CoronaVirus/COVID-19 has been extraordinarily disruptive for everyone: to name a few- businesses, travel, travel industry, restaurants and of course your education. We have had disruptions before, but nothing like this.
Also, I know that many students are now taking their high school classes in an online platform. Below are hints to assist juniors and seniors with how to handle their university research in the midst of COVID-19.
I know those students planning their tours of universities of interest have been completely cancelled. While not perfect, this is what can be done instead:
Take a virtual tour of the school by using a platform like:
- You Visit: www.youvisit.com
- Campus Reel: campusreel.com
- Ecampustours: ecampustours.com
- Don’t forget to take a deep dive of the university’s website
- Common Application: there are schools to research on the Common Application site: www.commonapp.org
Cancelled Standardized Tests
- Check with the College Board for cancelled tests as well as rescheduled tests. In addition, check in with your school counselor for rescheduled testing: College: www.collegeboard.org
- The same with the ACT. Check with the ACT for cancelled tests and see what is cancelled and rescheduled. Again, check with your school counselor for rescheduled testing: www.act.org
- Many students have now gone to an online platform either temporarily or to complete the school year (years ago, I did this with my children when we had to evacuate Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during an environmental crisis), Going online sometimes can feel holiday-ish. Make sure it is the first thing on your to-do list.
- Make time to exercise, this is important.
- Carry on researching your higher education options and pare down your list (and of course, stay in touch with your educational consultant).
- If you have not done so, be sure to register for the Common Application and take a look at their videos.
- While I know it is upsetting not to participate in major school events, try not to be upset. It should not affect university decisions. Remember, everyone is in the same boat.
Back in the day, we did do university visits, but when the acceptances came in, we made our decisions without admissions events. So, what I am trying to compare this to is a ‘throw back’. So… just like your grandparents said… “back in the day, we did things this way…” But, unlike back in the day, there are things that can be done that could not be done ‘back in the day’:
Yes, admissions events have been cancelled. So, what should you do in its place?
Katherine Price, from Colorado and owner of College MindSet recommends the following:
- Review your: “Why this College” essays. These are your thoughts and research about your choices. Why are these schools so important to you?
- Again, review virtual tour websites, read about the towns where the universities are located, be sure to see how you will travel to and from these schools and see if there is added cost and if that is influential in the decision.
- Join admitted student online groups and get to know future classmates
- Find students from your school who are attending the school, surely they must be home right now. Check with your school counselor, see if s/he knows of anyone to network with.
- Check the LinkIn pages of the university. There may be some good information regarding where students end up after university
- Trust your gut
- Make an old fashioned plus/minus chart
Remember to stay healthy, if doing coursework online to complete the school year, finish strong, the same rules will apply; if you stumble academically, the university you accept will still look at your grades and may question the stumble.
As I mentioned previously, we are all in the same boat. We are not sure of the outcome. But, the first and foremost piece is to take care and stay healthy.