Applying for Colleges in 2020


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A group of students head to in person classes together.

Allie Leatherman, Editor-In-Chief

Students applying for colleges this year will have a different experience than students who applied in previous years because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Many universities are struggling financially and are forced to take into account that many applicants were unable to take standardized tests, thus causing the admissions process to be affected.

Many colleges are now not requiring SAT or ACT scores because of how many test sessions were cancelled. Instead, colleges must look more closely at transcripts and college essays.

“Essays show college admissions who you are as a person,” senior Alexandra Lerma said. “They allow you to stand out from other applicants, and are even more important now for students not submitting test scores.”

During the summer, many students were unable to attend college tours because of Covid-19. To combat this, colleges host virtual tours on their websites and some now have limited in-person tours.

“Not being able to visit a college would affect how you perceive it,” senior Emily Breeze said. “Lots of colleges are doing virtual tours, but it’s not the same experience.”

Universities are now forced to take into account that many students were unable to finish projects, are unable to participate in clubs and extracurricular activities, or lost the chance to raise their GPA.

It is unlikely that the probability of being accepted into colleges has changed ,” college and career advisor Chelsea Baldree said. “Admissions officers are looking at applications holistically- considering the applicants experiences, personal attributes, academic metrics and value.”

Many students who graduated in May decided to take a gap year to avoid catching Covid-19 or to try to have a normal college experience the next year.

“At one point I considered taking a gap year,” Lerma said. “I wanted a normal college experience. But then I figured, ‘what are the chances that this whole thing is going to go away in a year?’”