Adjusting to the New Realities during COVID19 Times

The sun rises over the Wabash campus

After carefully considering all the options, the CTCL Board of Directors has cancelled the 2020 May Tour (programs in Metro Boston, New York City, and Metro DC). In the almost 25 years of CTCL schools traveling together, this is the first time we have had to cancel events. But, as you know, we are not alone; people and organizations around the world are cancelling thousands of events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What does this mean for you right now?

The practical: CTCL member colleges are still very excited to “meet” you. Many have already planned lots of virtual events for the upcoming weeks and are updating their CTCL profile pages with these details. You can still talk, chat, and email with students, faculty, alumni, and admission reps. Take virtual tours. Read course descriptions. Check out the groups and clubs on campus. I know it’s not the same as going to campus but keeping the search moving forward also helps to add a little normalcy in this less-than-normal world we are managing now.

Interested in a big picture discussion about college admission? Check out this presentation that I recently gave. It’s available online for another week or so. Oh, and the taping started a few minutes after I had begun speaking. But, what’s a few minutes in this crazy world, right?

The philosophical: I know high school students are worrying about what colleges will think about their unusual transcripts that may include a semester of pass/fail grades or unexpectedly lower grades. I know they are worrying about missing an ACT or SAT sitting. I also know this: Every admission representative on the planet is going through the COVID-19 pandemic with you—from sheltering in place to working-from-home. The same reps who are figuring out new ways to contact students and families to help them learn about their schools right now will remember these very challenges when they read applications over the next few years. It’s safe to say there won’t be a single admission officer who sees a pass/fail semester on a transcript and doesn’t know why it’s there.

We are all in this together. Everyone who is a part of the college admissions process—students, their families, high school teachers, college counselors, college admission reps, college faculty and staff—is learning how to work at home, care for their family, maintain their most important obligations. They miss their extended family and friends, too. We are all in this together.

Stay safe. Stay home. Wash your hands.