Articles, College, COVID-19,, Keeping Busy, School, STEM, Thinking Positive

COVID-19, Class of 2021, Test-Optional: The 20-21 College Admissions Cycle


Challenging Times

We know that this is a tough time for a lot of people. For the average individual planning to graduate from high school in Spring 2021, the academic future is uncertain. We have spent our junior year thinking about and preparing for college applications, and with the current situation, many exams and extracurricular plans have been thrown off. The standard application consists of chosen test scores, writing portions, and a high school transcript, and other schools can ask for a resume, extracurricular activities, recommendation letters, and possibly an interview in addition. 

Testing Delayed

Many kids across the country have not been able to take the ACT or the SAT due to COVID-19. Some institutions and programs are still hoping for the best and haven’t given definitive plans for rising seniors planning to apply to institutions to matriculate in for the 2021 fall semester. By the end of May, about two dozen schools were making changes to the way standardized testing would be taken into account for their respective admissions processes. A month later, that number has drastically changed. We have compiled a list of resources that consist of the full list of American institutions that are making changes, with links to the school websites that explain the issue further.

Full List of 4-Year Colleges with Test-Optional Policies for ACT/SAT

If you are looking for extracurricular activities to be able to write about from home, anything that you are passionate about can work!

COVID-19 Extracurriculars

  • Tutor through video calling services
    • You could start a club at your school!
  • Start a book/art/STEM/etc. club with meetings over video calling services
  • Sell art online
  • Teach yourself an art(visual arts, dance forms, instruments)
  • Find places like local shelters, food pantries, and school programs to donate food to
  • Raise money for a cause
  • Put time and effort into a political cause
  • Apply to internships or part-time jobs
    • It’s never too early to start connecting
  • Teach yourself how to code 
    • To learn R, very useful in STEM research
  • Conduct independent research from home through internet resources and experiments you can run (safely!) at home
    • Literary review paper
  • Find ways to volunteer from home
    • Be My Eyes connects you to blind individuals so you can virtually help them with tasks like checking if milk has expired or selected the right shirt!
    • Search for remote volunteering opportunities when it comes to local hospitals and clinics  

Let us know what schools you’re interested in applying to in the comments!

Ayona Roychowdhury

Ayona Roychowdhury is a senior in high school. She is a dancer, and plays clarinet and guitar. As an active Girl Scout, Ayona has a deep interest in healthcare and holistic well-being. She is very involved at school as well, and is a drum major, SGA executive VP, robotics captain, Peer Helper, an Ambassador, and a Springboarder. Her future goals are centered around pursuing a career in the medical field.

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