College Application Process During COVID-19

Seniors of 2021 share how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their college application process.

     COVID-19 has thrown many high school seniors into a world of uncertainty, confusion and stress. While the rest of the world panicked about the COVID-19 numbers, variation spread, and vaccine distribution, seniors had to also deal with the stress of their future. The pressure many feel of getting into a good college, pursuing their goals and making parents proud is stressful enough even during normal times, so many can imagine the added complications of the college application process brought on by COVID-19. 

     “COVID affected my grades significantly [and] my transcript this year looks much worse than my grades in the past,” senior Jyothsna Musunur said. “I think this could’ve affected some of my applications for the worse.”

     In contrast, some students report  that COVID-19 did not really affect their college application process in any way, like senior Sebastian Orzame. 

     “Personally COVID did not affect my college application process; I felt that it was in a way easy because of how colleges knew how us seniors were handling the pandemic,” Orzame said. 

      Another difference to the application process this year was the option, rather than requirement, to send SAT/ACT scores. 

     “For the 2020-21 application cycle, students who are unable to provide standardized test scores are encouraged to apply and will not be disadvantaged in the application process,” the University of Michigan admissions site said. 

     Students weigh in on their feelings about the optional SAT/ACT scores. 

     “I thought giving the test would help the universities to view my application better since they have been doing it this way for a long time,” senior Aadeesh Dhiman said. 

     Orzame disagrees. He continued to say how the input of SAT/ACT scores being optional was better than worse.

     “No, I think Seniors of 2021 were blessed to receive the news of particular colleges stating the SAT/ACT were test optional,” Orzame said. 

     According to Inside Higher Ed, “only 44 percent of people using the Common Application submitted SAT or ACT scores.” 

     Despite COVID-19 obstacles, many members of the Class of 2021 seem to have made the best use of the crazy situation they are living in to carve their path for their bright future.