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COVID-19 and College Admissions: What You Need to Know

Due to the continued restrictions in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, junior students are likely wondering what this means for the college admissions process. Though the outbreak of COVID-19 has certainly posed challenges and required amendments to the way colleges admit new students, the good news is that students do not need to be concerned that the pandemic will negatively impact their chances of getting accepted into their dream school.

At this time, colleges will be far more lenient and flexible in their admissions requirements and expectations, due to the cancellations of standardized testing (SAT, ACT and Subject Tests), school and community activities, and school-year and summer programs. In fact, many top colleges have already waived their SAT Subject Test requirements, and some have even waived their SAT/ACT requirement entirely, going test-optional for this year. It’s likely that other colleges will make similar announcements in the coming weeks.

For this reason, I recommend that students do what they can to take these tests when (and if) they can, but if it is not possible, they should not be concerned that this will eliminate or hinder their chances of acceptance. Also, it is a good idea for students to stay up-to-date on any updates or changes by regularly checking the admissions sites of each college they are applying to.

A number of top schools, including some in the Ivy League, have already issued statements in response to COVID-19. For example:

Even though a student’s options for building up their applicant profile are limited right now, I encourage students to not consider this an extended break or vacation. While it’s true that many academic and extracurricular programs have been cancelled, there are still opportunities to stay engaged from home. Most schools, especially top colleges, will still expect students to use this time productively and creatively. For some ideas on how to continue preparing for college during the pandemic, please see this earlier blog post.

Of course, now more than ever students and their families could benefit from working with a college admissions advisor. An admissions expert can help applicants to properly manage the changes brought about by COVID-19, and to best prepare for college during this unique and difficult time. At The Ivy Dean, we are already helping students to continue building up their profiles, giving them the best chance of admission to a top school despite the current circumstances. We provide consultation virtually via Skype, FaceTime, phone, and email, and remain committed to helping our students prepare for their upcoming applications.

Finally, I encourage you to remember that you are not alone: students across the country and around the world are facing similar challenges and cancellations. While very unfortunate, this at least means that no single student will be placed at a disadvantage, and that the playing field remains as equal as it was previously. 

I hope this helps to ease some of the concerns that students and their families are no doubt struggling with right now. If you have any questions about how our company can support you during this time, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


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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.
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