How has COVID Affected College Admissions for the 2021-2022 School Year?

College admissions are a stressful process to begin with; however, when you throw this past year with COVID into the mix, it’s been even worse. Who knew that was possible? Well apparently it is. There are multiple factors that have gone into this past college application year that have made it more stressful, not to mention harder to get accepted into all schools. 

As I’m sure everyone heard, this year colleges did not require any students to submit ACT or SAT test scores. This was a good but also a bad thing. Many students did not have the opportunity to take the SAT or ACT before all of the testing sessions were shut down by COVID; that or students did not get the score they wanted. Therefore colleges decided to make the executive decision to not require students to submit their test scores if they did not want to do so. This may seem like a good thing; however, there are other factors to think about in regards to this topic. For example, students who may have done well on their SAT or ACT may have decided to turn in their test scores, which already gives them a higher advantage than those who didn’t turn theirs in. Alongside that, this made other students who may have taken a gap year, or had never applied to college until now also want to apply to schools to further their education. This made it even more difficult to get into schools that were already difficult to get into.

Test scores were not the only thing making it even more challenging for acceptances  this year. More people applied early decision to schools rather than regular decision. Therefore it was much harder for those who applied regular decision to get accepted since a lot of the acceptance spots the school has open had been filled already. On top of that, it also made it more difficult for those who applied early decision because the school still only accepted a certain number of applicants from each group. 

All schools have a certain number of incoming students for the upcoming school year that they can accept. This is because they need to be sure that they have enough space for all the new students, and the returning students. For example, by the final application deadline, North Carolina State University had over 32,000 applications for the fall 2021 school year; however, they only had 4,775 spots available. Another example of the crazy number of applications submitted versus the number of people they were able to accept is New York University. They received over 100,000 applications but were only able to accept 6,7000. It was said that they had the highest volume of applications that was ever received by a US university in a single year according to nyunews.com. 

On top of all this madness, some schools even accepted too many people that they were forced to reject their acceptance from some students who had yet to confirm their intent to enroll. Many students were outraged by this as they should have been. It is unfair that they worked hard for this, got accepted, and then ended up getting denied even though it was the school’s fault for accepting too many people when they knew how many applicants they had and how many people that they could accept. 

A weight should be lifted from current seniors’ shoulders as the application season is over, and schools should have sent out their decisions by now. However, for rising seniors be sure to prepare early. Summer time is a great time to start making a list of where you want to apply as well as get a head start on essays and the application process. With the limited number of applicants schools can accept nowadays, getting started early is the best decision you can make for yourself, especially because you will be so happy when you get it out of the way. With that being said, good luck to the class of 2022, and congratulations to the class of 2021 on all their accomplishments!

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