Covid changes college application process for seniors

Nathan Krauzlis

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Photo by Nathan Krauzlis

Senior Keito Ishibashi spends time working on his common app. Seniors must balance their time between academics and extracurriculars while completing the college application process and covid changes further complicate this process.

Fall of senior year is always a stressful time for seniors as they apply to colleges across the world. Visiting colleges, filling out the common/coalition app and writing essays for each school is always a daunting task, but a wrench was thrown in the process when Covid-19 shut down the world and the normal application process.

In 2020, multiple traditional measures such as standardized tests became less important as many didn’t have access to take them. Other factors such as limited in-person visits limited the ability of many seniors to find their college of choice. Student athletes, especially prospective college athletes, also faced issues such as reclassing and less in-person scouting events. In 2021, college campuses began to open up, but many challenges still remain, which greatly impact the mindsets and prospects of current seniors as they embark on their college journey.

Between the chaos of the pandemic and online school, one student used cafes in D.C. as a retreat to get work done. Senior Rowan Wright worked in coffee shops during the summer, finishing large parts of her college applications there. However, as the pandemic develops, that has become a less accessible option.

“The Delta variant made it less practical and comfortable to get work done there,” Wright said.

Due to spaces being disrupted by Covid-19 variants, students are constantly feeling the pressure of the pandemic during one of the most crucial parts of their academic careers.

For students hoping to continue playing sports in college, the past year has presented a challenge both in the classroom and on the field. Senior Keito Ishibashi has first hand experience with the challenges of trying to play soccer at the next level.

“COVID messed up a lot of stuff because players got an extra year of eligibility…One school I was talking to filled out their roster with players a year older than me. Luckily, finding schools and showcases to play at wasn’t an issue,” Ishibashi said.

Some students like senior Sam Grande have taken advantage of the changes accelerated by the pandemic.

“I like going test optional because it gives opportunities to more students…I felt less pressure when taking the tests, and I ended up with a score I was happy with,” Grande said.

For some, the pandemic has made the stress of college apps more overbearing, while others have found comfort in many changes that have occurred. Regardless, seniors hope to power through and complete this last step on their journey to college, even through the trials of a pandemic.