The college search and application process will be an interesting experience for students and parents alike this fall. Many prospective students will only be able to “tour” the colleges they are interested in online which is a big change to the traditional college visits many will often make. Our oldest son is a rising high school senior, so we are experiencing these changes first-hand. We personally find ourselves relying on our college counselors and word of mouth now more than ever during the college search. With the prospects of distance learning remaining for some time, many parents find themselves deciding whether or not junior and community colleges might be a better fit for now. The cost will certainly be a deciding factor for many.
Another new wrinkle is the announcement from many universities and elite private colleges that SAT and ACT scores will not be required or test optional. This has been a long-standing traditional component and factor by which students are measured for acceptance. This is a major change that will be important to consider when thinking about your college search. If your son or daughter has already taken either of these tests and posted a strong score, then it would be wise to include this as part of their application process. In the absence of submitting a score, your child’s application should have a strong essay and/or extracurricular activities. Having sat in on several college admissions webinars over the last few months, these “other activities” will become a much bigger part of the application process this fall and something admissions people are looking into much deeper than previously. Colleges want to know how your children have been spending their time over the last few months!
While all of this might seem a bit daunting, there are many resources available online to help you with your college search. Some of the virtual tours we have done with our son have been very good, and while they certainly can’t replace the real thing, they are helpful. Don’t procrastinate, be proactive and ask questions. Colleges and universities know these are uncertain times and are available to help guide through the process. Still unsure where to begin? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are experiencing this right along with you!
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