Three Things Juniors Should Know
The College Process from Inside a Glass Box
It feels like we're all watching the world pass by from the other side of a pane of glass. Staring moodily out the window has become a past time for many of us, watching the plants grow, cars go by, dogs on walks.
During the college application process, this is 100% frustrating.
We want you to know that you are not invisible. Colleges are actively seeking students interested in them -- they just haven't quite figured out how to reach you all yet.
That acknowledged, did you know that adding colleges to your list here on Cappex helps show interest? When you add colleges and universities you're interested in, it alerts the school (with your permission, of course) that you're considering them for your postsecondary education!
There are plenty of other ways to get on a college's radar, so here are three more things you can do to get noticed.
Three Things Juniors Need to Know
- 1. Colleges ARE Interested In You
- 2. You CAN Connect With Colleges Virtually
- 3. Colleges Are Changing Admission Criteria
Colleges and universities ARE interested in you. They just don’t know how to get to you right now. It’s a common misconception that colleges and universities aren’t interested in you until you’re a senior in high school. In fact, it’s mutually beneficial to start contacting colleges early.
This isn’t a call to send emails or make phone calls without real substance or meaning. It is a call, however, to ask real questions you have about universities you’re interested in. Talk with admission counselors, have candid conversations about how you can get your best shot at getting accepted, and don’t feel self-conscious about showing interest.
Things to Talk About With Admission Counselors:
- If you know what you want to major in, look up the courses offered for the previous or follow years. Ask questions about ones you’re interested in. They may even connect you with a professor from the department (always a good thing)!
- If they’re relevant to you and your major, ask about internships, research opportunities, and study abroad opportunities.
- Watch this webinar:
While you can’t visit college campuses right now, you can still find ways to become familiar with campus life and opportunities. Colleges and universities all over the country are adapting more and more everyday. There are a ton of ways you can virtually get the vibe of many campuses without ever stepping foot on them — you just have to get creative about it.
You’ll find a variety of virtual tours that let you click your way through campuses, inside buildings and out. It’s a great place to start. The next step up would be having a sort of guided tour with an admissions officer (either in a group or 1-on-1), where you can hear tidbits about the institution, ask questions, and even watch virtual lessons in some cases.
If you want to hear more, the admissions office can likely have a student reach out to you and talk about their personal experience on campus, really giving you a full picture of what to expect when the shelter-in-place orders are lifted.
Other ways to get a full picture of institutions require a bit of digging, but are worth the extra focus:
- Check the diversity rate of the institution.
- Check the graduation rate of the institution.
- See what sort of clubs they offer.
- Ask a student about how the school has adapted to online education (just in case your first semester ends up being virtual)
A growing number of colleges are changing their admission criteria to account for the fact that students are missing out on portions of in-person schooling and standardized test-taking opportunities.
Yes, really. More than 300 colleges and universities have gone test-optional because they know students are having difficulty taking their prep classes and, ultimately, actually taking their standardized tests.
This puts juniors in 2020 at an unfair disadvantage, especially since not all high schools were ready to go virtual at the drop of a hat. Admissions officers want you to know that you are not at a disadvantage because:
- Your grades are pass/fail.
- Your sports season was cancelled.
- Your extracurriculars were cut short.
Colleges and universities are adapting to the situation and creating special guidelines just for the Class of 2021.
In the Meantime...
We can all make educated guesses about the future, about when things are going to re-open, when we'll be back to "normal," but there are so many moving pieces that it's difficult to make an accurate prediction.
In the meantime, let's be adaptable. Let's get creative. Let's be gentle on ourselves because the world's hard right now.
Mostly, juniors of the world, know that you're not forgotten. Everyone working in education is hyper focused on figuring out what college is going to look like over the next two years -- it's just going to take a bit of time.
And maybe you raising your hand extra high so admissions officers can see it. 🤗