Juniors adapt to adjusted admissions process prompted by Covid-19


photo by Yasmin Haq

SAT dates have been postponed leading to some schools becoming test-optional.

After the May and June SAT and April ACT were cancelled due to Covid-19, some colleges have made the admissions process for the class of 2021 test-optional. 

The University of California announced on March 31 that its admissions process would be test optional for the class of 2021. Texas Christian University  has also temporarily gone test-optional along with other colleges. 

“I got an email from the University of Oregon that said they’re not taking the SAT,” junior Keaton Morrison said. “They said you don’t need an SAT score on your application which is crazy. At first I was surprised, a little upset, but everyone is in the same boat. It sucks that people spend so much money on SAT prep only to have their opportunity canceled. I have no idea how they’re going to do it, but at least we’re in the same boat.”

The College Board plans to work with states and schools to create solutions for testing. For now, the Board plans to add a September date and keep the August through December tests if it’s safe. The board is also looking at school day administration and options for if the virus prohibits school in the fall. 

According to lead counselor Kimberly Clingan, the May and June SAT dates are when most juniors take the test.

Campuses including the University of Texas have canceled classes and college visits as well, including Junior Day in April that Morrison was planning on attending. UT has switched to virtual tours, but has not made any changes to the admissions process for next year. 

“We are committed to making sure that our campus is accessible to prospective students, even in these unprecedented times,” Executive Director of Admissions Miguel Wasielewski said via email. “While we cannot replicate an actual physical visit to campus, we are leveraging technology to provide students with virtual campus visit experiences and we are available by phone to talk with students and families.”

Junior Claire Song planned to tour colleges over spring break so she could narrow down which to apply to, but all of her plans were canceled due to the virus. 

“I signed up, bought plane tickets, booked hotel rooms and they all got canceled,” Song said. [I planned on visiting] Colorado State University, University of California Davis and Cornell University. It’s honestly very unsettling just because it’s hard to have a plan and have it knocked over and not really know what’s going to happen next.”

Song also planned to retake the SAT this spring because her dream school, UC Davis, had required an SAT with essay. However, while Song is relieved about the SAT being optional, she said she feels like a lot of her effort was wasted.

“I’m not regretting the choice of putting in so much effort for the test just because I did learn so much from it, but it kind of sucks that there won’t be any acknowledgement for all my work to get the score that I did.” Song said.