Submitting Tests Remains Mostly Optional
Being able to apply without SAT or ACT tests, frees students to explore colleges that seem out of reach. The most popular, highly selective, and highest rated U.S. colleges may benefit most from this practice in new applicants and increased fees. Studies of colleges that were test optional before the pandemic, showed that students who did not submit tests were admitted at lower rates and earned lower GPAs on average, but graduated at the same or higher rates compared to students who submitted scores.
State Universities May Admit More Residents
Some state universities are reserving more seats for in-state residents. During a crisis, students tend to attend college closer to home and seek lower-cost options. In-state students may reduce demand for campus housing because they may commute from home while demand for dormitories is high.
Deadlines and Decisions Come Earlier
College application and scholarship deadlines are increasingly early. With applications for admissions available in August and financial aid in October each year, colleges have moved their deadlines up. Admissions decisions are arriving earlier, too, so that college officials can use winter and spring months to entice admitted students to enroll.
School Counselor Availability Is Uneven
Even after schools resumed in-person, students and parents often experienced limited or delayed access to counselors. Families may have used online tools but did not always have support in navigating those resources. School counselors may have been reassigned to focus on students with mental health challenges, academic setbacks, personal illness, family death, etc. Crisis counseling is sometimes prioritized over college counseling. This may have impacted the college-going rate, which has continued to drop. Counselors are critical to college access and success!
Make Good Use of Summer
With earlier deadlines for college admission and financial aid, students must make use of summer. Let’s talk about ways that I can help your student complete college applications this summer. Recently I was approved as a provider for Ohio’s Afterschool Child Enrichment Program (aceohio.org). This program provides eligible families with $500 to spend on educational advancement activities.