Road Map for May: Seniors

Although many colleges have extended their deadlines, Friday was still decision day for a lot of you—congratulations to those who made your choices and sent your deposits!

If you’re still considering a school that has moved its deadline to June 1, continue to take advantage of admissions events that are offered online. (Check NACAC’s database for colleges’ latest updates on their plans for admission events, along with policies for deposit deadlines, tuition and fall enrollment. The Chronicle of Higher Education is also keeping a list of colleges’ announcements about fall plans.) If your decision is dependent on your financial aid offer, stay in close contact with the financial aid office. I’m seeing more success in appeals than I do in a typical year, partly because there are more students whose financial situations have changed. It’s also due to colleges’ increased urgency to fill their freshman classes, and we’ve been seeing earlier waitlist movement than usual as well. If you’re still interested in attending a college where you’ve been waitlisted, contact the college right away. Let the admissions office know the school is your first choice and share any new information about your qualifications, such as third quarter grades or accomplishments that were not included in your original application. If you know you will enroll if you are admitted, be clear about that. If financial aid is a factor you can’t make that commitment but you should still let them know they are your top choice.

If you don’t have an offer in hand at a college you feel is the right fit, it is still possible to submit additional applications.  On May 4 NACAC will publish its college openings update, a list of schools that are accepting new applications for fall enrollment.  If this seems like a good option, update your application materials and let your school counselor know you may need transcripts or other documents sent very soon.

While everyone is fervently hoping that students can all be on campus in the fall, colleges are taking precautions and planning for a variety of scenarios and possible adjustments such as modifying their fall calendars, making all dorm rooms single-occupancy, or offering a mix of in-person and online classes. If college-as-usual can’t happen this fall, some students would rather wait to enroll and take a gap semester or year instead. That brings its own set of questions about deferrals, financial aid and what activities students will have available to participate in. The Gap Year Association’s planning guide is an excellent resource, and if you need support with your plan, I hope you’ll contact me or click here to book an appointment through Calendly.

Finally, while the usual proms and graduations are not workable right now, we’re seeing a lot of creative ways to honor the Class of 2020. Your family and teachers are incredibly proud of you and all of your accomplishments and even though the celebrations are not happening the way you expected,  I hope you’re able to enjoy some of these moments.