COVID-19 Update

One-on-One is fully operational and we are grateful to be here–with both our ‘parent’ and ‘educational consultant’ hats on–to help families navigate this unprecedented time. 

We created this page to provide students and parents with college admissions resources and strategies in this rapidly changing public health environment. 

We are working remotely via Zoom video meetings with our clients until it is safe to resume in-person sessions. 

Colleges’ Plans for Fall 2021:

Hundreds of colleges have announced that they will require students to be vaccinated before returning to campus this fall. As the list continues to grow, be sure to check each college’s specific policy for the most up-to-date information.

Standardized Testing

The list of colleges/universities adopting test-optional and test-blind policies for the 2022 graduation class continues to grow. For an up-to-date list of test optional colleges, please visit: http://fairtest.org/university/optional

Both the ACT and the SAT are working on solutions for providing digital, at-home tests, but many question remain on access, security, and validity.

Check the following links for the most updated COVID-19 information: 

⇒Our Recommendation: Take advantage of the free, online proctored practice ACT and SAT tests that many test prep companies are offering. Students can compare their scores and spend their time preparing for the test that best suits them. 

College Visits

Demonstrated interest has always played a role in the admissions process when colleges try to predict which students will choose to attend their school if accepted. With limited ability to visit campuses in person, the digital space becomes much more important–both for prospective students trying to understand ‘fit’ and admissions officers tracking interest.

⇒Our Recommendations:

  • Carve out time to attend virtual tours – www.campustours.com is a great site to explore!
  • Visit colleges’ admissions sites directly. Colleges have invested in enhancing their own virtual tour and information session technology on their websites
  • Take advantage of opportunities to connect virtually with panels of admissions officers. For instance, NACAC hosts national online college fairs throughout the year.
  • Research faculty bios and contact professors who interest you to set up a phone call or video conference. Colleges are moving towards making faculty, students, and admissions staff more accessible than ever.
  • Engage digitally with the colleges’ admissions offices by (a) signing up for the admissions mailing list and (b) opening the emails you receive (yes–email engagement is tracked!). 
  • Follow colleges of interest on social media platforms. Even better–follow student-led organizations at that college to get a sense of what students are talking about on social media. 
  • Review all personal social media accounts to make sure they are appropriate.
  • Read student publications online.
  • Talk with friends or acquaintances who attend colleges that interest you. If that is not an option, check out student review sites like www.unigo.com. And, as with any crowdsourced site, take comments with a grain of salt. 

⇒Our Recommendations for Student-Athletes:

  • Film skills videos and send them to the college coaches on your list.
  • Stay connected–some college coaches are hosting video meetings with their teams for prospective athletes.
  • Stay in shape!

High School Coursework

College admissions officers understand that there is a major shift in the way high school students are taking classes and receiving grades during the pandemic. Applications will be considered within the context of how COVID-19 has changed the nature of high school itself–especially with pass/fail grading systems and potentially altered content areas. 

⇒Our Recommendations:

  • Consider supplementing your coursework with virtual learning tools. Class Central is a great resource and search engine for finding free online courses that may interest you.
  • Reach out to your teachers. It is important to continue building relationships with those who will write your recommendations this fall. In a remote or hybrid learning environment, it takes more effort to keep communication going. 

Financial Aid

COVID-19 continues to impact financial aid offices. Parents whose financial situations have changed since they submitted their FAFSA/CSS Profile are encouraged to reach out to financial aid offices to provide an update and find out if additional funding is available. 

⇒Our Recommendation: Attend the financial aid seminars we host for our clients with industry experts throughout the year. 

How To Maintain Structure and Productivity 

Extracurricular activities and summer programs look different on college applications. That does not mean that you cannot build your resume in this environment–in fact, now is the time to re-think your time outside of the classroom. 

⇒Our Recommendations:

  • Pursue a genuine interest; pick up a new hobby; read for fun(!); launch a blog; lean into family responsibilities; invent, create, and develop a portfolio of authentic work products. 
  • Get ideas for joining and creating service projects via Youth Service America.
  • Set up informational interviews and video conferences with someone who works in a field that interests you. 
  • Stay active and healthy.
  • Start working on your application materials early so that you have more time to visit colleges during senior year. Use your time to craft a really strong activity sheet and college essay!

We are in this together, and look forward to helping you chart a path forward. If you have any questions, contact us.