People around the world are adapting to a new normal. Many businesses have reinvented themselves, restaurants are offering delivery and takeout options, television news and late-night shows are broadcasting from home, and most K-12 schools and colleges in the U.S. have adopted online learning formats. Now that you may be settling into a different routine, it’s time to refocus and adopt some new strategies regarding college admissions.
Keep Your Grades Up
Many colleges have announced that they will waive the SAT/ACT requirements for Fall 2021 applications. Some are also discussing how to view junior year grades given the abrupt change to online learning, and some schools adopting pass/fail grading. However, it’s impossible to predict how every college will review their applications, so maintaining a high GPA is the best advice. Check in with your teachers, ask for help, and focus on doing your best with what’s being asked of you. Having consistently strong grades or even an upward trend can only benefit you in the application process.
Study for AP Exams
The College Board announced that both the May and June SAT dates have been canceled. This means you can stop thinking about the SAT for now. Instead, focus your efforts on studying for any AP exams you may have. AP exams will be given online meaning that you may want to prepare for the test a bit differently. The College Board has a list of helpful tips in preparing for an online, open-book/open-note exam format. Acing your AP exams is another way to show colleges your academic chops and potentially earn college credit saving yourself money and time in the future.
Consider Virtual Volunteering or Other Self-driven Extracurriculars
With most school extracurriculars canceled, it’s time to rethink your activity list. There are countless creative ways to demonstrate your skills or interests to a college. Jodi Glou, Founder and Owner of Custom College Consulting, has compiled a great list of virtual volunteering opportunities. Virtual volunteering is a great alternative to canceled summer plans and also an opportunity to use your skills to benefit organizations that may no longer have the in-person staff or funding to accomplish their mission.
Don’t stress! Andrew Palumbo, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts, wrote an open letter to high school juniors this week. Although he admits that there is a lot to worry about right now, he says grades and SAT scores shouldn’t be on that list. His message to students: “We’ll figure it out together.”
At EdMission Possible, our customized virtual college counseling services make it possible to work with students from all states across the U.S. as well as many countries around the world. Social distancing is the key to fighting this vicious virus – A.K.A. COVID-19, and we are here to help you do that with our online counseling services while we guide you to put your best foot forward in your college applications. We will get through this and come out even stronger. We will prevail. This, too, shall pass. In the meantime, do not delay your college plans.
Looking forward to brighter days…
Burcak Deniz Cakir
Founder and President | EdMission Possible
Burcak Deniz Cakir has a B.A. in Foreign Language Education, an M.A. in English Language Teaching, and an M.B.A., all of which have laid the solid foundation for her professional experiences as an educator. She has completed the College Counseling Program at UCLA, which is known to be the most prestigious certificate program in the profession. She has previously taught English as a Foreign/Second Language (EFL/ESL) in Turkey and in the U.S. at Virginia Tech, Harcum College, Rutgers University (Newark and New Brunswick Campuses), and Pace University. Having taught EFL/ESL at the college level for over 20 years, Burcak can communicate effectively with college-age students from different countries. She is bilingual in Turkish and English. Her extensive experience with international students from many countries including but not limited to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Korea, and China has given her the opportunity to understand their unique problems that domestic students may not be facing throughout the college admissions process, such as but not limited to extra testing requirements (TOEFL, IELTS), the translation of high school transcripts and recommendation letters, different financial forms and statements required, visa issues, being homesick, culture shock, etc.
Burcak is an Associate Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and a Voting Member of the International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC). She currently lives in Edison, New Jersey with her husband, two daughters, and her four-legged son. In her free time, she can be found spending time with her family, reading (lots!) about college admissions and college essays, watching her favorite movies, getting lost in design magazines, and decorating her house.
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