Covid and College: How the Pandemic has affected WESS Students

“Being a packrat sometimes pays dividends: I just dug up college admissions pamphlets from Northwestern, Stanford and George Washington University circa 1997. Dig that late-90s aesthetic.” by alykat is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Mia Blattmachr

Covid-19 has impacted all of our lives over the course of the year. Specifically, high school students have been dealing with the changes to the college admissions process. Most colleges don’t have campus tours, SATs and ACTs were cancelled in the past, and many students are required to stay at home while attending college. For 11th and 12th graders, there are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to where you want to go to college and the steps that come with it. For some students, this means going to a college farther from home. 

“I just want to go far away from New York City because I’ve had way too much time with my parents over quarantine,” Ketan Sterry, an 11th grader says. 

The pandemic has also affected the way perspective students are able to view and explore colleges. Justin Marciano shared his experience with the college exploration process.

“Virtual tours are accessible, which allows me to tour many more colleges. However, in person rep visits aren’t happening anymore, so I don’t have a way to connect with people from colleges and build a relationship.”

Justin also commented on ACT testing.

“Almost all of the ACT testing sites in the city are booked, so it’s very difficult to find somewhere convenient for me. Having a testing accommodation makes it even harder to find a testing site because due to Covid, not all sites will offer these types of accommodations.”

Despite the many issues that COVID has created, there are some noticeable benefits that have arisen. For example Marcus Hopper, an 11th grader says, 

“The pandemic has impacted my college choices by forcing me to really crack down on the kind of environment I really want to be in. It was only a year ago when I felt like the ideal college environment for me was a place just like WESS. However, since the times have changed, so have I. I’m beginning to be more open-minded, I’m expanding my options career wise, and I’m making connections I probably would’ve never made outside of quarantine. The pandemic overall has made me think a lot about my collegiate future.”

When thinking about your college plans, try to think about how you can maximize your productivity in terms of finding colleges, taking tests, and more. There are many resources online, including Naviance and our own college counselor, Molly Porcher. Make the most of what is available to you.