How College Admissions Has Changed Forever

College admissions is changing so fast that many of us in the profession who have dedicated our lives to this can barely keep up. It’s no secret that Covid upended everyone’s lives and colleges are no different. As decisions for the class of 2021 are released this week and through early April, consider these changes and how they affect your child.

Standardized testing may lose its value. Some may dispute this, but with colleges being forced to go test-optional last year and already have decided to be test-optional again this year, colleges have to reassess how they view the ACT and SAT. Most schools have yet to release their numbers of how many students applied to their school this year without testing, but they will eventually and it should be informative. For those of you who do not know, the University of California has already decided to pilot this and since they are the largest public college system in the country, if they do it, others will follow.

Hiring independent college counselors. Despite the scandalous -- and to me, hilarious -- Netflix movie Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal -- independent school counselors who are not crooks are in high demand. Why? Because college admissions is already so unpredictable that many students and families need more support to navigate the process. Most school guidance counselors are too busy, so in order to go from confusion to clarity, families hire people like me.

Essays are everything. No test scores? Questionable virtual high school learning and grading? Covid restricting a teenager’s ability to do community service, get a job, play sports or engage in other activities? This is common! If college admissions offices cannot rely upon grades, scores and activities to decide which students may be good fits for their schools, then a student’s writing and what they say about themself and their ambitions will matter a lot. Oh, and they may need to be reflective about social justice and gratitude.

So there you have it. Things have changed and will keep changing. What I know and what I learn, I promise to share!

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