By, Catherine Buhse
Prior to school closing and quarantine being established, many high school seniors were mainly focused on the looming date of April 1st, which is the date most colleges scheduled to release their decisions. April 1st came sooner than expected for many students causing commitment day to creep up even faster. The decision about where one wants to go to college is a heavy decision to make (even without the added stress of a global pandemic). With colleges and universities being closed, high school seniors have a more difficult time getting information about colleges that are essential to making these decisions. Scheduled admitted students days have been cancelled or changed to an online program for students to meet people that are also attending a specific college.
While informative emails, mailings, zoom meetings and website updates are helpful to high school seniors at this time, many are feeling unsatisfied with the information they are able to gather. Those who have not visited the schools they are considering are currently at a tremendous disadvantage. Many current college students explain that the best way to make a decision is to visit the school and see how you feel in that atmosphere to determine if it is the right school for you. However, high school seniors clearly do not have the opportunity to visit schools at this time. Some students have chosen to defy the quarantine and visit these empty campuses; however, they still do not have a full grasp of what the schools will be like.
Some colleges have extended their commitment dates to give students that much needed additional time to make a decision. On the positive side, quarantine has also allowed seniors to spend more time contemplating college decisions and to do more research on prospective schools. Despite this important decision looming over many seniors’ heads, with guidance from their schools and their families, hopefully students will feel comfortable deciding on college during this uncertain time.