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College Admissions Deans’ Hopeful Message to the Class of 2021

College Admissions Deans’ Hopeful Message to the Class of 2021
Izzy Hall

College admission requirements have already changed for the Class of 2021, as many schools have announced test-optional policies for the upcoming application period in the wake of widespread SAT and ACT test cancellations due to the coronavirus. Now, college admission deans have teamed up to sign a statement of empathy to rising high school seniors. Titled “Care Counts in Crisis”, this statement answers the questions of what college admissions teams are looking for in the applications of students who have been affected by the pandemic.

College admissions deans recognize the barriers to academic work that many students faced when schools transferred to online learning. They know that circumstances outside of students’ control may have caused their grades to slip or impacted their ability to concentrate on school work. To that end, admissions deans will not hold lowered grades from e-learning or not having a chance to take standardized tests against students.

Next, they address extracurriculars. The summer before senior year is a time in which many students seek summer internships, jobs and other activities. College admissions deans are aware that many summer programs were cancelled, and they promise that a lack of extracurriculars will not be held against students. In this college admissions cycle, meaningful volunteer work and contributions to the family are what deans will note when evaluating applications.

Finally, college admissions deans want students to know that they will take into consideration all contextual factors that arose from COVID-19 when making admissions choices. Students should feel empowered to communicate what factors impeded their academic performance, whether it was lack of access to the Internet or an increase in family responsibilities. The Common App will even include a section where students can describe how they have been impacted by the pandemic.

College admissions deans know this is a unique time for students across the country. They do not want students to fret about meeting typical college admissions standards. Rather, they want to see students practice self-care, balance and compassion for others.

Rising seniors, now is the time for you to explore your financial aid options. At, our scholarships database is filled with opportunities for students who will be entering college in fall 2021. Try a free scholarship search and start earning money towards your college education.

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