February, March and April, for the most part, brought the college process to a close, with the majority of schools releasing their decisions within this timeframe. The next step for seniors becomes choosing which of their accepted schools to attend by the deadline of May 1.
Typically, admitted students will visit campus with their families or attend “admitted student days” on the physical campus while getting to know current students and other admits. However, considering the current coronavirus pandemic has temporarily shut down most college campuses, this is no longer an option, leaving many students to make their decisions on where to spend the next four years of their lives based off of virtual tours and student Youtube videos.
“In the beginning of the decision-making process, I was definitely biased toward Barnard because of my campus visit memory of Barnard, but the other factors eventually outweighed my initial infatuation,” senior Jana Kelly, who decided on Brown instead of Barnard, said. “It killed me that I wasn’t able to visit Brown, so I watched virtual tours and vlogs online and got in touch with as many people as possible. I think the students were the biggest help to me out of all the resources I utilized. They give you a great idea of campus vibes and the type of people you can expect to meet.”
Extending the deposit deadline would also give families more time to understand what their financial statuses will be like in the future, given the current economic crisis that has precipitated on top of the pandemic.
“Oftentimes, students consider factors such as cost, location, school name recognition, major, the school vibe and school spirit. I do think those factors do still come into play, but during this uncertain time, I would say cost is factoring more heavily than ever for some students,” guidance counselor Mrs. Sharon Bikoundou said. “Many families have had financial setbacks, are unsure of what the fall will bring or have needed more time to attend the virtual events or just get a feel for the school, so colleges being more flexible [with their deadlines] I feel is helpful.”
To supplement the lack of a physical campus visit, many schools are offering more virtual resources and events than usual. Although colleges need to know how many students will be joining their next year’s class by the general May deadline, the best solution for many individual students would be for colleges to extend deposit deadlines until at least June, taking the lead along with many other schools. This would provide students more time to get in contact with current students and alumni and allow them to make a more informed decision, both financially and individually.
Check out a list of colleges that have postponed their deposit deadlines to June 1 or later.