The Rising Senior’s Guide to the Changes in College Applications

Changing Standards: The pandemic and stay-at-home orders have created a raft of changes in the way rising seniors are approaching standardized tests.

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Changing Standards: The pandemic and stay-at-home orders have created a raft of changes in the way rising seniors are approaching standardized tests.

In case you haven’t yet heard, the world is on lockdown at the moment due to the spread of COVID-19. Schools worldwide have shut down for the rest of the year, putting high school juniors in an inconvenient position. You may be thinking, “How will I get into college now that all the SATs and ACTs are cancelled? How can I prove to the colleges I apply to that I’m a good fit?” Don’t worry, The Warrior Wire is here to help! Here are some of the major changes being made to the college application process for the Class of 2021. 

According to numerous statements by The College Board, while their March, May, and June SAT and SAT Subject Tests have all been cancelled, they are working on a way to ensure those who still need to take the test have the opportunity to do so. The College Board announced on April 23 that they will be adding another SAT test date in September to give students the opportunity to make up for the missing tests. They are also keeping the test dates scheduled for Aug. 29, Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and Dec. 5. While not officially confirmed, The College Board has also suggested moving to online SATs if the pandemic forces the fall SAT dates to be cancelled.

In a surprising turn of events, some big name colleges have decided to go “test optional” for the Class of 2021. According to an article published by CNN, more than 50 colleges have become test optional since the beginning of the pandemic. This means that an SAT or ACT score will not be required to apply and be accepted into the school. Among the colleges becoming test optional are Boston University, all nine campuses of the University of California, Tufts University, Northeastern University, and Texas Christian University. The schools decided to make the switch in order to accommodate applicants who are unable to take the SAT or ACT, especially since most free school-day SAT tests were cancelled.

While juniors are jumping at the chance for a potentially easier college admission process, some sophomores and freshmen are less than thrilled. “It seems immoral,” said freshman Reed Jorgensen. “We’re in the same boat as these people, and there is no telling when COVID-19 will end based on how our national administration is handling it.”

Hopefully the Class of 2021 will benefit from these big changes to the college application process and will be spared some of the senior year stress. In the meantime however, don’t forget to stay inside, wash your hands, and stay safe.