Changes to the College Application World


Take a look: pictured here is an example of a virtual tour of a campus that a student can take online. Photo courtesy: Morgan Viesselman, November 16, 2020.

Morgan Viesselman, Staff Writer

     Senior‌ ‌year‌ ‌has‌ ‌already‌ ‌been‌ ‌hard‌ ‌enough‌ ‌for‌ ‌high‌ ‌school‌ ‌students‌ ‌with‌ ‌school‌ ‌days‌ ‌being‌ ‌cut short,‌ and learning from home.‌ The time to apply to colleges ‌and‌ ‌universities‌ ‌is‌ here.

     When applying to college, students must submit their resume and some schools require an SAT or ACT score. This year most colleges and even Ivy Leagues are not requiring these scores to be shared. 

     School counselor at Foran, Ms. Jennifer Bier says, “…this means that a student’s transcript, college essays and letters of recommendations may be looked at more heavily.” This is a good opportunity for students who have good grades and higher GPA ( Grade Point Average) but a lower test score. 

     Alongside this, colleges have also extended their application due date. Students will have a longer time slot to fill their resume and submit their final application. 

     Milford‌ ‌Public‌ ‌Schools‌ ‌hosted‌ ‌a‌ ‌virtual‌ ‌College‌ ‌and‌ ‌Career‌ ‌Expo‌ ‌event‌ ‌on‌ ‌November‌ ‌4,‌ ‌2020‌ ‌where‌ ‌students‌ ‌could‌ ‌attend‌ ‌different‌ virtual rooms ‌to‌ ‌hear‌ ‌professors‌ ‌talk‌ ‌about‌ ‌their‌ ‌school.‌ ‌Students‌ ‌were‌ ‌able‌ ‌to‌ ‌visit‌ ‌schools’‌ ‌websites‌ ‌and‌ ‌read‌ ‌brochures‌ ‌to‌ ‌learn‌ ‌more‌ ‌about‌ ‌the‌ ‌courses‌ ‌and‌ ‌opportunities‌ ‌at‌ ‌these‌ ‌schools.‌ ‌

     The head of the College and Career Center at Foran, Mrs. Melissa Wunder says, “Students were able to enter virtual interactive booths and ask representatives questions in real time.” 

     She also explains that teachers at this event made their own virtual classroom to give students attending a tour of the room and equipment in it. 

     Senior Jenna Cichowski has attended a few virtual tours for colleges including Springfield and Assumption University. She explains how each tour was an individual zoom with a teacher in certain areas of study. There were also extended times after the zoom where students could ask specific questions and get direct answers. 

     Cichowski says, “I was able to ask anything through each session and they would either present the question to everyone or personally reply to my question.” She really enjoyed her experience and says that each call was “very organized and helpful.”

     Members of last year’s junior class likely planned to do their college tours during the spring of 2020. Students would be able to have a more accurate feel for campus life if they were able to visit the campus during the spring. Instead, many were forced to rely on virtual college tours due to travel restrictions and Covid guidelines.  Those students are now seniors and have to make a choice on what college they’d like to attend.

     High‌ ‌school‌ ‌students‌ ‌usually‌ ‌visit‌ ‌colleges‌ ‌that‌ ‌they‌ ‌are‌ ‌interested‌ ‌in‌ ‌and‌ ‌take‌ ‌a‌ ‌tour‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌campus.‌ ‌This‌ ‌is‌ ‌harder‌ ‌now‌ ‌because‌ ‌of‌ ‌Covid-19‌ ‌regulations‌ ‌and‌ ‌having‌ ‌to‌ ‌stay‌ ‌socially‌ ‌distanced.‌ Some‌ ‌students‌ ‌also‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌visit‌ ‌schools‌ ‌out‌ ‌of‌ ‌state.‌ ‌If‌ ‌a‌ ‌person‌ ‌does‌ ‌leave‌ ‌their‌ ‌state‌ ‌to‌ ‌visit‌ ‌a‌ ‌school,‌ ‌they‌ ‌may‌ ‌be‌ ‌required‌ ‌to‌ ‌quarantine‌ ‌for‌ ‌10 ‌days‌ ‌when‌ ‌returning‌ ‌home.‌ ‌As‌ ‌a‌ ‌result,‌ ‌the‌ ‌student‌ ‌is‌ ‌required‌ ‌to‌ ‌stay‌ ‌at‌ ‌home‌ ‌and‌ ‌participate‌ ‌in‌ ‌distance‌ ‌learning.‌ ‌

     Many‌ ‌colleges‌ ‌offer‌ ‌virtual‌ ‌tours‌ ‌for‌ ‌students‌ ‌to‌ ‌talk‌ ‌to‌ ‌teachers‌ ‌or‌ ‌students‌ ‌at‌ ‌that‌ ‌specific‌ ‌school.‌ ‌Some‌ ‌schools‌ ‌hosting‌ ‌these‌ ‌include‌ ‌Fairfield‌ ‌University,‌ ‌Sacred‌ ‌Heart‌ ‌University,‌ ‌University‌ ‌of‌ ‌Bridgeport,‌ ‌University‌ ‌of‌ ‌Rhode‌ ‌Island,‌ ‌Salve‌ ‌Regina‌ ‌University,‌ ‌Roger‌ ‌Williams‌ ‌University‌ ‌and‌ ‌many‌ ‌more‌ ‌all‌ ‌over‌ ‌the‌ ‌country.‌ ‌

     Colleges are giving virtual tours of their campus as well as individual departments. 

     Wunder says, “Students can now have an information session at many schools of the Business department or the Engineering department.” 

     This allows students to get more information about a specific class than they normally would. 

     These tours have been held at night so parents who work during the day are able to sit with their students and ask questions at the event. Now both students and their parents can learn about the schools together.