College Complications amongst COVID

By Joy Alemu, Deputy Editor

On November 1st, many seniors around the world submitted their early action and early decision applications. Not only was COVID something that affected the plans of the previous senior class, but it is continuing with the class of 2021.

This time of year is always stressful for seniors, but due to COVID, the college admission process has changed. Not being able to take the SAT in March and having to wait until August, colleges scrambling to figure out how they will judge admissions for the 2021 school year, and not being able to tour colleges due to shut-downs, has all created quite the hectic year for the senior class. 

Angel Pérez, CEO of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, said that “so many things that were sacred in the college admissions process may not be sacred anymore.”

Though Flint Hill did not change to a pass/fail system during the last semester/quarter of the 2019-2020 school year, many schools did, which affects the application process and how GPA, among other factors, would be graded. On the positive side, past big factors of the application like the SAT/ACT have become optional, which has given many seniors a bit of reassurance. Standardized testing became very uncertain, with many seniors unable to find testing sites. Many schools that used to have mandatory test submissions have switched to optional because of the pandemic. 

“I honestly think the process is a lot easier and more comfortable because everything is online so everything is in one place. Also, I love the fact that SAT scores are optional and I hope it continues past the pandemic too,” said senior Laila Simmons. 

The college process this year has been reliant on virtual sessions and tours so that students can get a feel for the campus or student life of that school while not being able to attend in person. 

However, the mental health of many seniors also comes into play, from the stress of the global pandemic, to keeping up with grades in school and the whole new hybrid and virtual system. One could say that the process has become even more stressful due to the complications of the new systems in place for schooling. One of the problems that many students face is that even though some parts of the application are now optional, seniors are still expected to tackle the same workloads while adjusting to schooling and trying to balance their own activities. 

“I thought that I was the most depressed and stressed I could be.  Then I started my Common Apps,” said senior Meeran Khan.

The college admissions process is definitely something that, in the past, has brought much stress to senior classes, and this tradition continues with the addition of a global pandemic creating disturbances amongst plans.