December 3, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted countless lives across the globe. From financial troubles, unstable home lives, and unchartered school plans, students, in particular, have been disrupted greatly by the pandemic. Given the difficulties that students have faced this past year, the Common Application for example as well as many other schools, have placed a new question asking students about the impacts of COVID-19 on their lives:
Community disruptions such as COVID-19 and natural disasters can have deep and long-lasting impacts. If you need it, this space is yours to describe those impacts. Colleges care about the effects on your health and well-being, safety, family circumstances, future plans, and education, including access to reliable technology and quiet study spaces. For more information, check out our COVID-19 FAQ.
Students are asked to check “yes” or “no”, and if they choose to share (i.e. press “yes”) then students are given up to 250 words to address the prompt. However, many students are unsure as to what is suitable information to put in this section. A few reasons students might want to respond to the prompt include:
Grading changes: If your school decided to change the grading system or standards, then this would be a great place to let your colleges know about what was changed!
Unique circumstances: If you experienced significant changes to your daily life (such as the loss of a parent, forced evacuation from home, etc), then this would be the perfect spot to inform your colleges about the circumstances. Keep in mind, however, that most applicants faced some type of hardship during this time, so make sure you’re specific!
Testing: If you were unable to take required tests (IB, SAT, ACT, TOEFL, etc.), then be sure to make your colleges aware that your tests were cancelled. Although most colleges are being lenient with their testing requirements due to the pandemic!
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the world quite hard, and it continues to impact and change most of our everyday lives. The aforementioned ideas are just a few of the things that you might like to include for the COVID-19 prompt; include what you see fit. If you have been impacted by the pandemic, in any significant, unique way, then you should be sure to make your colleges aware. The better you explain your circumstances and your story, the better your chances. Remember, the college application is like a little film about YOU; all you have to do is tell your story!
~ Sam Saba
Write Track Admissions — College Expert