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Changes to College Admissions Due to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, educational institutions are continuously finding ways to adapt their operations – and college admissions is no exception. This year represents an unprecedented time for the higher education sector and there have been many changes to the applications and admissions requirements as a result.

Here are some of the most notable changes that college applicants need to be aware of:

  1. Nearly all top colleges have eliminated standardized test requirements for this year, including the SAT, ACT, and Subject Tests, due to test site cancellations and the lack of opportunity for students to take these exams.

  2. The Common Application has added a new optional COVID-19 Impact essay. This essay provides students a chance to write up to 250 words about how COVID-19 has impacted them.

  3. Guidance counselors are being asked to report to colleges any changes made at their school in response to COVID-19. These types of changes may include moving to a pass-fail grading system, or cancellations to classes, clubs, and programs, for example.

  4. Changes at the high school level will mean that most students have fewer test scores, grades, and activities to report this year. This means that admissions essays and other non-academic factors will be significantly more important this year.

  5. Finally, with many students learning from home this fall, students may have less access to help from counselors and teachers to complete their college applications. 

All of these changes are important to be aware of, but the last is one I want to draw particular attention to. With the increase in subjectivity to the admissions process this year, where essays and the like will weigh more heavily into an admission decision than usual, it is crucially important that students seek help with their applications. Wherever possible, students should consult an expert, such as a college admissions consultant, to receive quality support and guidance throughout this process. 

At The Ivy Dean, we provide students with first-class admissions help through one-on-one guidance in a virtual, remote setting. We use Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom to assist students in writing all of their admissions essays and completing each section of their applications, ensuring that they have the best possible chance of getting accepted to an Ivy League or other top college.

We have always been committed to helping our student clients succeed, but are especially eager to support students now as they navigate the changes to college admissions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit this page to learn more, or call (845) 826-5310 to book a free consultation with our team.


On paper, I am by no means a perfect student. However, thanks to my Application Positioning, I was able to maximize the strengths that I bring to a college to compensate for other factors. Thanks to The Ivy Dean Team, I will be attending Princeton University, my dream school, in the fall.

Douglas R. – Princeton University

Dee provided excellent advice and guidance throughout the application process. Her overall expertise in admissions, professionalism and warmth made the experience a great one. I was thrilled that I was accepted to several of the most selective colleges in the country and will be attending Stanford in the fall.”

Laurel P. – Stanford University
It's my pleasure to inform you that I've been admitted to my first choice college: the University of Southern California. My dream is becoming reality! I am thrilled to get the chance to belong to the USC and to start a new adventure there. It is also thanks to your great help that I've been accepted, I'm very grateful! Thank you so much for everything.
Sonia G. – From Switzerland
Our son and daughter wanted to go to colleges in the same city but they had different interests and different strengths. She matched them each with their ideal college, one Columbia University and the other NYU, and worked to get them admitted. We couldn't have been more pleased.
Niki and Roger S.
I was a serious student but also wanted a university where I could continue competitive cycling. There weren't many schools that met my needs and fit my personality. From her experience, she was able to hone right in on what became my first choice school. I graduated last year and the entire college experience was awesome.
Colin J.
My parents and I didn't know how helpful it could be to have someone who understood things from the inside working with us. Ms. Blackman was able to identify just what would make me the most attractive candidate to colleges.
Bob M. – Harvard University