Keeping Up With Your College Applications Despite COVID-19
In The Midst Of The World’s Current Health Crisis, Students Everywhere Are Experiencing Unexpected School Closures...
For high school juniors and seniors, this sudden shift from physically going to school to quarantine, self-isolation, and remote work can result in a possible roadblock in college application progress.
Luckily, resources like WeAdmit have stepped in and are ready to provide students with anything they may need to have a strong start on their application process despite the coronavirus outbreak. If your school has closed for the rest of the semester, you’re likely trying to find ways to juggle your normal class work and college applications. If this is the case, keep reading to find out how you can keep up with your college applications despite the COVID-19 outbreak.
What Is The Coronavirus (Or COVID-19)?
COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that originated in WuHan, China, and his particular outbreak is part of a web of common viruses known as coronaviruses.
The first common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath; mild forms of these flu-like symptoms typically surface in a coronavirus carrier 1-2 weeks after exposure. With this basic information in mind, continue to do your research on COVID-19 through credible resources like the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control. These organizations release updates on the virus every day, and provide suggestions for people who are experiencing symptoms or trying to avoid the virus.
The gap between being exposed and showing symptoms is the primary reason why so many schools have decided to shut down for the rest of the semester. Carriers of the virus may spread it to their family members and friends for two weeks before experiencing any symptoms at all. This is extremely dangerous in settings like schools and business, where human interaction is unavoidable.
While schools have closed, many teachers are slowly transitioning into online class formats. If completing schoolwork online is a new experience for you, this could be a great opportunity to grow in your self-starter skills! Taking initiative and being independent is an excellent quality that all students should challenge themselves to obtain.
Plus, even more than just increasing your personal responsibility, you can still prepare for college in the midst of uncertainty!
How To Prepare For College When You Can’t Go To School
Being shut out of school can cause some problems for students. For starters, your access to counselors is essentially closed off, and this can throw a wrench in your progress. Counselors are vital resources for students, especially juniors and seniors; your counselor is your go-to person for sending important documents like transcripts and SAT scores to colleges. Without this access, finishing your college application process can seem nearly impossible.
While many college application deadlines have passed, you may be applying to a college that has extended their deadline. Or, perhaps you need to submit more materials like a mid-year school report, SAT scores, and supplementary materials. And of course, even if you don’t have any more materials to send into colleges, there are plenty of ways that you can keep your academic progress strong from home and be ready for college in the fall.
MAINTAIN YOUR GPA
As you transition to a temporary online schooling format, you should assume that schools will eventually re-open before summer break. By erring on the side of caution, you’re less likely to become lackadaisical in your studies and come back from this break just as strong as you would have otherwise; if not, stronger!
Maintaining your GPA during your last semester of high school is very important. Many colleges require their applicants to provide admissions with a mid-year school report, so maintaining a strong GPA all the way through to graduation shows colleges strong work ethic and consistency. Do your homework, complete projects, and turn assignments in on time. In your spare time, keep your textbook material fresh in your mind. This will benefit you greatly if you return to school and suddenly have to take final exams.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
While schools are closed, your opportunities to visit colleges are scarce to nonexistent. Visiting colleges is a typical plan for juniors this time of year. If any of your potential college visits got canceled, there are still plenty of ways for you to research potential schools and compile your reach, safety, and target lists.
Conduct your own research on the colleges you’re interested in. Read articles and take advantage of virtual tours; many colleges offer 3-D tours that students can participate in completely from their computer. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to college alumni or current students who have gone through the college application process before.
Another great resource for researching colleges is WeAdmit’s College Guides; we gather the most updated admissions information on your prospective colleges and compile it in one easy-to-read article.
While this isn’t quite the same as physically going to a college, more than enough information exists online to help you decide which colleges to apply to.
FILL OUT THE FAFSA
This time to stay home and focus on being healthy could be an advantage in disguise; utilize this time to accomplish the tasks you didn’t have time to do before. For instance, many students put off completing the FAFSA until the last minute due to their busy schedule.
This year, be ahead of the game and fill out your FAFSA early! You’ll want to get this done early anyway because many scholarships can’t be given until this is finished. Any FAFSAs filed now will be designated for the 2020-21 school year, so the earlier you qualify for scholarships, grants, and loans, the better!
WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!
One of the best ways to keep your mind sharp and accomplish important college prep tasks is writing. Practice your college application essay skills by using sample prompts. Not only will you be preparing for a vital part of your college application, but you’ll also keep your writing skills fresh.
On your application, you’ll most likely be required to write two essays: a general personal statement and a college-specific essay. Familiarize yourself with the Common App and the general personal statement prompt; the prompt changes every year, but the essential idea behind it usually focuses on your future goals and why you chose that particular university.
Lastly, don’t forget that this period of isolation and quarantine could be an excellent opportunity for you to rest. High school isn’t easy, and maybe this year was a particularly busy one for you. After you dedicate time to finishing school work and preparing for college, be sure to carve out time in your daily routine to practice some self-care or get back into a hobby you enjoy.
While going out isn’t an option during the coronavirus outbreak, get creative and find ways to give your mind a break. After all, rest is necessary to your health and well-being, so don’t shy away from taking a few lazy days to yourself!
Balancing Productivity And Rest
No one could have anticipated this unexpected season; school closures combined with a quarantine period wasn’t a part of any student’s plan this year. Luckily, thanks to resources like WeAdmit, students have plenty of tools to keep up with their schoolwork and, more importantly, their college applications.
Make sure that you take all necessary measures to keep yourself healthy during this time. Educate yourself using credible resources and take health organizations’ suggestions seriously. Then, whether you’re finishing school from home or you're waiting for a status update from your school, be sure to stay on track with your normal school work. Turn assignments in on time and read your textbooks in order to maintain your GPA.
Keep researching colleges, practice your essay writing skills, and don’t forget to take some time for yourself, too. Use this time to your advantage by being productive and finishing any college application steps that you otherwise wouldn’t have had the time to do before.
Finally, find a healthy balance between rest and productivity, and you’ll be in great shape to jump back into school when this virus is under control. Don’t hesitate to reach out to any of WeAdmit’s professional counselors, either; our sessions are conducted entirely online, so you can get a hold of your personal college admissions counselors 24/7.
This Time Of Uncertainty Doesn’t Have To Affect Your College Applications; Stay Focused And Start Your First Year Of College Strong!
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