If your high schooler is nearing college preparation, the journey may seem confusing and uncertain during the pandemic. As the world is opening up more and locations are slowly opening, you may have questions about how your kid can make the process easier and smoother. How does your child apply and still showcase their skills and experiences? How can you help your high schooler during this process?


What Colleges Want to See Now

Depending on what your child was focusing on during high school, whether it’s sports, clubs, volunteer work, and more, every college knows that these activities will have been impacted in some form during the past few years. Most colleges, however, know that these changes impact the applications they will see, but it won’t necessarily change the process for students applying. Colleges will most likely still want the same amount of information and forms as in previous, pre-Covid years, but will understand that there will be gaps as well. The process of applying to colleges hasn’t been impacted by Covid, only the information and the way you get there that has changed. 


Expectations from Colleges

Every college knows that every student will have been affected by Covid in some shape or form. It will vary from family to family, obviously, but most colleges understand that there was going to be something changed in every family situation. Whether a family member was lost during the pandemic or a student’s schooling and activities were cut short, everyone will have experienced the last two years differently. Most colleges expect gaps in activities and other events, thus it’s not vital to try to explain these gaps in the application process. But if your high schooler went through a lot of trauma or a huge event during the pandemic which negatively affected their regular activities and events further, then it would be in your best interest to include an explanation of the events leading up to that. Colleges expect transparency these days, and will respond more positively knowing the full story, as long as it’s not too painful to share. 


Test Scores in the Applications

One other change in college applications is the testing segment. Colleges are no longer requiring students to include their testing scores in the application process. SAT or ACT scores are not going to be a deciding factor in the application process as some high schoolers have not been able to take the test, and colleges are acknowledging this fact. And if your high schooler was able to take the test but felt their results weren’t ideal, this is a great way for them to still showcase their skills without feeling like their testing scores will automatically factor into their application. These subtle yet highly effective ways of changing the college application process can better set your high schooler up for success in the coming school years.    

Katie Kyzivat