Coronavirus News: What you Need to Know about College Admissions in a Strange Season


The outbreak of COVID-19, informally known as the Coronavirus, has uprooted plans around the world and, understandably, caused plenty of worry. For those in the midst of the college search and application process, this unexpected situation calls for the best antidote to anxiety—a well-informed plan! Here are a few key issues to keep in mind while you adjust your approach:

Go Beyond the Virtual Tour

As more and more colleges close their campuses this spring due to Coronavirus precautions, you might need to change your college visit plans. There is no substitute for seeing a college in person when it’s in-session and bustling, but online virtual tours are a decent initial alternative. If your college visits or admitted students’ days have been cancelled, however, we would suggest going further than virtual tours. Take a deep dive into the wealth of materials that most colleges publish online—department homepages and newsfeeds, alumni magazines, Twitter accounts, and information on any programs of interest. Reach out to anyone you know who attended schools on your list and ask about their experiences. You might be surprised how much you can learn without leaving home!

Build Flexibility into your Summer

The timetables of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) are still very uncertain. But colleges cancelling spring visits might open up additional visit days in the summer, as they are losing an opportunity to showcase their campuses and communities. If there are a few colleges on your list that you can’t see in the spring, keep in mind that you might get a chance once the weather heats up.

Don’t Panic! Everyone Understands this is an Unusual Situation

Due to the spread of the Coronavirus, you might not make it to campus this spring. Your summer activities might be curtailed or cancelled. You might not be able to take a standardized test as you planned (you can track test-center closings for the SAT here and ACT here). But one thing is certain: college admissions officials are reasonable and understanding people, and they are well aware that this is an abnormal year. Stay focused on your goals, revise your plans as needed, and know that you will have space to explain anything that needs explaining on your application!


To schedule an appointment with a Marks Education Counselor to discuss planning for Coronavirus, or any other questions, please contact Sarah Han.

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