So much has been changed and impacted by the Covid pandemic, including the college application process. Dozens of colleges have announced changes to their testing policies for the next application cycle (more than half of US colleges are test-optional for 2020-2021), and over 300 college admissions deans recently endorsed a statement highlighting what they would like students to focus on in light of these unprecedented times. Their advice might come as a pleasant surprise: they want students to focus on self-care.
The statement acknowledges that many students and their families may be struggling in light of everything going on right now. They recognize that a student’s application, and particularly their activity profile and transcript, might look slightly different for the 2020 school year. Admissions representatives want students to rest assured that they will not be disadvantaged when they submit their college applications in a few months’ time. Everything a student submits with their application will be assessed in the context of these extraordinary times.
College representatives are encouraging students to be authentic (as they always do) and also to think outside the box — they want students to know they don’t need to come up with some new “Covid activity.” Instead, they’re encouraging students to find ways to participate meaningfully in their existing communities. Are you looking after a family member? Do you have a job that helps to support your family? Are you able to host meetings of your school club virtually? Can your a cappella group perform on Zoom? Can you tutor a friend? You don’t need to reinvent the wheel; instead, think creatively about how you can still make an impact by participating in activities you already enjoy.
Hopefully, this comes as some welcome news to stressed-out students during these uncertain times.