How the pandemic is changing the college application process

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It’s that time of year when high school seniors apply to colleges, but they must navigate that around the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Students still need to show their interest in a college, even though tours, interviews, presentations and open houses are all online.

“And this is important because there are a lot of colleges that use demonstrated interest in the admissions process,” said Sara Harberson, America’s College counselor. “Demonstrated interest is how much interest the student shows a college if they end up applying, and that sometimes is a factor in the admissions process.”

She anticipates many colleges and universities will have higher acceptance rates.

“I think colleges are going to have to go out with more offers even in a regular decision just to ensure that they bring in their freshman class on target, at the very least.”

On top of that, very few colleges and universities are requiring this year’s applicants to submit standardized test scores. Most schools are not requiring SAT or ACT scores.

“I’m encouraging all families to invest the time into the application itself, and the student should be investing in their senior year grades and performance instead of trying to travel very far to get to a standardized test.”