Care Counts in Crisis Letter & How it will Affect Admissions in 2021
Care Counts in Crisis: College Admissions Deans Respond to Covid-19" is a letter by Harvard's Making Care Common Project & endorsed by 315 college admissions deans across the nation. The letter emphasizes their "commitment to selfcare, care for others, equity, and meaningful learning." You can view the direct press release here
The letter underscores a collective agreement among these admissions officers that given the dynamic range of experiences and challenges for high school applicants these past few months, that student applications will not be disadvantaged for pandemic-related changes in plans, missed extra-curriculars or academic commitments; instead, student academics will be assessed in the context of circumstantial obstacles and academic performance "before and after this pandemic." They highlight five core components by which the admissions offices will be evaluating applicants during COVID-19:
2. Academic Work
3. Service and Contributions to others
4. Family Contributions
5. Extracurricular and Summer Activities
In the letter, the deans attempt to clarify how the admissions review process will be altered for the global situation to better accommodate the various circumstances among students and communities across the nation, encouraging applicants to report their non-academic responsibilities in addition to their academic achievements, whether that meant supervising younger siblings, caring for sick relatives, or performing community service, etc. The letter states that those admissions offices will not penalize students who are not in a position to make contributions; however, sincere & substantial contributions "will only positively impact the review of their application."
So what's the main gist of it all? Admissions officers aim to evaluate applicants in both academic and non-academic contexts - paying special attention to the way students detail their pandemic experience, both in terms of how they've been impacted & how they've reacted. If you’ve had to babysit siblings, contribute to your local community, or take care of sick family - describing your experience positively and sincerely will almost certainly bolster your application.
7EDU Impact Academy's advice to you: Reflect on the last few months, what you've been up to, what you plan to do or continue doing, and how you might recollect your decisions and reasons on your applications. Whether or not the pandemic has directly impacted your academic performance, if you plan on applying to any of those 315 colleges (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, UCSB, UPenn, etc.), then by framing your contributions to your local community over the last few months in a positive & sincere way, the better off you are!
Think of how you may tie in your experience to your essay!
Common Application & Coalition for College both have sections for students to describe the impact of the pandemic on their experience.
Keep note & journal everything that has happened during the pandemic + what you plan to do for the rest of this summer.
Stay calm! In general, the application will still take academic performance very seriously, and more than family contributions or community service - academic excellence and conscientiousness are the best predictors for success in university. So keep on studying & preparing for your upcoming applications.
Best of luck, class of 2021!👩🎓👍👨🎓
On Saturday, July 11th, we'll be hosting a Live Open Class + Q&A on what COVID-19 means for College Admissions 2020 at 6:00pm PDT. Register via Google Form to receive your Zoom link! We'll be discussing a range of topics like the latest in judicial rulings, policy requirement changes, test score relevancy, community and family contributions, writing about the pandemic, and more!