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2020 College Application Under Covid-19 Crisis

By: Brian (Ruibo) Wu

Due to the inconvenience caused by Covid-19, many colleges have adjusted requirements for the 2020 college application. The UC colleges firstly announced that any standard tests such as SAT, ACT, SAT Subject, will be optional, and that admission officers will pay more attention to students’ in-class performance and activities. Lately, many top colleges, including all Ivy colleges, have adjusted their 2020 application requirements and have made standard test scores available. Recently, California Tech and MIT, even stated that SAT and ACT scores will not be accepted at all.

In general, these standard tests may be the most straightforward way to reflect students’ learning capabilities. However, now students have to find other ways to demonstrate that they can fit the competitive college learning environment.

Under this situation, many students may benefit significantly from these new policies since they no longer need to worry about standardized testing scores. As everyone knows, the SAT and ACT have long been a headache for college applicants. Many students start preparing for SAT and ACT since freshman year, and students usually take these tests more than two times in their high school year. For those who have an impressive GPA, class difficulty, and interesting activities, their 2020 college application may be easier.

However, for those who already received a good SAT score and for those who are good at dealing with standard tests, their 2020 college application may be harder since they have lost their unique advantage.

Even though the standardized testing scores are optional, students still should take the SAT or ACT, since getting a good score still may increase the chance to get into a more selective college. Also, due to the financial crisis caused by Covid-19, colleges may accept more students to make up their financing gap. As a result, 2020 may be a year with infinite opportunities.

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