To say that this generation of future college students is having a harder time than in the past would be an understatement. The impacts of a still-present pandemic have changed the way students learn and has certainly had an effect on even the strongest students. Online learning has expanded academic and social gaps, and that means that the future promises to be even more challenging to those trying to keep up.
The pandemic’s impact on colleges is that it has decreased enrollment at the lesser known schools and increased competition at the well-known ones. With testing requirements shifting to nearly universal test-optional policies at the majority of institutions, admissions criteria is increasingly pivoted toward essays, recommendations and extracurriculars. Some students are no longer being judged solely on their scores, but on the deeper content of their written work.
This all means that students have to re-strategize when applying and no longer think in terms of “well-roundedness.” Previous generations of college applicants used this as their key word, but according to some admissions officers, being well-rounded is no longer good enough. So how can students truly stand out in this unprecedented context?