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COVID-19 and the School Admission Traditions – Let’s Find the Ways Out

Every
spring is the hot time for high school graduates. It is when they need to choose
the college and apply to it. In March, students collect information, visit
campuses, and try to learn as much as possible about all college variants. By
May 1, they have to send their college applications. It would be the same in
spring 2020 under ordinary conditions. But it won’t happen this year.

The
global pandemic of COVID-19 has already ruined the traditional admission
processes. College campuses are closed. Many standard programs are canceled.

Right
now, students are going into the territory of uncertainty. The main problem is
that they can’t find reliable information about the new admission rules.

To their credit, colleges do their best to adapt to the rapid changes. They switched as many courses online as possible, and let the students learn and work remotely. Unfortunately, college admission is in the most vulnerable zone. Things develop from scratch in real-time, and admission procedures become more complicated than ever.

The
problem is overwhelming for parents. As a rule, students try to visit
personally all colleges they consider. First, it is the most efficient way to get
familiar with the campus community. Next, such visits are more informative than
any other source.

After
the anti-pandemic rules came into force, many students could not fulfill their
plans — even those who managed to get into campuses before quarantine did not visit
them all. Besides, many students get invitations from several colleges and must
choose one to accept. Without full information, it would be problematic.

The Coronavirus Effect: Will the College Admission Survive?

Some
institutions have already admitted applicants – it concerns those practicing
early admissions first of all. Many other colleges still consider their
candidates. But now the standard patterns are broken. It forces both the
colleges and students’ parents to search for some other solutions. The crucial
thing is to have a plan on what to do next.

If
families can’t visit campuses personally, the best way is to refer to online
resources. No matter when the outbreak ends, it will be the year of online
education for many colleges. If they react to the changing reality on time, they
get the advantage.

Most
colleges and universities have already resolved the urgent educational problems
with distant learning. Fortunately, there are means and tested practices. Now,
colleges must do the same for the admission procedures.

Dedicated platforms and online groups are providing all information about the schools. By scheduling an online meeting, students and their parents can talk to tutors, coaches, DoMyWriting and other students. There are virtual tours on campuses as well. The crisis will end, and students will get back there, so the applicants will get familiar with the conditions. It might not be 100% equal to the personal visit, but it provides a decent level of information. Now, colleges try to offer all kinds of virtual content to their applicants.

Coronavirus damaged the high school as well. It is already apparent that many school seniors won’t be able to pass standardized tests on time. Higher education institutions respond to this problem by extending admission deadlines. Not every college, but many of them have already set the new deadline for June 1. It gives high school students more time to get prepared.

Online
college application platforms take part in the process too. Let’s take the
Common App that is the default application tool for many colleges. It has an
FAQ page for students where they can learn everything about the new admission
conditions.

Colleges use all digital channels they possess to connect to their applicants and support them. It is possible to collect all meaningful data about each college online. Schools recommend to refer to their official websites, check their application portals, and – by all means – check emails. Emails are the primary means to contact students and their parents, though many applicants do not like this channel. Still, official responses and all the essential data from colleges come by email.

All
these steps are also voting in favor of this or that college. When they show
how they care about their future students – they establish themselves as the
right choice.

There
is the factor of direct communication too. When the candidates cross the significant
distances to visit campuses and meet the faculty – colleges take that as a sign
of interest. They consider these candidates more motivated and dedicated.
However, with canceled personal visits, other means of expressing interest come
into prominence. When applicants want to show their attention, they should contact
colleges and respond to their emails.

Of
course, virtual tours on campuses can’t replace live experience. However, it is
a trustworthy source of information. Families should not ignore it. Besides,
colleges will gladly assist in the process and answer all questions. There are
even options to talk online to other faculty members or students.

One
more excellent source is social media and dedicated forums. They provide the
most valuable data from people with the necessary experience and first-hand
reports. In fact, with all the pandemic complications, colleges can already
present compelling alternatives to their candidates.

On
the other hand, many other questions are still vague. Even if colleges could
find solutions for admission procedures, there are issues scholarships, financial
aid, and many other problems. Right now, college officials can’t say anything
for sure, as they don’t have the information themselves. They discuss the
matters, and, hopefully, there will be some updates soon.

Admission Problems of High Schools

COVID-19
hurts all institutions. High schools got their damage too. The most problematic
is the situation with the SAT and ACT testing. Closing of the testing centers
and postponing the regular dates mean that students won’t get these required
documents – on-time or at all.

That
is just one example of burning problems. But the standard school education has
to come online as well. Fortunately, there are methods and online courses, as
distant learning becomes rather popular. Still, it is a severe ordeal for those
families who never had such experiences.

Learning virtually has a different format, so it takes time to adjust to it. However, with the right approach, it is useful – it encourages students to work independently. It adds more tasks to the parents, though, as they will need to support their children more. Without the class and the teacher, parents have to help with the homework, explain problematic issues, and organize the learning processes.

It
will be a good idea to find a community of distant learning. Such communities
share working tips on how to plan classes and motivate children. Also, parents
can get useful information about different online courses and tutors.

There
is still an extracurricular activity issue. Traditionally, it is essential for
college admissions, but COVID-19 ruined most of the possibilities. Speaking
about sports – many young athletes watch their facilities closing for
quarantine. Community duties get hurt by the “stay at home” policy. There
is no one general approach to how colleges will deal with these problems, but
they do their best to find solutions.

In
any case, the new reality we live in can help us all to find new approaches to
education. Most likely, it will have to change and adapt to the new conditions.
But we’ll get the system more flexible, innovative, and, perhaps, even more
efficient.

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