The coronavirus has emptied dorms, disrupted graduations, and pushed courses online. It has also affected or suspended the college admissions process in different ways.. Here is what to expect in the admissions process:
Decisions will be released on time
- Many schools have extended the reply date of the offers from May 1 to June 1 or later:
- Many schools are cancelling Admitted Students Weekends, including Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, MIT, Princeton and Georgetown. Some schools announced that the Admitted Students Weekend will be held online.
- The number of international students will decrease. New travel restrictions bar entry to the US for many foreign nationals. However, colleges are considering ways to help admitted international students with options such as online classes until its safe for students to come to the U.S., or a promise that admissions can be deferred.
- More emphasis on waitlists. Colleges may be using waitlists to navigate uncertainty about enrolment. More students may come off the waitlists if students can’t travel from other countries or choose to stay closer to home.
- Schools have sometimes allowed international students to take a test from popular language-learning platform Duolingo in lieu of the Toefl
How colleges are responding
- Officials at some colleges have even considered extending admissions deadlines or offering deferrals so students could start college in the spring of 2021 instead of this coming fall, should the coronavirus continue to interrupt travel.
- Universities’ administrators have considered several options to accommodate students, among them a later start date for the fall semester and developing general education courses freshmen could take online their first semester.
- They are also considering pushing back the May 1 commitment deadline.
Financial Aid Affects Students’ Acceptances
- Over the last decade, deep cuts in state funding for higher education have put pressure on schools to admit more students who need less aid, which is why so many schools have come to rely on the revenue from foreign students who pay full tuition to study in this country.
- As a result, colleges and universities will be looking for more domestic students paying full tuition.That means those schools may not be able to be as generous with their financial aid offerings, he added.
- (Currently, about two-thirds of all full-time students receive aid and it is the single most important factor in determining access to a college education.)