How college admissions might change in the wake of the pandemic

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 16:10 in Psychology & Sociology

Applying to college is stress-filled during the best of times. But in the age of coronavirus, the annual effort by high school students to combine their grades, recommendations, test scores, extracurricular activities, and personal essays into standout applications has sent anxiety levels soaring. Some high schools have gone to pass/fail grading, sparking fears about the fallout for GPAs; many extracurriculars have been canceled; and dozens of colleges, including Harvard, have waived standardized tests as a requirement for Class of 2025 applicants, raising concerns among those who feel particularly confident about their test-taking skills. Last week, the Harvard Graduate School of Education released a statement from more than 300 college admissions deans, including William R. Fitzsimmons, Harvard College’s dean of admissions and financial aid, that aims to ease fears by clarifying what the administrators value in applicants during such uncertain times. The Gazette spoke with Richard Weissbourd, faculty director for Making...

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