COVID-19 has forced sweeping changes in many parts of the world. Others are just now beginning to see the impact that this virus will have on their daily lives. There have been major shifts in perception about topics that, until recently, were set in stone. Among those topics is a student’s decision about attending college. Up until a few months ago, going to college was a milestone for every high school senior. It wasn’t a question about whether to go, but rather questions about applications, admissions, and funding. Now, in the midst of a crisis, students and their parents are having very different conversations about college admissions.

A Change in Student Perspectives

The traditional college experience may likely no longer be an option for many students. As such, this option has lost its value, with students putting off decisions to enroll until receiving confirmation regarding whether campuses will open. The average cost of attendance for a student living on campus is approximately $25,000 a year in the state of Texas. For many students, this is an almost impossible expense without the assistance of financial aid in regular times. However, given COVID-19, students are considering whether that price tag is worthwhile.

Schools are offering a Hybrid-Flexible model in which students could attend classes in-person, online, or both. However, schools also offer classes exclusively online. In this case, it would be in a student’s best financial interest to enroll in classes at a school with a lower price tag. As one student put it, paying that much money to sit at home and take classes online simply doesn’t make sense.

In addition to the changes in student perspectives toward college, admissions are anticipated to change dramatically as well.

Considerations for Admissions

Universities with traditionally competitive admissions, such as Harvard, may not see a decline in enrollment. However, they may allow a longer waitlist as uncertainty around student decisions will require administrative teams to maintain a larger-than-normal pool of potential students. Schools that are a few steps below these highly coveted universities are also likely to see an increase in enrollment. These schools will likely see an increase in revenue and also in future enrollment. Thus, they should take advantage of this new growth opportunity to demonstrate their quality of education.

In addition to enrollment changes, the admissions process is also likely to see several changes and become more complex. Admissions testing traditionally performed in-person will now proceed virtually, along with courses and other testing. College enrollment as a whole is likely to see an increase, based on historical patterns. During previous economic and global crises, students who were planning to enter the workforce have chosen instead to either enroll in school or extend their current collegiate career, as they wait to see if the job market improves.

Learn More About COVID-19’s Impact on College Admissions

The Tenney School has a history of accelerated learning with a focus on individual tutoring and college preparation. Our goal is to send each of our students to college. Please contact us to learn more about this aspect of our program.