College Applications Amidst a Pandemic
For many people, the college application process is characterized by touring colleges in order to get a feel for which universities you may consider attending, and having interviews with college advisors, etc. In the midst of a pandemic, these activities become increasingly difficult and far less accessible. Although the inability to apply to college in a normal or traditional manner is frustrating, there are numerous steps that one can take to make the best of their application process during the pandemic. These are merely suggestions, but they will help you feel more comfortable with the process and be more prepared for school in the fall - whether it be in person or online.
Remember that there are still numerous prevalent outlets in which you can communicate with your peers or advisors to discuss and begin the college application process. Reach out to your peers and talk to them about the application process. It is likely that at least one of your peers has a parents or other contact that would be willing to help you with your application, often times without cost. If you do not have any connections to advisors of that sort, there are many college advisors who help with applications as their occupation and are extremely knowledgeable regarding what is beneficial to your application. You can meet with these people via Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype in order to have a similar meeting process and garner the same information you would otherwise. Being proactive with communication is crucial during this time and will allow you to get a head start with the application process.
Many colleges track demonstrated interest, especially during the pandemic. This functions as a sort of replacement for the lack of college touring that is available, because it allows you to express that you are interested in a university, without physically travelling to the school for a tour. Demonstrated interest is dependent upon the school, but a majority of schools are tracking interest during the pandemic. If you are unsure whether a university you are interested in values demonstrated interest, you can look on their website and will find relevant information regarding their stance on demonstrated interest. Demonstrated interest is often tracked via visiting the university’s website, watching their informational videos, or reaching out to the school. It is helpful to employ at least one of these methods in order to express that you are interested in a specific university, since this will help with your application and chances of admission.
Do not hesitate to contact universities to express interest in attending their school, (you can find contact information for universities on their main webpages). Many times, an authoritative figure from the university will offer to set up a zoom meeting or interview. These virtual meetings will not only allow for you to learn more about the school, but they will also help colleges learn more about you and whether or not you would be a good match for the school. These meetings are especially helpful because they allow the university to receive a glimpse of who you are before your formal application. Even if a zoom meeting isn’t an option, reaching out and receiving information via email is one of the most powerful forms of demonstrated interest.
College applications and thoughts of attending a university in the fall are nerve-wracking, but it is important to recognize that there are many outlets and methods that help to mitigate unpredictability posed by the virus. These methods are not mandatory, but they will help to kickstart the college application process and will increase chances of admission as well as application quality. Remember that college doesn’t determine your worth, and that the application process is taxing, but you will get through it! 😊