Rising Seniors: Research Your College List During COVID-19

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Colleges and universities across the country closed down entirely in the spring of 2020. Professors and instructors pivoted, creating new online classes out of “in-person” lesson plans in a matter of days. Residence halls emptied out and bustling campus centers went dark. And during this time, every college and university came up with emergency communications plans.

These plans are still being finessed and streamlined now, as schools tackle summer orientation plans for the high school graduating class of 2020, and prepare for what, and how, to start classes up in the fall. And throughout all of this, there have been countless emails and websites created to explain reasoning and schedules. As we transition from the class of 2020 admissions experience, the class of 2021 — the rising seniors — can learn a lot if you research your college list now, during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Crisis Brings Knowledge

What did the schools you’re interested in say about the pandemic and when? Did the schools set up separate websites for information? Check out the majors you’re interested. Did they address plans and tools used in some way? Did they provide clear instructions and dates for students? What were the emails about and did they put them online as well? Did they clearly and simply talk about any student reimbursements and those timelines?

Check out their official social media pages. Are they personable about the crisis? Do they clearly communicated where and when to find out more about plans for campus? Do they feel human?

Importantly, how did all of these communications make you feel? If you can, imagine yourself in that campus as a student, reading these posts, would you feel informed? Satisfied? Or was something missing?

See what your parents and friends think as well. What do they think of the responses? Do they align with how your family and community reacted and prepared?

What Are People Saying About Them

Now to the “other” social media. The unofficial accounts, student groups, and parents pages are great for finding out all sorts of information, including how a college’s planning was received by current students and parents. Do some behind-the-scenes reading. Create a post even, as a high school student, and ask if how the university handled the pandemic was satisfactory. If it wasn’t, you’re definitely going to get the scoop. You might even get some great new reasons to apply… or not apply.

RELATED: Coronavirus Impact: Why the Class of 2021 Should Be Worried

Finally, almost-seniors, your last year in high school might also be fraught with pandemic issues. A lot of what will happen in the fall remains to be seen. We’re all going day-to-day right now, and week-to-week. But you now have some time to prepare and learn from this national emergency. Research your college list during COVID-19 and see what they’re saying, how they’re saying it, and if you and your family’s decisions are in-line. A college or university that wasn’t in your top choices may end up being there now.

Visit our special coronavirus article page.
CampusChat Live: The Class of 2021

We're talking about the college admissions hurdles we foresee stacking up for the Class of 2021. Are you a rising senior or a parent of one? Listen in and ask questions! We'll answer them.

Posted by Smart College Visit on Thursday, May 14, 2020

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