Coronavirus has changed society’s perception of many things. It has brought to light issues that previously went unnoticed and shifted perspective on some concerns that had previously been in the public eye. College, and college admissions, is no exception.
Many parents and students alike are concerned by what Coronavirus will mean for students planning to start college in 2020 or 2021. Students wonder if they will even have the ability to return to a traditional school model, or if they will find themselves learning virtually. Will they get to return to campus? Will they spend less time on campus before?
Many Students Plan to Stay Closer to Home
More than a third of graduating seniors and juniors — 35% of seniors and 39% of juniors — plan to apply to colleges closer to home than they did prior to Coronavirus. Students recognize the possibility that, no matter what college they apply to, they may not be able to stay on campus throughout the entire school year. Some colleges are planning to forego fall break and end the semester earlier. Others are insisting that students leave campus during these periods, rather than being able to remain in the dorms.
For many students, this has substantial implications. Some students cannot afford to go home for breaks. Others need a living environment that remains consistent. As a result, many students are choosing to pursue education closer to home, where they have the support of family if the campus does shut down.
Fears About Costs Continue Rising
In addition to travel-related challenges and the potential for shutdowns and closures, many students are more worried about the cost of paying for college than before. Some students lost their jobs or ended up put on furlough as a result of pandemic concerns. Others had their hours cut. Both these challenges make it more difficult for students to save for college. Worse, their parents may have lost their jobs or seen reduced hours, making it impossible for them to provide financial assistance. As a result of the pandemic, most states have seen a substantial drop in the number of students applying for federal aid to help with college.
Testing Requirements Change
As a result of Coronavirus disruption, many colleges are waiving SAT and ACT requirements. These test-optional schools will use students’ grades, essays, and other information to determine admissions. A smaller pool of applicants may also make it easier to waive these requirements.
The Schools Thriving in Spite of Coronavirus Changes
While many colleges and universities are suffering significant hardship in light of Coronavirus-related changes, some have the potential to thrive. The colleges likely to perform the best in the coming year are:
Those Who Show a Strong Level of Flexibility
Seniors are waiting longer to make a decision about the college they want to attend. As a result, those colleges that are flexible and adaptable will perform the best in the coming years. Indeed, colleges should be able to shift admissions requirements along with their educational models.
Colleges That Have a Strong Online Model Already in Place
With the possibility of classes moving online, effective higher learning institutions prepare to shift their learning models online. The best online models include interaction and plenty of virtual resources, including continuing interaction between students.
Community college has long represented a less-expensive opportunity to achieve higher education. Many students feel, in light of the pandemic, that community college has become a more practical choice than before: if they’re going to sit in front of computer screens at home, students feel, they might as well attend the more financially reasonable institution.
Learn More About COVID-19’s Impact on College Admissions
Coronavirus has caused many changes around the world and across a variety of different industries, including college admissions. Parents want their college-bound students to be prepared for those changes. If you need help providing the best educational setting for a student with a year or two of high school still to go, contact us to learn more about our educational options and how we can help set your child up for success.