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Unusual times: navigating the college application process during a pandemic

June 23rd, 2020

Wow, what a ride 2020 has been, and we’re only halfway through the year! The college search has changed for everyone, and taking a creative, open and intentional approach has proven key.

Author Jeffrey Selingo offers wonderful pointers for the Class of ’21 in the article we’ve linked to below. Some students will see themselves in what’s described: canceled test dates, changed grading policies, activities going by the wayside, uncertainty about how to proceed. The crux of the message, though, is this: control what you can and use your time this summer effectively, instead of mourning what you can’t control and letting weeks slip by unproductively.

Before you dive in, one difference of opinion to note: Selingo quotes a guidance counselor who recommends expanding your college application list this year. However, I stand by my mantra of “searching broadly and applying narrowly.” The final application list need not have more than 8-9 colleges, particularly if selected with care. Even – perhaps especially – in these unusual times, students should have a firm rationale for applying to each college and not “overapply.”

Article referenced below from The New York Times, published June 3, 2020 written by Jeffrey Selingo

Carly Ross, an 11th-grader at Evanston Township High School outside of Chicago, had planned to take the ACT for the first time in April after completing a 10-week prep course over the winter. When the April test date was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, she signed up for one in June.

Last week, the ACT canceled the June administration at two-thirds of testing locations nationwide, including at Carly’s school. She’s holding out hope to take the test in July.

“It’s adding so much stress to the process because now the ACT is talking about an online test, which is something I haven’t prepared for,” she said. “This isn’t how I expected my college search to unfold at all.”

Read more at New York Times>>