Major Changes in College Admissions

Many seniors are working endlessly this time of year considering it is now college application season. Gathering all your information and making sure you’re filling out all the applications you need can be overwhelming, especially in the midst of a pandemic. In order to help ensure the application process easier for you, here are major changes you should know about to help you with this years admissions process:

Standardized tests are now optional/flexible

A majority of colleges across the nation have decided to implement a test-optional/flexible policy in regards to admissions due to the challenges of taking the SAT and ACT safely. The policy allows students to make the decision on whether or not they want to include their SAT or ACT scores as part of their applications to reflect their academic ability. This change will also put emphasis on other aspects of your application, allowing you to shift focus to other requirements like your essays and supplements.

One thing to keep in mind is that not all colleges are “test-optional.” Some schools are considered to be “test blind.” Test-blind means that students are not required to submit any scores as they will not be considered during the admissions process.  Overall, it is important to note that whether submitted or not, test scores will not put anyone at a disadvantage this year with their decisions as they are not being deeply considered. However, this year it will be important for you to  check with the colleges you’re applying to in order to find out more about their testing policy.

Free tuition

Over the past few years, the tuition amount has generally risen in colleges. Since the pandemic has affected the income of many families, colleges across the country are now considering students for free-four year tuition. Students who have been frontline essential workers throughout the pandemic, have a low income, and apply for the FAFSA qualify for this aid.

One college that is offering free tuition is The University of Michigan through the “Go Blue Guarantee,” which is an initiative stated on their website to make “education affordable and accessible for all Michigan residents pursuing undergraduate study.” Requirements to qualify for this free tuition are: 

  • A family income of $65,000 under
  • Submitting your application and being admitted
  • Applying for FAFSA by March 31, 2021.

There are so many colleges across the state and country that are offering aid to the students who need it, therefore it is important you look into the colleges you are applying to and evaluate your options for tuition.

Virtual Events

To help students with the college application process, many colleges are hosting virtual events to talk about the admissions process, explain how decisions are being made, and to describe the campus environment. This gives students the opportunity to ask questions directly and gain an inside perspective on what campus life is like since mostly all on-campus visits were cancelled for  this year. Here are links to some virtual events and resources that you can register for in Michigan:

Make sure you are checking college websites and taking advantage of the opportunities to talk to your schools of interest.