COVID-19 has changed almost every aspect of the education landscape, resulting in a variety of questions about how the college application process will shape up for the Class of 2021. In spring, the pandemic forced the cancellation of test dates for Advanced Placement, ACT and SAT with the hopes to be back in June. Then, testing dates were pushed back further. In August, high demand caused ACT’s registration page to shut down and, of the 402,000 who were registered to take their SAT in August, nearly half were blocked from taking the test due to continued closures and limited capacity. Read more.

In response, many Texas universities are becoming “test-optional” through 2021, waiving the traditional requirement for test scores to gain admission.  Admissions officials say applicants will be judged more holistically, with added emphasis on factors like high school grades and curriculum, letters of recommendation and extended resumes. Some colleges are even offering virtual opportunities from information sessions to Zoom “chats” with admissions officers, in place of college tours, to help students make informed decisions on the right college fit.
The road map to admissions is changing but the goal remains the same for our students. This summer, we hosted 14 seminars to kick-start the application season by completing essays, Apply Texas applications and getting a head start on their financial aid applications before the start of their senior year. This fall, staff and volunteer College Application Coaches will help more than 170 high school seniors navigate the path forward to complete applications, choose the best college fit and make a decision for Fall 2021.