How will the SAT, ACT Testing Delay Impact Students? A Cobb Counselor Has Answers

During this unprecedented time, parents and students have many questions especially those who are looking ahead to the next steps after high school graduation.

Some Cobb high school students were scheduled to take the ACT and SAT, but the college entrance exams were canceled to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. High school juniors and seniors rely on those scores to apply for college.

So, how will the cancellations impact Cobb students? Will colleges accept applications without the test scores? How can Cobb students tour college campuses when campuses are closed?

Kennesaw Mountain High School’s Magnet School counselor Angela LaRoy has the answers. 

How will the test delay impact rising seniors (current high school juniors)?

“With the cancellation of the spring SAT and ACT testing dates, rising seniors will have fewer opportunities to test before submitting their college applications. As a result, I expect we will see flexibility with college admissions this upcoming school year, especially with institutions that have early action and early decision deadlines.”

Some juniors start visiting college campuses in the spring, and some seniors are still making their final college decisions. How will the current situation impact student recruitment?

“[Colleges and universities] are revamping processes: coming up with new ways to interact with prospective students, taking a look at their own admissions process, and how they will review applicants.”

Have some colleges and universities already adjusted their admission processes?

“We are already seeing changes for current seniors with the cancellation of the SAT and ACT spring testing dates. A recent change is the temporary adjustment of admission requirements for USG institutions for prospective students seeking for the summer or fall 2020 semester (excluding UGA and GA Tech, as they have already released decisions).

Applicants must still meet all other admission requirements and submit required documents but will not be required to submit an ACT or SAT score.”

What about students who already have their ACT and SAT scores? Will they still be able to submit their scores?

“Those who do have scores are still welcome to submit them. Students should visit the admissions page of the institutions they are seeking admission for, in addition to following them on social media.”

Have there been any adjustments to the University System of Georgia’s Admission criteria following the cancelation of SAT and ACT testing?

“Here’s part of the release from the University System of Georgia: ‘Effective March 19, 2020, the Chancellor has approved the temporary adjustment of admission requirements for USG institutions in response to the cancelation of spring SAT and ACT testing dates.

This adjustment is for prospective students seeking admission into associate and baccalaureate programs identified in Board of Regents’ Policy 4.2.1.1, at state colleges, state universities, comprehensive universities, and research universities in the USG for the summer or fall 2020 semester. Since Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia have already admitted their freshmen classes, and have students on waiting lists, this change does not affect admissions at those institutions.’

For complete details go here.

Have colleges and universities ever had to adjust their admission processes due to a crisis before?

“In the past, we have seen grace granted, such as deadline extensions, to those applying to colleges who were impacted by natural disasters. The current situation with COVID-19, however, is global, and not just impacting students or colleges in a particular region.”

Are there any additional resources to help families navigate the college admission process while the country responds to the coronavirus?

“In response, NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) has created a new tool to help students and families navigate the college application process during this time; it includes information directly from institutions.”

What about college scholarships? How will the current situation impact students who are applying for scholarships?

“So far, several organizations have extended their deadlines with school closure. There are various components of a scholarship application that students may need – including transcripts and letters of recommendation.

Prior to this current situation, students would come in person to submit these requests; now we are relying on them to email us their request. While we have publicized this as what they should do, I’m concerned students may just opt to not apply because school is ‘closed,’ or they are uncertain how to proceed.

While there are students who will search for scholarships on their own and in our scholarship bulletin, there are others who become aware of opportunities via announcements, asking their counselor, or hearing of others applying for certain scholarships. Without being in the building, they are missing those in-person interactions and reminders. I am hoping they will take this opportunity to apply for more scholarships than they have historically. As we approach closer to deadlines, requests for transcripts or letters of recommendation should increase. We will know more soon, especially with local scholarships and their spring deadlines.”

What’s one thing you want students and their families to remember as they apply for college during this unprecedented time?

“In this time of uncertainty, Rick Clark, director of undergraduate admissions at Georgia Tech said it best in a recent blog post, that ‘Nothing has changed. Colleges need students.’

Colleges are becoming more creative in how a student can ‘see’ their campus and interact. This may actually work in favor of those who may not have been able to show demonstrated interest in the past by visiting campuses, and students may have more opportunities to explore and interact with a larger variety of institutions via online tools.”

If students have additional questions regarding college applications who should they contact?

“Students should reach out to their high school counselor for additional support. They can find the counselor’s contact information on each high school’s website.”