The pandemic has shifted the way colleges look at applications

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The pandemic has changed many things, including the way students look at college admissions. Indeed, many students are “looking” at colleges by way of “virtual visits.” We learned more from Erin Goodnow, CEO and co-founder of “Going Ivy.”

A lot has changed, especially, “the way schools are evaluating their candidates when… they have not had the chance to go out and do their tournaments or all their travel and all of their extracurricular activities have been canceled. It’s really hard because you need to find other ways to occupy yourself and to highlight this awesome character and impact, and all the things that you can contribute to a college environment,” Goodnow said.

But despite the challenges, “students are still doing it. A lot of it is virtual, and they’re still showing initiative. If you show that initiatives, the colleges will reward that in their admissions.”

What stands out to colleges?

“I’ve seen students have internships, still going in, still doing volunteer work and essential work that we’ve heard so much praise for over the pandemic. Students can do those things and really have some wonderful insight and reflection about what they’ve been doing over this past time,” Goodnow said.

If a student still puts in some type of effort during the pandemic, “that’s what gets those college admissions readers, they want to see that a student has maturity and has made an impact, even if it’s less so than you thought it would be and you haven’t gotten a chance to go to a tournament and win an award. But, you’ve done something else with your time and you can be mature about how that’s contributed to your growth, then that’s huge for colleges,” Goodnow said.

What college admission changes may be here to stay?

“I think one of the biggest changes that might really be long lasting is the test-optional policies that students have…so students do not need an SAT or ACT score to apply to a lot of schools and that’s sticking. Another thing that might stick is these virtual tours and virtual campus offerings so that more students can be welcomed without having to travel all over the country,” Goodnow said.

Erin Goodnow, CEO & Co-Founder, Going Ivy

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