Pandemic Alters College Application Process

Caleb Faulkerson, Staff Writer

The COVID-19 Pandemic has dramatically altered our daily routines and the ways in which we interact with others. Amidst this global pandemic, many have found a new appreciation for the little things in life that make us human. Despite popular belief, college admissions officers are human too, and they have altered the college admissions process to be slightly more considerate of those applying. 


Photo courtesy of College Board

Consequently, in the words of Mrs. Diane Springer, an English teacher here at Woodson, “there has been a move away from standardized testing. To compensate for this,” she continued, “many colleges now have separate essay sections in their respective applications for detailing more personal experiences.” What does this mean for Cavaliers? Well, in the eyes of Assistant Principal Amanda Burke, it allows students to “demonstrate their best qualities and give insight into what’s within, academics aside.” 


Opportune as this may be, it’s important to consider the root cause behind colleges’ opting to be more considerate of students’ non-academic experiences. Apart from the pandemic itself, events such as the murders of George Floyd and Brianna Taylor and subsequent demands for social justice rocked American society to its core. These societal pressures caused even the most prestigious colleges to be inclined to alter their systems. According to US News, in the words of the University of Houston’s executive director of admissions Mardell Maxwell, “disruption often creates opportunity.”


Christopher Rim, founder of Command Education Photo courtesy of Christopher Rim

That opportunity has manifested itself in many different ways throughout the pandemic, but it’s up to individual students to go out and make a difference. According to US News, in the words of Christopher Rim, founder of Command Education, “A big part of what we’re going to see this upcoming round is how students explain how they’ve taken advantage of the past year and a half.” Times may be tough, yes, but it’s safe to say that with enough effort and involvement, upward-bound Cavaliers can make themselves more desirable to even the most elite college institutions.