Class of 2020’s unique end to the college process


Photo by College Board Twitter

College board announces the cancelation of all May SAT tests via Twitter

Lindsey Pearlman, Managing Editor of Features

During these unprecedented times, much has been unclear with many questions on when and how life is going to get back to normal, making this a very stressful time for all students and faculty on campus. However, one of the most stressful times for students, their junior year, has gotten much more stressful with the cancelations of standardized testing and the inability to visit colleges a junior would normally visit during the college process.
As of April 22, 2020, all SAT tests in June have been officially canceled, and the status of ACT June testing is still up in the air, as many believe that the ACT may switch to an online format. However, this uncertainty when it comes to testing can lead to an abundance of stress, especially for those who have yet to take a standardized test.
Matthew Birmingham, a current junior at Lake Forest Academy, planned to take his first ACT on the April 4th date. However, due to the cancelation, he was unable to take that test. Birmingham, while not feeling much stress as of now due to the cancelations of tests, knows once testing starts up again he will feel the pressure due to the limited time he will have to get a score he wants.
Due to these testing concerns, some colleges such as Tufts and Cornell, have decided to go test-optional for the 2020-21 admission season. While this eases the burden for students, many students such as Birmingham still wish to be able to submit a standardized test to schools this coming fall, as he said, “ I have studied hard enough where I think that I can get a good enough score to separate me at many colleges”.
COVID-19 has also severely affected how students will make decisions on which colleges they are going to apply to. Due to the shelter-in-place orders, now extended in Illinois to May 30th, and the uncertainty of travel, most students have been unable to visit colleges they had planned to visit, especially over Spring Break. Birmingham says he had planned to visit schools in Boston and North Carolina over the break, but due to these plans falling through, he feels he will not be able to gage these schools as accurately as he would like.
Despite the uncertainty, many colleges are trying to decrease stress on students by offering online information sessions that students can attend, replacing the traditional on-campus session and tour. While these online sessions may provide students with information about the campus, they are still unable to provide them with the experience of physically being on campus, or the ability to ask questions to their student tour guides and get a better feel of the school through their own eyes.
Although COVID-19 has changed a lot in our everyday lives, it is our job to try and make the best of this situation and do all we can to make this downtime as productive as possible.