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JOM: Challenges face students who apply to college during pandemic

It's the time of year that high school seniors apply to the colleges and universities of their dreams. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, applying for colleges this year has many advantages and disadvantages.

The acceptances criteria used for admission; such as grades and SAT scores are  being evaluated differently this year. This process has some applicants stressing out. Since last year classes were suddenly halted because of COVID-19, many Students did not get a chance to improve their GPA because courses were graded pass or fall and not using academic letter grades. 

“This is very irritating," CMA senior Dorian Ward said. "I was hoping to get my grades together for my college applications.”

Most colleges are being more lenient with acceptance because of these disadvantages for students. In addition to grades, students have test scores to consider. Students aiming for prestigious universities must be well rounded and competitive, having test scores rivaling top students around the country. However, most forms of Standardized testing this year have been reduced, offering less opportunity  for students to retake and increase their scores. 

Students also have online school, which tiring, senior Daniel Clayton said.

 “I don't know how they expect us to sit and do work on the screen for six hours, and assign homework for us to do later," Clayton said. 

There is also a lack of information because students aren't able to have direct contact with their teacher or counselor for help regarding FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or the Common Application.

Some steps like financial aid night have been scheduled for seniors. In addition, most colleges this year are test-optional -- students do not have to send a score unless they desire to.

Lastly, students have extracurricular activities and or volunteer hours they need for graduation and struggle to find placements because of social distancing.This year seniors face many challenges and responsibilities leaving a heavy toll on their mental and physical health.


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