Covid’s Impact on College Admissions and Applications

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WDEF)- In response to the covid pandemic, Over 600 colleges and universities, including Lee University, did not require SAT’s and ACT’s for 2020 applicants.

 “It changes how many office admissions work” said Lee University Vice President of Admissions Phil Cook.

Lee University temporarily pumped the brakes on high school students visiting their campus as well as college fairs.

Cook says a high school senior’s body of work now takes precedent over a test score.

 “We’re looking at more closely at the high school GPA in particular the classes that student is taking to prepare them for the program” said Cook.

 Less requirements on the application forms have influenced more students to expand their college search.

Author of “Who Gets in and Why” Jeff Selingo, who also examined the admissions process of 3 universities in 2020, says the average acceptance rate is 65 percent nationwide.

“Many colleges and universities, especially big publics and elite privates, they’ve seen a huge surge in applications” said Selingo.

According to the New York Times, Penn State applications spiked by 11 percent, Harvard 42 percent, and Colgate 103 percent.

 Putting smaller institutions like Lee, on the back burner.

“The schools like Lee University, private schools, private schools without national recognition, are struggling in terms of applications” said Cook.

Lee University’s department of admissions says graduating seniors are less likely to apply to college because of the covid pandemic.

“The uncertainty of the economy situation” said Cook. “The uncertainty of the job situation. Am I going to be able to afford going to school or we just start rallying and circle the wagon Our families are trying to survive. School might have to be put on hold.”

 Cool says FAFSA applications are down nationwide but Scholarship money from Lee University will now be prioritized for students with a solid body of work.

So what can we expect for many schools going forward?

 “About 600 colleges went test optional for the pandemic” said Selingo. “Many of them are extending it for another year. I have about half of them will never go back.


Categories: Bradley County, Cleveland, Education, Featured, Local News

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