowski is an author, speaker, and homeschooling mother of 9 who is now the Homeschool Specialist at Bryan College in Dayton, TN. After homeschooling her 9 children for the past 32 years, she is finally finished! Pat has a heart for helping parents find joy in their homeschooling experience and, for that reason, loves teaching workshops in order to encourage and equip parents for a fun and successful homeschool experience. Pat is the host of a podcast entitled “Homeschooling Co-op Style,” writes a blog, and has authored numerous unit studies for homeschooled students.  Pat has also written a free eResource to help parents plan for a successful high school experience. It is available to download at this link:

college admissions covid

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