Seniors adjust to college applications during COVID-19

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Laurie Carrillo

Seniors have had to adjust to several changes when applying to college this year.

Laurie Carrillo, Print Editor-In-Chief

COVID-19 has changed the way we do everything and college applications are no exception. From testing frustrations to whole new deadlines, the senior class is left to bear the weight of an already difficult process made harder.

One of the biggest challenges seniors have faced involves SAT cancelations and schools going test-optional.

“I’m still confused about whether we’ll be able to superscore,” senior Alan Chi said. “But I am grateful for not having to take subject tests.”

Chi has managed to complete four out of nine applications but has encountered difficulties in assembling his music portfolio.

“I’ve had issues with getting an accompanist,” Chi said. “I’ll have to play alone.”

Some students have experienced several changes like senior Adelina Blue who is applying to the Naval Academy. The pandemic delayed the appointment of a Blue and Gold officer (counseling representatives) and transformed the candidate fitness assessment process.

“It’s usually done in a big group of people, everyone running together and holding one another’s legs down for sit-ups,” Blue said. “Now we have a family member hold down our legs and only one person goes running at a time since we can’t wear our masks when exercising.”

They added a month to my usual deadline, it doesn’t seem like much but it really helps.”

— Senior Adelina Blue

The service academies have summer camps for prospective students to learn more about their programs, but this year, the in-person version was canceled.

“They were all online but it’s a completely different experience from being there and training in person,” Blue said. “Hearing people just talk about it isn’t as enriching.”

Applying for the Naval Academy requires nominations from congressmen. An important part of requesting nominations is the student’s SAT score.

“My September SAT got cancelled so I have to use a score that is lower than what I would like,” Blue said.

Despite several complications, students take relief in extended deadlines for applications and scholarships.

“They added a month to my usual deadline,” Blue said. “It doesn’t seem like much but it really helps.”

Another positive change is that students had more time to work on applications over the summer.

“It’s pretty cool that every student has submitted at least one application this early,” college and career counselor Norma Phelan said. “Colleges going test-optional is also a reason for that.”

Phelan’s page on the school website has video resources and links for students to use and she sends out emails regularly for other opportunities.

“If students have questions, they can start there,” Phelan said. “If they can’t find the answer there, they can come see me and I’ll help.”

Something new this year is ordering transcripts on Naviance. Both official and unofficial are free.

“Now that everything is settled it should be easy to order,” Phelan said. “It’s a lighter load for both students and the registrar.”