Applying to College: COVID-19 Edition

Vacant+desks+sitting+in+the+rotunda+after+the+lunch+period.

Image/Graphics by Justin Mulhollem

Vacant desks sitting in the rotunda after the lunch period.

As seniors at West Branch start to apply to college, some seem to be running into a roadblock. Covid-19 is holding a large amount of the senior class back from exploring their college options. A big problem started back in March when we shut down due to Covid-19. Most students had their SATs scheduled, but they, unfortunately, got canceled due to the shutdown. From this, some seniors still are struggling to fit their SATs in before it’s too late to apply for the college of their choice. While many colleges have waived the SAT score, and some have not, making it difficult to have all options possible, leaving some seniors to take the SAT with their fellow junior students. 

With most colleges being test-optional, students still have worries about how the college will feel about them not having their scores. That worrying can stop because when a college says they are test-optional, they mean they are test-optional. This leaves senior students that are applying to decide if they want to take the test and if they already did if they want to provide the test scores in their application. When deciding this, one should look into the college and see what their past test score requirements are. If the student has a lower test score than what used to be required it is in their best interest to not include their test scores and allow the college to make their decision off of the transcript and application information provided. 

Another big setback for seniors is not being able to attend in-person visits at the colleges of their choice. Most colleges are doing a virtual tour of their college, but it’s just not the same. It is always best to visit the college’s website and look at the options available, because it all depends on what college it is and whether they’re going to allow in-person visits or not. Make sure to make an appointment for an in-person visit soon if that is an option. 

As juniors, the seniors didn’t get to experience having job interviews. This is a big setback for them because they didn’t get to have the opportunity to explore the field they want to go into, leaving many of them unsure about the career path they want to take. Make sure as a senior you are doing extensive research about what you’d like to go into college to major in. It’s a good idea to make sure you enjoy the work you’re going to be doing and make sure there are jobs available for you when you get out of college.

Talking with senior Corrin Evans, she states that it is very difficult to see all options of colleges with everything now being online. She was involved in a virtual campus tour and stated that they showed her what academics are in each building, student living, and the dining hall. She also says that if her college changes online she will still attend but, like the majority of people, she prefers in-person classes. 

A reminder to all seniors make sure to have your applications done and sent in before Thanksgiving as the seats for colleges are filling up fast.