May is typically a time when high school seniors can take a breath, having committed to their college for the next 4 years. Senioritis has definitely set in, with a lot of laughter, happiness, and a sense of accomplishment. High school is at an end. Beach week is around the corner. And soon, they will be leaving their home, embarking on their next adventure – college! Students have bought their college sweatshirts and updated their Instagram accounts. But with the coronavirus, the question for the soon-to-be freshman is: Will I really be at college in the fall, wearing my new sweatshirt to the first Big Game, or will I be home with the sweatshirt forgotten in the closet? These are definitely unsettling times.
One real fear – one borne out of a study released at the end of April – is that coronavirus restrictions will bring another semester of remote learning that will shake the foundations of traditional four-year institutions and severely reduce enrollment, as students and parents vote with their pocketbooks and feet, opting for gap years or less-expensive community colleges.
“I need to be there in person”, said senior, Charlie Baker of Milburn, New Jersey. “I am looking forward to attending Vanderbilt, living on my own, cheering at football games and meeting new people.” But if school remains online in the fall, he is likely to defer. “Online instruction wouldn’t be a waste of money, but it definitely does make college less valuable.”
If the findings of a new national study hold true, for every Charlie Baker, there are four James Serrutos, a classmate of Charlie’s. James plans on attending Fordham in the fall, even if he has to take classes online. “I will wait it out and try to make the most of it,” he said. “It really, really stinks, but we are all in the same boat.
The study conducted in March and replicated again in April found that:
- One in 10 high school seniors who were bound for a four-year residential college in the fall said they would attend community college, take online classes, or skip college all together.
- If colleges only offer online classes, 20% of seniors and 14% of college students said they would make other plans.
- Twenty four % of Caucasian seniors and 41% of minority students said that they likely won’t go in the fall.
Colleges, hearing the concerns from students and parents, are currently making plans, which could include a mixture of in-person and online classes for students. The Chronicle of Higher Education came out with a list of colleges who have declared their plans for the fall. You can find information about your school by clicking on this link: https://www.chronicle.com/article/Here-s-a-List-of-Colleges-/248626
I don’t want the good news about college admissions to get lost with all of the uncertainty that we are now facing. Some colleges and faculty have voted to freeze tuition prices for the fall. The following colleges have taken extra steps and have made the following changes for the fall. BRAVO!!!
- Beloit College in Wisconsin
- Northern New Hampshire University
- Cut tuition for next year by 61%
- Colby College
- Pay It Forward Initiative – finding employment for all graduates by the end of this summer.
- Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio
- Announced a plan covering 100% of fall 2020 tuition for new on-campus undergraduates, after scholarships and grants.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF 2020!!!!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!”
I specifically want to acknowledge and congratulate the following students:
Alec – accepted to WVU, High Point, Va. Tech, Delaware, James Madison, Duquesne and ECU – Alec is going to Virginia Tech!! Go Alec!!
Connor – accepted to Lynn, Alabama, and several other school – Connor is Alabama bound!! Go Connor!!
Tomas – accepted to LSU, Barry, University of Miami, Temple – Tomas is heading to U of Miami!! Go Tomas!!
Kat – accepted to University of Denver, Syracuse, Gettysburg, Muhlenberg, Flagler – Kat is heading to Syracuse!!! Go Kat!!
Ceecee – accepted to USF, UCF, University of Miami and Florida Southern – Ceecee is heading to Florida Southern!!!! Go Ceecee!!
Emma – accepted to Penn, U of Pittsburgh, Northeastern, U of South Carolina, Temple, Drexel and Emory – Emma is heading to the University of Pittsburgh!!! Go Emma!!
And to all the seniors that I worked with this past year, thank you for the privilege of helping you with your plans and transition to college. I know you’ll go far!
Visiting Colleges Virtually
With college campuses closed due to the pandemic, free virtual tours have grown. High school juniors eager to check out campuses are forced now to visit online. If you are just getting started, check out the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC, https://www.nacacnet.org/). This organization provides information from more than 1,000 colleges and universities on changes to admission processes resulting from the coronavirus.
If you are ready to start touring virtually, the first place to begin is with the colleges on your list. Check out their website, paying particular attention to any webinars or online tours the college has set up. Signing up for the webinar is a good idea. Not only will you learn about the school and any changes due to the pandemic but you will also have a contact in the admissions office you can reach out to later on with any questions you may have.
There are several websites that allow student to tour virtually and compare schools. These sites offer interactive maps, photos, videos, and testimonials.
Campus Tours offers tours of more than 1800 U.S. colleges. Its advanced search feature allows students to fine-tune details they are searching for, including tuition cost. About 100 of the schools on the site offer insights from current students during parts of the campus tour.
YouVisit offers tours of more than 600 U.S. schools. The tour offers prompts that pop up asking students for input that is sent to college officials to respond.
YoUniversity offers students the opportunity to click on tabs such as:
- Safest campuses
- Best campus food
- Top academic colleges
- Coolest dorms
Now is the time for juniors and their parents to begin to learn about colleges. Until you can step foot on the campus in person, visiting virtually will have to do. Take notes and compare schools. The more you can do now, the better prepared you will be when applying to those colleges in the fall.
Please contact me if I can help you with any aspect of the college admissions process. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 240-285-1920. Thank you