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College Admissions Information Update

April 2, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardians of Juniors:

Now more than ever, the MHS school counseling team is mindful of the physical, emotional, and financial stress that students and their families experience every day. The MHS school counseling team understands that many of you are handling multiple tasks during these challenging times and yet you must look to the future and help your children plan for their life after graduation, which will be here before we know it.

Knowing that college, vocational, and military institutions are not accessible to the public makes it difficult to know where to even begin. As always, the counselors are accessible to you for suggestions, advice and insight. With this understanding in mind, the counseling team will provide highlighted points of information for parents, guardians, and students to review in the hopes that it will help to guide you on your path for post-graduation success.

  • No one is behind schedule regarding college visits or college planning. This process is not a race.
  • If you have not considered 2 teachers to speak to regarding writing recommendation letters, this is a great time to map that out with your counselor.
    • We still encourage students to speak face-to-face with their teacher(s) when asking if a teacher is willing to write a letter. We will revisit this past practice at the end of April if necessary. Teachers will not be tasked with actually writing letters until the fall.
  • AP test scores – Colleges have not determined how they will assess AP test results this year for the class of 2021.
  • FAIRTEST  – Many students and parents want college options but are concerned about how colleges will assess standardized test SAT and/or ACT test results. A list of over 1,000 colleges and universities that are "test optional," "test flexible" or otherwise de-emphasize the use of standardized tests by making admissions decisions -- without using ACT or SAT scores is accessible to you through the following link:   https://www.fairtest.org/university/optional
  • Many schools are joining this test optional group for the class of 2021 since students have not all had the same opportunity to access the ACT or SAT.  You will have to check with individual schools; there is not yet a comprehensive list as it is changing frequently. From Higher Education “Colleges are dropping the SAT or ACT for admissions, they are waiving fees and they are extending deadlines. These are some of the ways admissions officials are responding to the coronavirus -- and they're just getting started in what is likely to be an unprecedented and potentially difficult spring.  At least 17 colleges have dropped the SAT or ACT in recent weeks for one or two admissions cycles, specifically citing the impact of COVID-19.”
  • If you are still planning to take the ACT or SAT, register for the June 6th SAT and register for the June 13th ACT.
  • For our international students: The Education Testing Service (ETS), which administers the TOEFL tests, provides updates on its website. Testing dates have been canceled or postponed in several countries. ETS has, however, arranged a secure TOEFL testing solution that will, by the end of March, allow students in some affected areas to take the test from home.
  • Colleges are understandably experiencing an increased number of inquiries regarding campus safety and health care. It is your right to know – please don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Free webinar information regarding how to handle the college application, college visit, interview and discussions about finance is listed below.
  • Virtual College Admissions Events & Deposit  Dates Many colleges are offering virtual tours/events.  Check this list of over 200 colleges for that information.  We will be adding to it as more information comes in..
  • Here is an article by U.S. News and World Reports on How to Make the Most of Virtual College Tours 
  • For many institutions, late spring/early summer experiential learning or pre-college programs may be postponed to a later date or cancelled. Many colleges are exploring this now.
    • Example: Montclair State University is looking into options to bring presentations from the Hispanic Student College Institute for 2020 to students virtually through webinars and online resources. MSU will be in touch in the coming months when there is more to share about what a possible “virtual” experience may entail. All will be invited to participate in any web based opportunity we provide; no permission slips or other documentation will be needed.  

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As a service to students and families, the National Association of College Admission Counselors (NACAC) is providing the online tool (below) as a central resource for information about changes in college admission events, deposit dates, and more as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

This tool will update in real-time as NACAC continues to receive input from postsecondary institutions. The chart includes updates from colleges and universities worldwide. Select the “+” symbol next to any category to narrow the results. To access these results, click on the link below. To view alphabetically by school, click on "Institutions" and then the school's name. Remember to first select the country and then you may search by the name of the college. As of March 31st, over 1,000 colleges, globally, are listed in the document.

We hope this resource will make it easier for students and others to navigate the college admission process during this unprecedented time:

https://www.nacacnet.org/news--publications/newsroom/college-admission-status-coronavirus/  

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FREE WEBINAR: How Families Can Talk About Paying for College

https://radiopublic.com/college-admissions-decoded-85wbYz/s1!7bc33

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FREE WEBINAR: What Colleges Are Looking For: Facts & Myths About the Application Process

The college admission process can be long, bewildering and anxiety-producing for students and their families.  Many are looking for the secret formula for getting admitted to the “right” school where a student can grow, learn, and thrive. How does a student find that right school? And what are colleges really looking for in an applicant? What really goes on “behind the curtain” when college admissions offices consider a student’s application?  

In this episode, two experienced professionals take on these questions and try to separate some of the facts and the myths in the college admission process. 

https://radiopublic.com/college-admissions-decoded-85wbYz/s1!cd13f  

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Lastly, on behalf of the MHS Counseling team, we encourage everyone to embrace change because change is inevitable. Also, please remember that “College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.”

Thank you,

The MHS Counseling Team