COVID Changes College: A New Admissions Process

Two+college+sophomores+wear+masks+as+they+return+to+campus

Eva O’Leary

Two college sophomores wear masks as they return to campus

Kalea Reeves, Staff Writer

The coronavirus pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives, and for juniors and seniors, that includes college applications. Thankfully, many colleges are adjusting to help you find and get into your perfect school.

If you’re still undecided and searching for the college you want to go to, most college admissions have added virtual tours, that is if they are not in-person yet. Not only can potential students virtually see how the campus looks and feel the vibe of the school, but there are many interactive live chats with current students and admissions counselors.

Instead of having in-person college visits in the learning commons like we used to, we have virtual visits every week. It’s a great opportunity to see the colleges around us and what they have to offer, even though we may not be able to truly visit.  

With the colleges that are allowing campus visits, there are a lot of new rules. One-family groups, masks and social distancing are just a few of the new changes. It’s hard to get a full experience of the campus, since many extracurricular activities are either cancelled or virtual.

“I visited Lindenwood for volleyball, and it was pretty limited. It was a little weird, because I couldn’t see the volleyball team play at all since their season got moved to Spring. It was still nice to just get to be on campus though,” senior Audrey Weber said.

Once you’ve found your school, you’ll notice that the admissions process for college is looking a lot different this year. Application deadlines have been extended, and most schools have become test-optional because of the ACT/SAT test cancellations. Admissions have begun to look more at a student’s character and how they contribute to their communities, instead of just looking at test scores.

“The application is a chance for a college to understand a student’s story, which hasn’t changed in 2020,” college counselor Mrs. Katie Dodge said.

However, this more holistic process could also be difficult as many high school extracurricular activities and leadership opportunities are cancelled. Colleges are also offering less financial aid and scholarships, due to their own financial struggles. In fact, many colleges have already shut down due to low financing such as Urbana University in Ohio and MacMurrary College in Illinois.

In response to this, many organizations, such as Chegg and Scholly, are rewarding scholarships to those affected by the pandemic to help financially support students through college.

Schools in our area are taking great strides to ensure the safety of prospective students. SLU has lowered the cost of their classes to $250 for three credit hours, Mizzou is setting up virtual college visits and is test-optional and St. Charles Community College is completely virtual with all of its classes as of now.

It seems difficult, but in these troubling times, you can fight the obstacles and get into your dream school. COVID-19 has changed a lot, but it can’t decide your future!