COVID-19 has had an immense impact on college admission processes. Unlike before, where admissions processes would be standardized, universities and colleges have been forced to change their ways of operating. After the pandemic struck, it became more difficult for students to apply through standardized test scores and other known metrics that admission officers used, to determine whether a student is qualified to join the college or not. This has left schools scrambling to figure out which metrics they should use during the pandemic. Many of the things that were sacred during the admissions processes are no longer being followed. It is challenging for most schools because they have to reinvent new strategies that haven’t been there before.
How COVID-19 Has Affected Admissions In Schools
Some schools switched to pass or fail to grade during the pandemic’s onset because students had to learn from home. The government had to instill measures to prevent the spread of the virus in schools. This means that many student applications may be missing GPA test scores, among others. Some may also be missing a semester or two since some schools closed altogether. For this reason, it has become challenging to determine the direction the admissions process should take. Schools are now required to make do with extracurricular activities to help them distinguish between the applicants. Consequently, students feel like their applications are not as strong because the pandemic disrupted them in unimaginable ways. Therefore, colleges and universities have to level the playing ground to accommodate all students, including those struggling financially.
Some colleges have also switched to strategic enrollment management plans to enable them to admit the right students and hit the ground running in 2021. Others, who lack the resources don’t have strategic enrollment management plans. Without a plan, it may not be easy to identify the best students from the immense pool of students looking to be
admitted to colleges.
Since college admissions are now operating in the absence of face-to-face recruiting, the officers will have to rely on technology to filter through data to pick out the best students. Schools will also have to incur more costs to educate their admission staff on the latest technology to aid them in the recruitment process. This investment is critical in ensuring that the staff is proficient in interpreting data, and understand how to do their analysis.
Parents are being asked to consult the school if they plan to pay for standard exams, to determine if the school is test optional. Since not all schools will require that the child does the standard exams, you may not need to pay for the exams, especially if you are struggling financially. Even schools understand that parents have been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, just because some schools may be test-optional, it doesn’t mean that they are test blind. They will find other criteria to use in the admissions process.
For parents, if your child does well in the standardized tests, and you can pay for the tests, let them do the tests because their test scores will strengthen their application. On the other hand, if your child struggles with the standardized exams and the school they are applying to is test-optional, consider skipping the tests and instead highlight their different areas of strength. A challenge students may have faced in the wake of COVID-19, and the closure of schools is the lack of school counselors’ access. School counselors play an essential role in guiding the students to identify their strengths and choose the right course. With so much admissions uncertainty, most students need help to navigate the college landscape. Schools should ensure that students still keep in touch with their counselors, who play an essential role in the students’ lives.
On the financial bit, many schools usually admit more students than they can support, hoping to get more acceptances and meet the tuition funding goals. With the COVID-19, schools have been receiving low acceptance rates. To compensate for the loss, you will find many colleges and universities admitting more international students who tend to pay higher tuition fees than domestic students.
The pandemic has affected the education sector in a significant way. However, schools are trying their best to straighten things up and have students back in schools. As much as a back to school formula is underway, it is vital for parents, students and school administrators to protect themselves from the virus.