As we deal with the current shutdown of the majority of our society due to the virus, what's next when it comes to the college process? Many things are changing radically, but it would be premature to say that a college degree will become worthless; college is still the brass ring for most Americans. So what can you do during this time? I suggest that students and parents think out of the box. Sure, short-term, it is pretty chaotic right now, with information changing rapidly. But, keeping a level head through this situation can help. For example, parents of Juniors could flip the "normal" college-prep sequence and start key aspects of the application process a couple of months early.
For at least the last decade, most students went through the college process in a serial fashion: SAT/ACT first, followed by school selection and then college applications. Most often, every year high school Juniors finish their SAT/ACT testing by June. But as we know, this year was different with the March, April, and May tests cancelled. The SAT has already cancelled the June test leaving a gap from the December to August tests of nearly 9 months. The ACT has fared a bit better with a February test and just cancelling the April test so far.
Current Testing plan:
SAT: August, SEPTEMBER (just added), October, November, December
ACT: June 13th test (Looks like they will add a June 20th date) and July 18th test (Looks like they will add a July 25thdate), September, October, December
It appears that both test prep providers plan to add more schools for test dates. Preference will be given to Juniors/rising Seniors who have not have not yet taken a single test or maybe were bounced from March, May, and June tests.
Certainly, more schools have gone to “test optional” with the virus. Nationally, there are 1130+ 4 year schools that have gone test optional. However, students with good SAT (ACT) scores should still submit. TEST OPTIONAL does not mean TEST BLIND.
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Have Competitive College Admissions Peaked?
The impact of the Virus on future competitive college admissions:
At least for the present time, it appears that the global pandemic is having a significant impact on competitive colleges for three reasons:
- For those colleges that have a significant international population
- For families who may have been impacted financially
- For students who may choose schools closer to home
Best estimates right now for HS Seniors is that there has been a 15% drop-off in applications. The factors noted above will likely continue for HS Juniors as well and possibly beyond.
We are fully equipped for our online SAT/ACT test prep until we go back to our normal office hours. Take a look at the offer below the picture
The Virus may be around for a few months, but college decisions and planning still need to be made