COVID impacts to the college admissions process suit Carroll students


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Sasha Lockett, Staff writer

Because of COVID-19, the college admissions process has been different this year. Many schools have opted to be standardized admissions test-optional, which makes students at Archbishop Carroll feel more at ease.

With widespread test date cancellations and students’ not being able to access test preparation and testing centers as a result of the coronavirus, a majority of colleges and universities removed the requirement for the SATs.

“Junior and senior year are usually stressful because of the fear of taking the SATs but I’m glad that I don’t have to worry about taking them,” said Anna Winslow, junior.

In place of SAT scores, most schools have been accepting essay questions to assess the applicants. These essays can vary in length, but they usually range from 200-800 words.

“I applied and was accepted to Temple and the process took at least a day,” said Dennis Trowbridge, senior. “I also submitted an essay instead of the SATs.”

Even though many schools are test-optional this year, students are still encouraged to submit them. Test-optional schools claim that a student submitting the SATs wouldn’t have more of an impact than a student that doesn’t submit the SATs. 

“Even though the schools that I applied to are test-optional, I still sent my test scores in,” said Rochelle Clerkin, senior.

The question that many might have is whether the college admissions process is easier or more difficult because of COVID-19. Many people believe that the admissions process has been much easier since the pandemic, according to The New York Times. A factor is that because the pandemic forced a lot of activities to be shut down for a long period, many colleges do not expect students to have many community service hours or to be much involved in extracurricular activities.

I think with so many colleges being test optional, students have applied to more schools and did not have the stress of SATs,” said Marguerite DiMattia, Carroll’s director of guidance. “However, I think they also had a harder time since the senior class was out of school last spring, when Mr. Lynam and I typically review some of the college information with juniors.”

Before the pandemic hit, public universities like Temple University and California State University were already test-optional. According to the National Association for College Admissions, many people believe that all schools will soon be permanently test-optional because of the positive results. This is also because many schools that have not opted for test-optional have been receiving fewer applications.

“I think that all schools should be test-optional because a test score should not define someone,” said Alexis Ferris, senior.