In order to allow students who want to write about the pandemic do so without making their main essay about the pandemic, the Common Application decided to make an … During the pandemic… If you had to take your courses pass/fail, don’t sweat it. What kinds of projects are the students creating? Without the benefit of campus visits, committing early can be daunting. With many college admissions testing sites closing down during the pandemic, as many as 50 percent of early applications arrived without any test scores this year. ... Below, he answers questions from The New York Times about getting into college during the Covid-19 pandemic… • Don’t worry about your grades. College Admissions During a Pandemic At the onset of the pandemic, many SAT and ACT tests were rescheduled or canceled last minute. I'm Admissions officers are certainly asking this question and so are college presidents and trustees. This year the Common Application, the digital form that most schools accept, has an optional question that gives students 250 words to describe their pandemic experiences. Before that I covered law and lawyers for journalistic stickler, harsh taskmaster and the best teacher a young reporter could have had, Steven Brill. Some of the chapters in the story may appear a bit different this year, or in some cases may be nonexistent. The pandemic put staff and current and prospective students in quarantine for during the busy admissions season. In the best cases, universities are featuring the strengths of faculty and administration in a far more authentic way. Seth Allen, vice president for strategy and dean of admissions and financial aid, Pomona College, Claremont, Calif. According to admissions veterans, selective colleges below the top tier are likely to accept more students early in an effort to lock in a first-year class. Check out: The best credit cards of 2020 could earn you over $1,000 in 5 years Don't miss: There are hundreds of schools that would love to have your application without test scores. Subscribe, Illustration by NICOLAS ORTEGA for Forbes. According to admissions veterans, selective colleges below the top tier are likely to accept more students early in an effort to lock in a first-year class. I’ve heard lots of worries about academic testing. Catherine McDonald Davenport, vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions, Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa. Students and their families have told me some of their biggest worries are about not being able to make campus visits. Tim Wolfe, associate vice president for enrollment and dean of admission, William & Mary, Williamsburg, Va. Here you can describe — in your own voice — your goals, passions and experiences like no one else. The college search should still be about finding “fit.” When I talk about fit, I focus on three areas of fit — academic fit, social fit and financial fit. If your scores sit at or exceed the school’s midpoint, it may benefit you to submit because you’ll be up against students with similar profiles. I’ve been at Forbes since 1995, writing about everything from books to billionaires. Some students are volunteering as poll workers during the election. Ours is a holistic review process that considers many factors. Eric Nichols, vice president for enrollment management, Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore. For the most part, students are pretty honest in their applications. I think about what our relationships might have looked like if the pandemic didn’t socially limit us as much as it did, and I think that the community in my house would have been significantly less close knit and the friendships wouldn’t have been nearly as deep. © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. How do you put together a strong application when it’s nearly impossible to take an admissions test, your school switched to pass/fail grades in the crucial spring term of your junior year and your extracurriculars and summer job all got canceled because of the pandemic? Amid the coronavirus pandemic, applying to college is trickier than ever. College admission deans offer 5 tips James Vaznis 6/29/2020. Remember, we’ll see your transcripts and recommendation letters. That is the case at William & Mary, and we stand by that flexibility. I encourage students to look at online content created both before the pandemic and during. It will continue to impact students in the coming weeks, months, and even years. Jon Westover, director of undergraduate admissions, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C. “Timelines have changed this year,” says Brown University’s Logan Powell. Colleges know this — remember that everyone is going through the pandemic, including admissions officers. 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