COVID-19 and College Admissions

Kiersten Warren, Student Life Editor

       Every year, over 10 million United States students apply to colleges nationwide. Many high school seniors eagerly await the releases of admissions decisions and the rewards of scholarship money. The coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of students daily lives: including the closing of schools, the cancellations of the SAT and ACT, and the switch to virtual learning. Amid all of this madness, many juniors are left wondering what the coronavirus will do to the college admissions cycle in the fall. 

      Recently, College Board, the organization that administers the SAT, has cancelled the June SAT administration. The College Board also announced that the next possible test date would be in the month of August, hoping that social distancing measures will be eased by then. For PPCHS students setting their sights on upcoming college applications, the cancellation of the SAT and uncertainty of when the ACT will be administered next has thrown a wrench into their standardized testing plans. Junior Zoe Mutombo says, “I purposely didn’t register for the SAT for June. I was only going to register for June if they made an announcement that it would happen, and I figured it would get cancelled so I didn’t bother.” Along with the uncertainty of when the SAT and ACT are going to be administered again, many are starting to speculate that the standardized tests will soon be offered online. In fact, in the announcement from the college board, the SAT would be administered online if schools were to stay closed in the fall. This idea also wouldn’t be far fetched, as AP exams for this year are going to be online in the next few weeks, and Cambridge (AICE) exams have been cancelled for this academic school year. 

      Many universities that have gone test optional as a result of coronavirus and SAT/ACT cancellations. Oregon State, along with the University of Oregon, Boston College, and the entire University of California college system have waived these standardized tests for future applicants. Other universities are soon expected to follow, especially those located in high-risk areas, like New York and Louisiana. Sophomore Alexis Galletta says, “I think it’s smart for universities to waive their SAT and ACT requirement. Coronavirus is giving the juniors significantly less chances to take it, and could indirectly lead to a lower score. It really sucks that they might not get into a college they could’ve gotten into if they had one more chance before the priority deadline.” With the list of colleges going test-optional growing, rising PPCHS seniors can only hope that coronavirus won’t hinder their chances of getting into their dream schools.