Colleges finalize changes to admission’s requirements caused by COVID-19

The class of 2021 has had an unexpected wrench thrown into their college application plans. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to altered grades, canceled SATs and ACTs, a decline in volunteering and canceled sports seasons. With so many of these events playing a role in the college application process, colleges and universities have altered their admissions requirements. 

So what does this mean for Hart seniors? There are a few alterations and new factors to keep in mind. 

Many colleges and universities have chosen to waive the SAT and ACT requirement. If students were able to take these tests before testing centers closed, they still have the option to submit their scores on their college applications for many schools. But, if students were unable to take the test or receive their desired score, they do not need to report it to be admitted into the 2021 fall semester for most colleges in the U.S. 

Additionally, the University of California (UC) schools have decided to suspend the SAT/ACT requirement until 2024. May 21, the UC Board of Regents voted that reporting test scores is now optional until a new, exclusive UC test is made. The Universities of California predict that this test will be ready for admissions for the fall semester of 2025.

Moreover, many admissions offices are encouraging applicants to refrain from sharing their experiences during quarantine on their college essays. 

“Everyone is going through something [during quarantine], so I don’t think [admissions] folks are going to want to relive it over and over and over again with 45,000 applications,” said Jeff Schiffman, director of undergraduate admissions at Tulane University.

Since many pieces of a typical college application have been altered or even removed, admissions committees are planning on taking a deeper dive into the material that is presented on an application. Colleges are doing their best to be sympathetic to students during this time, as it is new terrain for everyone involved.