EASTON, Pa. - With schools closed and virtual learning becoming the new norm, the college admissions process has had to adapt too.
Springtime is usually crucial for high school juniors taking college admissions tests like the SAT and ACT, but with tests cancelled or postponed, how schools view applications will likely look a little different.
"The high school class of 2021...their college search is taking a different shape than they ever thought it would because of the pandemic," said Matthew Hyde, assistant vice-president of enrollment and dean of admissions at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.
Hyde said Lafayette College has adapted their admissions process, which includes optional standardized test scores, for students applying for fall 2021 admission.
Hyde said while some schools have moved to making all SAT and ACT test scores optional, Lafayette plans to take it year-by-year.
He said Lafayette's admissions committee realizes many students may have pass/fail grades on their spring 2020 transcripts and disruptions of co and extra-curricular activities. While the college is a "highly selective" school, admitting about 28 to 32% of applications, Hyde said admission isn't just about the numbers.
"There's a spectrum of passing. We are going to lean a little more heavily on teacher recommendations on what those grades mean in the spring of 2020."
While the summer between junior and senior year is often a busy time for college visits, gone are the days of on-campus tours, for now. Info sessions and visits are now all done virtually.
"We've had to evolve. We acknowledge now that when we are creating opportunities...we are more accessible to more students and families from around the world," said Hyde.