Derenda King, CFP®/CDFA®
The Spring semester is typically one of the busiest times for college-bound high school students. High-school Juniors are usually taking standardized tests and participating in extracurricular activities, while Seniors are poring over their offers and visiting schools.
But campus closures and coronavirus-related restrictions have made what is often a stressful time even more stressful by adding a layer of uncertainty. To aid you in helping your teens stay on track with college planning and stay abreast of all of the changes in the college admissions process, here are four useful resources:
The NACAC has launched a college admissions database that enables schools to post updates about how they are adapting to the impact of COVID-19. For example, there is information about which schools are extending current application and deposit deadlines and which schools are hosting virtual campus visits and other virtual admissions events.
The College Board, which hosts the SAT and AP tests, and the ACT are providing updates on the canceling and rescheduling of some of their exam dates.
Does your student have a great GPA but poor test scores? Is your student unable to retake their desired exam due to testing disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, there is a strategy that you might want to consider. Roughly 1,100 colleges allow applicants to avoid reporting their SAT or ACT exam scores or minimize the importance of the scores in their admissions processes. A database of test-optional schools can be found at FairTest: The National Center for Fair and Open Testing. In addition, here is a list of 410+ “top-tier” schools, as measured by U.S. News & World Report, that maintain test-flexible and test-optional policies.
Your high-school Junior might be interested in four full days of virtual presentations, which will enable them to explore college opportunities. Specifically, students will hear tips from admissions officers and gain important knowledge from 96 presentations on a variety of topics. To learn more, head to the Strive Scan website.