Students applying to colleges face new changes, challenges

Taking a virtual tour has become much more common during COVID.

Photo courtesy of: Kara Bade

Taking a virtual tour has become much more common during COVID.

Kara Bade

Due to the COVID pandemic, many things have been changed, such as the college application process. There are plenty of colleges still accepting applications, so it is important to know these changes so students can take those into consideration when applying. Since most applications are online, there isn’t too much of a difference. However, the major change is that most schools are test optional.

ACT/SAT’s have always played such a big role in the application process and this year without many students having had the chance to take a test due to COVID, admissions looks very different.”

— Counselor Jamie Jackson

There are many positives and negatives that come from this new application process. One advantage to the tests not being counted is that it could be a stress reliever to students so they can focus more on their grades and have time to do other activities. However, there are also some disadvantages, such as students who work very hard to get good scores on these tests, and their scores won’t matter as much compared to previous years. Although most students think that it is going to be easier to get into college because their test scores won’t be counted, there are still too many unknown factors to decide if it is easier or more difficult.

“For one, some students decided to defer their admission due to COVID this year which means they will be starting with the class of 2021. However, without ACT/SAT being a factor the school will be looking more at the students transcript (how hard they have worked) and all of the extra things that they have done inside and outside of school. So, that could go either way,” Jackson said.

“I already took my SAT, but I think for people that didn’t have the opportunity to take the test it’s easier for them this year. Also, since I took it I have more to apply with, so it helps me when in previous years everyone took the tests,” senior Annabella Centeno said.

There are many mixed beliefs about whether the tests should be counted or not. Some students could say that now colleges must look at the students character and their work ethic, while others say that the tests show their work ethic, so there is still a need for them. It is yet to be determined if this is easier or more difficult, but it may be proven later down the road.