College Application Changes

As the year continues, applying for colleges is different than it has been in the past.


Ariel Clark

Due to our school’s no visitors policy, college representatives will offer students an online tour instead of attending the College Fair. Guidance counselor Sarah Elm recommends students to at least attend these virtual tours due to the lack of physical visiting ability.

Ariel Clark, Editor

Applying for colleges has changed drastically in most areas due to the full-fledged pandemic tackling the world. According to KGW8, a lot of colleges are allowing students to decide if they want to include their SAT/ACT scores on their applications or not. This is because the testing dates have been constantly rescheduled and postponed as the virus spreads. 

A list of colleges abiding by the opportunity to waive the test scores has been provided by the NACAC. Attending one of these colleges, however, will most likely now weigh heavier on your academic pursuits and hobbies to make up for the lack of testing. Guidance counselor Sarah Rose said, “This is significant for the ACT as it will dramatically hurt their funding.” 

The SAT and ACT aren’t the only change, though. The New York Times states that colleges are moving more towards virtual tours in order to retain social distancing guidelines.  Zoom is one of the main tools used by college officials to showcase the colleges. However, this is believed to take away a prime aspect of physically viewing the college of your choice. “I think it is better than nothing,” said Rose. While she believes the “true experience of the college is actually seeing the college itself,” Rose still feels like students should engage in a virtual tour instead of not at all.

The College Fair, normally held in the Commons and Gym, will no longer be held due to the school’s “no-visitors” policy. Instead, a few college representatives have taken the initiative to invite students to an online 1:1 meeting. An email was sent out that allowed students to sign up for a meeting time with a Northwest Missouri State University representative. Other schools intend to also send out dates and times for zoom presentations for students to attend. They will record these presentations for students to watch later as well. 

Scholarship opportunities have not changed much. Each scholarship offers a unique way to apply, from a creative video to having written portions. Atlantic High School students can find various scholarships available on the AHS Guidance Page. Rose regrets not applying for more scholarships in high school. Her advice is, “Money is money and you should apply for as many scholarships as you can!” For more help on scholarships, students are recommended to set up a time with your guidance counselor. 

Senior Anna Wieser plans to attend Northwest Missouri State University in the Fall of 2021. “This pandemic has really changed the college decision for me.”

I know it’s not the year we had in mind and that everything is getting changed, but there is always next semester!”

— Anna Wieser

“I think if more colleges had been open to visits I might have chosen something different,” said Wieser. She thinks it’s great that colleges are waiving the ACT. While she finds the ACT score valid when applying for scholarships, Wieser doesn’t believe it should be used as a gateway to college. “Personally, I don’t think a four-hour test should decide if someone is accepted into a college,” said Wieser. She’s grateful to be able to spend her last year in school with friends and teachers. “I know it’s not the year we had in mind and that everything is getting changed, but there is always next semester!”