Applying to College during COVID

3/15/2021

Given the changes across the country in how college's operate, how is COVID affecting the way students apply to colleges, and how are colleges working to help them? Written by Hannah Robertson

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In a year of can'ts, colleges

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and college-bound seniors are

figuring out how they can.

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And with more online

applications, more technology,

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and more creativity, colleges

are finding their place

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in a pandemic world.

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You're watching the Local News Network,

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brought to you by Kroeger's Ace Hardware

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and FastSigns of Durango.

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I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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Over the years, the college

admissions process has consisted

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of an application, maybe a

college visit and interview,

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and a decision.

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That much hasn't changed since last March,

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even though colleges now have

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to accommodate social distancing

and other safety measures

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during the pandemic.

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After all, many perspective

students can't visit campuses.

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Many have also been unable

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to take standard college entrance exams

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and remote learning has

disrupted their lives.

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So at Fort Lewis, our

application for admission

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typically opens in early September.

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We've seen a bulk of our

applicants come in from September

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through about January in a typical year

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and an application

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for a traditional first-year

student would include

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a high school transcript

showing their work completed

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through their junior year,

standardized test scores

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as required by the state of Colorado,

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either ACT or SAT scores,

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and then the application form itself.

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Colleges have found

creative and different ways

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to show off their campuses

without in-person visits,

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and at smaller schools like Fort Lewis,

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they've kept the tours operational

with some modifications.

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We are really fortunate that we get to do

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in-person options both

based on our location

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and using the best, you know,

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San Juan Basin public health

COVID guidelines in the state,

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we felt we could do our visits.

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We're a small enough

school that we could give

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these students and families

a personalized visit.

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So instead of 35 people

sitting in a presentation

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and then going on a tour around campus,

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now students and families

come to our office

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and it's a one-on-one meeting

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or like a one-on-family meeting

where the family comes in,

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they sit on one end of a conference table.

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We have our admission

counselor on the other end.

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There, of course is a health screening

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when they arrive, they wash their hands,

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everyone has masks and

they're keeping distance,

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but we're still able to do that,

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to kind of give that

personalized experience,

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and what we have found

is that both our staff

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and the students and families

actually really enjoy

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that experience.

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It's much more individualized.

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Many colleges now offer

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online admission applications

and have added virtual tours.

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It's now an expectation

that every college is going

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to have virtual visit options.

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You know, I think, like I said,

we're constantly refining,

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so what we're offering today might not be

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what we're offering a

year and a half from now.

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If you'd like to learn more about changes

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to college admissions, contact

your high school counselor

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or college admissions advisor.

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Thanks for watching this

edition of the local news.

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I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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