The Stress of College Admissions During a Pandemic

December 7, 2020


As if the pandemic wasn’t stressful enough, high school students also have to worry about getting into college.  Though a lot of the admissions process has been altered, students still have a lot of decisions to make.  These decisions could affect not only their college experience, but also the rest of their lives.

One of the biggest concerns for students and parents is whether or not to take the standardized tests.  The SATs and ACTs, which were once the most important tests for high school students, are now optional for some colleges.  Because so many students are not taking the test due to safety concerns, universities will have to accept students that haven’t taken them.  Although this opportunity may give students a sigh of relief, it doesn’t mean that the process will be any easier.  If admissions isn’t looking at standardized test scores, they will be looking at the rigor of the students’ classes, the grades they got, and extracurricular activities the students are involved in.

Another question that students are faced with is whether or not it is worth spending thousands of dollars to go to another school online.  One of the biggest appeals for some students is the freedom of being away from home.  This freedom could be taken away, due to the fact that a lot of schools have made class virtual.  Alexa Baker, a Junior at Pottsgrove, says “A worry that I would have is the social aspect.  I like to socialize and talk to my friends and I would hate to be online and miss out on the college experience”.  

For students struggling for high school online already, college is just another punch in the stomach.  Many students are having a hard time focusing on work while not in class, and have expressed their anxiety on having the same troubles in college.  Maggie Galvin, a Junior at Pottsgrove, has yet to begin the admissions process but expresses her concern by saying, “A worry that I have would be me struggling with the college classes online, because you’re missing the in-person teaching and ability to focus.  Being at home and taking these classes would be too stressful”.

In all, students have quite a few decisions to make during the college admissions process… even during a pandemic.  Despite the troubles that Covid-19 has caused, students are all in the same boat, and that brings comfort to students.  Kaitlyn Mayberry, a Junior at Pottsgrove, says, “Knowing that everyone is in the same position makes things a lot easier and less stressful”.

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