How Will COVID-19 Affect The 2020 College Admissions Cycle?

How Will COVID-19 Affect The 2020 College Admissions Cycle?

Most of us have seen a change to our day to day lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the short-term changes are obvious, many people are wondering what the long-term impact will be. That includes prospective college students. Especially juniors in the Class of 2021 may be wondering how COVID-19 will affect the 2020 college admissions cycle.

The 2020 College Admissions Cycle

The good news is many schools have shared that they don’t expect COVID-19 to impact the college admissions cycle in a major way.

For example, Princeton undergrad admissions tweeted, in early March 2020, “Please note: The coronavirus outbreak and its effects have no impact on how we evaluate applicants to the University.”

That said, there are many ways COVID-19 has already affected students and schools.

Keep in mind, the situation is rapidly evolving. But here’s some of the other information that is currently available about how COVID-19 will (and will not) affect the 2020 college admissions cycle and other academic events.

Admissions Offices

Most post-secondary schools in the United States have closed their admissions offices for now. Be that as it may, they’re still operating virtually. Students can contact them via phone or email to get more information.

Admitted Students Days

If you’re still a year or two away from college visits, we have several resources to help you prepare for successful college campus visits. Click here for my top 5 tips for the best campus visit tips to save you time and money.

But things have been shaken up for students who were planning to visit campuses to learn about their new school this year. Most schools have canceled their admitted students’ days and weekends for students who were already accepted for the fall semester.

Some schools, including Harvard, have moved their admitted students events online. Instead of hosting “Visits” on campus, they’re moving to host “Virtual Visits” that will be available to admitted students for all of April rather than just a three-day period.

College-bound high school juniors should also take a look at this post where I discuss how they (and their parents) can make the most of the year as they prepare for college.

International Students

Many international students have already been accepted for the Fall 2020 semester. Most schools continue to accept and welcome these students. But many schools, including California Institute of Technology (Caltech), require all arrivals at the university to initially follow the same self-quarantine guidelines that apply to all travelers.


How Will COVID-19 Affect The 2020 College Admissions Cycle?
A photo from my trip to Caltech


Prospective international students could experience certain barriers to their education at American schools. Many schools require standardized testing before admission. In many parts of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, standardized test sites have closed. This is expected to seriously affect the number of international students that apply.

Tuition and Fees

Unfortunately, having fewer international students is also detrimental to the schools that rely on income from international students. International students are estimated to bring in more than $2.5 billion in tuition plus required fees to American schools.

With fewer admissions, tuition rates could rise for American students, particularly those at public colleges that could lose the most revenue.

Understandably, many prospective students are frustrated with the uncertainty surrounding their upcoming academic future. Prospective students should continue to monitor school websites for updates and information. At the same time, they can continue to do what they can to prepare for college.

Optimistically, most schools are expected to return to normal operation by this fall.

If you’re looking for the right college where you can get in and get money, click here to learn more.

Want to see more posts like this? Don’t miss these:

How to Stay Healthy in College: 5 Top Tips
Top 10 must-dos for college-bounds juniors
7 ways to support your child during the college application process


4 Top Tips to Make The Most of Ninth Grade

Ninth Grade

Ninth grade is a very big deal! It’s a transitional year that can set the tone for the rest of high school and beyond.

While parents may be tempted to “back off” in terms of involvement, it’s really the time to step up your engagement. Granted, your engagement may not be as hands-on as helping in the classroom, your assistance with guiding your teen to make the most of high school is important.

Here are 4 key tips to help your teen navigate ninth grade successfully and launch into a wonderful high school experience:

Practice good organizational and study skills. These are foundational skills that your teen will continue to rely upon each and every year.

Although courses may be a bit more challenging in ninth grade, they will get even more challenging for 10th, 11th and 12th Grade. So ninth grade is a great time to start practicing those good organizational and study skills. If your teen’s skills are weak in these areas, then 9th grade is an ideal time to figure out what works. There are any number of books and/or digital tools/apps that your teen can use to develop these skills.

Get involved with only one or two activities at school. During 9th grade, there’ll be so many new things happening. . . new teachers. . . perhaps new friend groups, and more. It will be all too easy to participate in the same activities as friends. Rather than follow the crown, I would suggest that your teen figures out their own you and focus on participating in only one or two clubs (including sports). Getting involved in too many activities at once may add too much undue stress and slow down their adjustment to high school.

Map courses forward. Courses taken in 9th grade play a role in the course selection for the remainder of high school. So, rather than considering 9th grade only, you can determine the core courses for 10th 11th and 12th grade as well (includes foreign language). This can help your teen see where there may be gaps in their course schedule and plan ahead for creative ways to fill any gaps.

Be intentional about summer. Gone are the days of only “hanging out” in the summer. Having fun and going on family vacations are important. However, there are typically many more other weeks for participating in a summer program, interning, reading several books, even focusing on a creative project. Whatever it is your teen does during the summer, be intentional about it, i.e. have a reason for participating!

Check out my 9th-grade roadmap for more timely tips to navigate each month of this year! (Choose “9th Grade” with the blue button here on this page.)