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How To Choose A College During Covid

COVID-19 disrupted the plans and roadmaps everyone had for 2020. For high school seniors, the already stressful and hard process of applying for college has been made all the more difficult. However, some of the adjustments colleges are required to make may be for the better going forward. To gain some insight on the struggles […]

COVID-19 disrupted the plans and roadmaps everyone had for 2020. For high school seniors, the already stressful and hard process of applying for college has been made all the more difficult. However, some of the adjustments colleges are required to make may be for the better going forward.

To gain some insight on the struggles that students are facing while trying to apply to college during the lockdown, I sat down with CB college counselor Mrs. April Melarkey.

Part of applying for college is being able to visit the school and get a feel for the atmosphere.

“I think the obvious is not being able to visit college,” Mrs. Melarkey says. “But I think that presents some unique challenges and I think it creates a little bit more work for you, the student, who is applying because you really have to spend some time researching whether this school is a good fit for you versus being able to go and just getting that feeling.”

Mrs. Melarkey was also able to provide information on resources to substitute for the lost college visits. “I’m really impressed with each university and college and what they’re offering” Mrs. Melarkey adds. “Going to their website because typically they’re putting it right on their front page, sign up for a virtual visit here, contact us for more information. Many of them are even doing one on one informational sessions with students.”

Due to COVID-19, the SAT and ACT are no longer a required part of the application for some schools. While this is a blessing to some, it also raises some questions for students on what to do with their applications.

“You improve every aspect of the application. Start your applications early so that you can really put in some good care and time in filling them out” says Mrs. Melarkey. “Parts of that application are going to weigh differently now. If you are unable to submit a test score, you won’t be penalized for that but they will be leaning on those other aspects of the application”.

While some students are choosing to alter their application, others remain hopeful that they will be able to take the test before application deadlines.

“I’m still taking my SAT and ACT right when they are opening up” says Gabby DeMarais (’21). “I’ve been focusing more on trying to find a date for the SAT and ACT.”

Other students like Dakota Jones (’21), have already taken the SAT.

“I was lucky enough to take the SAT before and do alright,” he says. “With my GPA and test scores I hope they still count.”

COVID-19 also has students putting more thought into the idea of taking a gap year or changing the schools they are applying to.

“I haven’t considered the idea of a gap year because everywhere I’m applying to is open” says Gabby.

“COVID-19 doesn’t have me changing where I’m applying to, but community college or a gap year would be better than a whole paid for year of university” adds Dakota.

The Coronavirus has shaken up peoples lives and forced dramatic changes in order to adjust to new circumstances. Even with all of the changes that come with trying to live life entirely from home, the stress of applying to college still remains the same.

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