What the Corona Virus means for the College Application Process

While many colleges are closing their physical doors for the rest of the year, current high school juniors and seniors are wondering how the Coronavirus outbreak will affect them and their college search process. The good news is that everyone is in the same boat, so don’t panic.

Regular decisions: most colleges are finalizing their decisions and regular decision announcements should come out on time.

Testing: colleges are aware that SAT testing may be postponed or interrupted. If you miss your testing date, you will be able to rescheduled it for a later date; it would be a good idea to look ahead and push your dates now. The College Board may even add extra dates.

College visits: If you were planning on visiting colleges during spring break, most have cancelled tours and admitted student events. Instead, take advantage of virtual tours and if possible, consider rescheduling your college tour to the summer.

School work: Whether your school has gone virtual or remains open, grades remain one of the most important factors that admission officers consider. Make sure to keep up with your work and challenge yourself!

Summer opportunities: This is also a great time to research summer activities. Look for programs that tap into and develop one of your passions. Take a MOOC—a massive open online class, join a local conversation class to keep honing your spoken command of a language, look for a part time job, or research internship and volunteer opportunities in a field of interest.

Some unknowns:

Decision day: Usually, applicants need to let colleges know if they will attend a college by May 1st; however, colleges may be extending the date to June 1st. 

Advanced Placement exams: APs are another unknown. They usually take place during the first two weeks of May. Will test schools be open by then? Will they be rescheduled? We don’t know yet. Also, Many parents and students are wondering if they’ll be prepared for the test if they’ve missed a lot of school. 

Make sure to keep up with your work and check the College Board website for practice materials under the “Exam Preparation” section. In addition, AP teachers have access to other online tools and activities that they can assign to students. Check in with your teachers to see if they can assign you work to prepare you for the exam.

Finally, when in doubt, check in with your counselor!