By now we all know how hard 2020 has been for many students. There have been many changes to the normal school routine, from the norms of waking up and going to school in person to simply just walking downstairs to a room within the comfort of your home. Some changes have not been as easy, including the college application process. 2020 has forced changes in the money, the grades, and the overall qualifications for college admissions.
Colleges used to look at things like your grades and SAT or ACT scores to decide admissions. Now, they’re not looking at the ACT and SAT scores, and it’s all about the grades and your GPA now. That makes it so much harder for many students because those test scores can be a push over the edge for admissions. Now that it’s gone, college qualifications have become a little more challenging. We have the option to send scores in, but they won’t be used within our final admissions decision. When I was filling out my application for my dream college in Hawaii, I had the option to send in the test scores, even though they wouldn’t be used to determine if I could go there next fall. I studied hard and took this test, sat nervously for the results, only for all of it to not matter.
Another qualification I had to endure was GPA. If your GPA isn’t where it should be for that particular school, they ask you to send in two letters of recommendations. I actually like this rule. As a student who struggled in my early freshman year of high school, it was nice to know the school I chose wouldn’t judge me solely based on grades. In the end, the letters of recommendations took the place of the ACT and SAT test scores and were the final push I needed to get accepted. Thankfully, I got in! I will be starting at my dream school in fall of 2021 in sunny Hawaii.
The college process has had a lot of ups and downs for me this year. Like all years, we have to have a waiver fee or you will have to pay money ranging from $50-$150 just to send off a single application. The changes in 2020 have definitely shifted the process for college applicants – some in a positive way making it easier, and others making it so much harder and less fun than it needs to be. As someone who sent off five applications, let me just say this: there are positive and negatives things to come out of this experience. It can and will be stressful for us senior students as it has been for all of the classes who came before us. The difference is that we are in unchartered territory this year. Patience. College application processes aren’t supposed to be easy in any aspect, they are a test of our commitment. Believe me, I have experienced it first hand.