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How Is COVID-19 Affecting College Admissions?

Lauren Cunningham |Nov 08, 2021

Applying to colleges is an exciting and stressful experience for most students. The pandemic impact on college enrollment is upping that stress while decreasing the excitement factor. College applications are down, and enrollment is dropping too.

Of course, this doesn’t have to spell disaster for your university. If you understand how the pandemic is affecting college admissions, you can strategize to find ways around the hurdles. Let’s take a look at how COVID-19 is changing the way the college admissions process works.

Students Are Insecure About Their Grades

Many schools stopped giving grades shortly after the pandemic hit. While some are steadily getting back to the traditional grading system, not all are. This means that many high school seniors are missing grades from a large portion of last year.

Additionally, for those who still received grades, many saw them drop significantly when compared to previous semesters. This is understandable given the stress the pandemic placed on young adults. However, many are hesitant to apply to universities since they feel they are underperforming compared to their peers.

Entrance Exams Are Cancelled

In many areas of the country, the SAT and ACT have canceled their test dates, leaving students with limited options for completing their entrance exams. While many universities are making these optional, not all students realize this. As a result, they are putting off their college applications until testing dates open up again.

Students Are Getting Less Direct Support

When schools were in-person full time, students got a lot of support from teachers and counselors regarding their college applications. Now, they often get no one-on-one time in person and have limited virtual counseling sessions.

This has resulted in many students struggling with navigating their college applications and determining which universities offer the best fit for them. In turn, this makes them more reliant on the individual universities to offer guidance.

Campus Visits Are Down

One of the biggest ways COVID is affecting college admissions is inhibiting in-person campus tours. Colleges are opening and closing due to outbreaks, making scheduling a tour difficult. Add to that the fact that the airlines aren’t exactly stable with their schedules and prices have risen, and the logistics are impossible in many cases.

Even in cases where students live pretty close, the pandemic has made visits harder. Many families have been hit financially, and even the gas for a one-day road trip can be more than they can swing. This has led to students choosing online college tours over in-person visits.

If you are worried about meeting the changing needs of prospective students, now is the time to meet them where they are. Talk to StudentBridge about adding a virtual campus map to your online tour experience.

Want to learn more about digital marketing for universities? Read: 5 Digital Strategies For Updating Your Student Recruitment Plan.

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