Class of 2021: Your Application Process

Colleges and universities are making ongoing changes to their admissions requirements in response to the corona virus pandemic. Juniors, your college process is going to look significantly different than you had anticipated.

Testing requirements and schedules have and continue to change. Dozens of schools have announced they will be test optional for the Class of 2021. In addition, College Board and ACT have cancelled test dates and added new ones. For now, College Board has added a September 26 test in addition to the previously scheduled tests on August 29, October 3, November 7, and December 5. Students can get early access to register for August, September, and October if they’re already registered for June and/or are in the high school class of 2021 and don’t have SAT scores.

ACT has announced that it will offer June 13 and July 18 as scheduled, and will provide make-up tests on June 20 and July 25. Fall test dates will be offered as scheduled on September 12, October 24 and December 12.

In addition, both services may offer remote digital testing. Be sure to check both testing websites frequently for changes to their schedules.

AP exams will be offered online on your computer, tablet or smartphone. If you prefer to hand write your responses, you will be allowed do so if submitted with a photo. Exam dates and portfolio due dates have changed— be sure you have the most up to date schedules.

Your school may have announced changes in their grading system for this semester. Pass/fail evaluations should not impact your GPA. If you were hoping this semester was going to raise your GPA, this is a good talking point for your applications. If your school is opting to issue A’s to all students, colleges and universities will be made aware, so, in the end any impact this might have on your GPA may be discounted.

Given the changes to these objective components of your future applications, schools will be looking even harder at your overall profile. How will you demonstrate who you are? Open the Common App to sign up, if you haven’t already done so, and review the essay prompts. Start thinking about what you’d like to write about. The Activities Section is where you can highlight your interests and extracurricular involvement. Is there anything else  you’ll want to add to this part of your application?

As this crisis evolves, both high schools and colleges will continue to respond. Stay in touch with your guidance counselor to understand the impact these changes will have on your college application process. Feel confident that you will still have the opportunity to present your best self when it comes to apply.

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