First, please do not hesitate to contact me (or your counselor) if you have any questions, large or small!
I am getting many emails from colleges across the country assuring us that they are fully aware that they will be very flexible in evaluating our current juniors for 2020-21 college applications. The message below is from UChicago, and I think it is a great summary of what colleges are thinking. I believe that it is exactly the message that most colleges would like to send you.
Below is the letter with my edits and notes. Please read it when you have a moment.
● We [U Chicago] recognize that school transcripts will look different for many students this year and we will work with that! Academic progress as usual is currently being disrupted for students across the globe. We encourage students to continue to engage with whatever method of learning your school is able to offer, and to do so to the best of your ability.
● If your school moves to an alternative grading system or method of credit notation (pass/fail, credit/no credit, etc.), we will fully understand why the change has been made and it will not, in any way, be an issue for an admissions office. [Note from Lenny: As of right now, there is no decision on grading from BHS, but we will be focusing on this important issue with renewed focus now that MA public schools are mandated to be closed until 5/4. ]
● You do not need to visit campus to be admitted to a selective school. While universities are currently restricted in our ability to offer information sessions on campus or in local communities, many universities will offer virtual information sessions. Visiting or attending an online session is NOT a requirement of admission to UChicago. [Note from Lenny: Please stay at home and do not visit colleges, even if they are open. Visit virtually, read reviews, connect to current students. You will have time to visit when the health crisis is over.· Some resources: NACAC updates and Tools for Campus Visits]
● Many national exams (such as Advanced Placement tests) have been moved online, postponed, or cancelled. Most highly selective admissions offices do not require AP scores and are aware of the changes (and will also understand that students will have few opportunities to take any required tests more than once – which is a good thing!). We understand that many students’ preparation for or ability to take these exams will be impacted by current events.Supplemental testing is not required in our admission process, even for test-optional candidates, and it will not impact a student’s application if they are unable to share these test results with us next year. [Note from Lenny: As a result of recent events, more and more colleges are now test-optional. You can see the full list on fairtest.org. For example, recent updates include: Boston University will be test-optional next year, and Tufts University will be test optional for the next three years.]
● Many schools are closed temporarily or indefinitely, and some students may worry how they can showcase their accomplishments for the spring. Do not worry. This will be the case for most students, and an application is always read in context.
● Your school counselors will give you excellent and well-informed advice! Universities communicate updates and changes in the admissions process with your school counselors (and school counselors call us when they have questions or need
Be well and contact us at Brookline High Counseling/Guidance if you have any questions, concerns, or just need to talk!
Lenny Libenzon and the BHS Counseling/Guidance Department