Corona and College: How Seniors Are Preparing


Gwyneth Katker

The common application portal is a common stressor for seniors as college application season begins.

Christina Davenport, Reporter

Seniors of the class of 2021 have almost reached the halfway mark through their school year as semester two approaches. With that, a lot of seniors have suffered the loss of school dances, homecoming week, and a normal high school year in general. As coronavirus cases continue to climb and worry about the population, many people still try to get their priorities done for the future. 

College applications, usually known as a rigorous and tedious process, have been set back for students who aren’t able to do the courses, exams, or even extracurricular activities to get enough requirements on their transcripts and graduate on time. Students who would usually apply for scholarships or even become recognized by certain colleges during a sporting event aren’t able to do that as much as of right now due to COVID. The current public health crisis has forced the College Board to cancel SAT tests, and the ACT scheduled for early April has been postponed. This makes it difficult for students to take or re-take these entrance exams in order to present schools with their best scores.

“By removing artificial barriers and decreasing stressors — including suspending the use of the SAT — for this unprecedented moment in time, we hope there will be less worry for our future students,” said John A. Perez, from The University of California Board of Regents. 

Of course, the novel coronavirus has taken its toll on the economy as well. As a result, institutions of higher learning across the U.S. have considered the impact the economic downturn will have on students wishing to apply to college. Many of them have been proactive about lessening the financial burden on their applicants. Many colleges and universities have also recognized the unique anxieties students are experiencing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and are hoping to ease some of the worries over their future academic careers. As some people may benefit from these changes the effect has weighed heavily on many.

“I’ve been feeling that colleges are going to have a difficult time with students who are new to college that have to now take online classes for a couple of semesters until the pandemic is over. In a way, it does give us an advantage because it’s all online and students would base off the internet for resources,” said Sebastian Castillo, a senior at Seminole High School.

Time is another consideration many schools are making in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. These colleges and universities, such as Kent State University, realize that right now, some students may simply need more time to make decisions related to their academic futures. Therefore, a grace period of sorts has been granted to students applying to select universities. Other schools have extended deadlines for scholarship applications in the spirit of giving everyone a little bit of flexibility in what has proven to be a very challenging time. Some colleges said they may be more skittish about early acceptances this year; given what’s already missing from students’ transcripts, they may end up deferring more early applicants, and waiting for their fall semester grades, just to be sure. This could end up possibly giving some more opportunities to students who have such great potential but don’t end up getting a high enough test score to prove that. 

Overall, it’s important to keep up with college applications and attempt to get all requirements done in order to graduate. The stress during this process may seem overwhelming in some situations due to the Coronavirus however, not letting that slow you down is what’s key. Good luck to all in the class of 2021!