Pandemic Accelerates Changes in College Admissions Process


Ryan Kostenko

Yale is among the many universities that has changed some of its admissions processes as a result of COVID-19.

Ryan Kostenko, Reporter

In the past, when it came time for seniors in high school to apply to colleges, it was a straightforward process. However, with COVID-19 and its effects, college applications and the overall admissions process became much more difficult.

“As U.S. high schoolers prepare to submit millions of applications to the nation’s colleges and universities, they are facing an unpredictable admissions cycle,” Julia Glum wrote in an article for “Everything from standardized tests to extracurricular activities has changed.”

Glum also mentioned that “standardized entrance exams were losing favor to begin with, but the pandemic may have shortened their lifespan even more. Most spring and summer 2020 test dates were canceled, halting many students’ plans to take the exams one or more times before application season.”

Only around half of the 400,000-plus students that signed up to take SATs are actually going to be able to take it, according to the article.

As a result, hundreds of schools have announced they are going test-optional, at least temporarily. Consequently, admissions officers are going to have to be more lenient and flexible with their A-F system.

According to Glum, “Advanced Placement exams, shortened and moved online in May, experienced tech glitches that left students shaken. Many districts traded the regular A-F grading scale for pass-fail systems.”

This reinforces the fact that colleges might need to switch and change up their systems.

Lastly, cost will most likely be the biggest factor in admissions or getting into the school. Without a scholarship, it is more difficult to pay for college due to student loans and housing expenses. Also, private schools, such as those in the Ivy League, are more expensive, and with COVID running rampage, it is harder to get jobs and afford the necessities at times.

“Families may be struggling with money, but so are colleges. As they juggle budget cuts, decreased enrollment and the cost of outfitting their campuses against coronavirus,” Glum writes, “some schools may find themselves needing to change their financial aid offering.”

Looking on the bright side, this gives colleges and admissions departments the opportunity to evolve and improve their systems, which could make it more convenient for students to apply in the future.