The college admissions process is undergoing significant changes amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The most significant change in the application evaluation process is the elimination of the standardized test score requirement. Following the announcement by many small private colleges, the University of California, the largest public university system in the country, joined the growing list of schools phasing out the SAT and ACT requirements. As this is an evolving situation and schools are continuing to respond to the current environment, make sure you are staying in touch with news of schools adding their name to this list.
Some students may want to take the exams, as they are still required by highly competitive schools and mat be used to award scholarships, determine course placement and evaluate out-of-state students.
With the more widespread elimination of test scores for admissions assessments, how are you going to differentiate yourself as a candidate? Criteria for admissions include your academic performance, rigor of coursework, extracurricular involvement and recommendations. The good news is you have plenty of time to focus on your school work and pursue activities that are meaningful to you.
During this unusual time find ways to get engaged and involve yourself in something that matters to you. Summer is also a good time to assess and plan ahead. Do a bit of research on schools to understand testing requirements and admissions criteria. Although this is a very early look, it’s a good way to become familiar with your options going forward. There are many online tools available to help you begin your college search process. Spend time searching college websites, take virtual tours and read what students have to say about their school. When school begins in the fall, plan to review your findings with your guidance counselor.