Coronavirus concerns transforming college application process

Posted at 1:08 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 22:27:41-04

PHOENIX — The coronavirus pandemic is transforming the path to college, forcing many students and parents to put their plans for higher education on hold. ABC15's Rebound Arizona team wants to help you keep moving forward, breaking down some ways to stay on track and stay competitive.

"I didn't realize how much I missed school and how much I valued it until it wasn't there anymore," said Bryn Taylor, a sophomore at Trivium Prep in Goodyear.

Like so many high school students across our state, Taylor is getting used to this new landscape.

"Online learning has definitely been an adjustment but we're getting through it," she said.

Taylor is also adjusting her plans for researching and connecting with potential colleges with future campus visits now cancelled because of coronavirus concerns. Her summer program at a college in Virginia was postponed. Students across the country are also struggling to access standardized testing and the extracurricular activities that often help them stand out, are now halted indefinitely.

"Change and change now, pivot hard and pivot fast," said Erin Goodnow, CEO and Owner of Going Ivy, which offers college admissions consulting, tutoring and test prep.

"The number one thing is, don't sit around and do nothing," said Goodnow. "Those who can work on their great leadership and creativity, and develop their maturity, and reflect on this time and what they can do are going to be the winners in this scenario."

Goodnow says families can still research schools, connect with college staff and take advantage of learning opportunities online. Consider boosting leadership skills by raising money for a nonprofit if they're not allowing volunteers, and keep in mind that colleges and universities are facing their own battles, trying to attract and retain their students.

"The students and the parents are really worried about, if I send my kid off to school are they just going to come back in three weeks because there's a crisis?" said Goodnow.

Several colleges and universities have made SAT or ACT testing options and deadlines for students to commit are getting pushed back.

"We've all had to find our new normal," said Suzanne Busta, Bryn's mom.

"It's not the same but it's what we have right now," said Lawrence Taylor, Bryn's dad.

Many parents are having to pivot too, helping students like Bryn stay the course during these uncertain times.

"I do still have a goal of going to college so I need to keep working toward that," said Taylor. "If I give up now it's going to be really difficult to get back on track."