As we bring this year to a close, here’s my 2020 hindsight on an atypical year in an unpredictable business (yes, college admissions is a business and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not):
- This year gave students an opportunity to slow down and take a breath. Sometimes this was welcomed and other times it was not – especially when a favorite activity/sport or an event that you had worked hard to be selected to attend was cancelled.
- Some students got creative with their newly found free time. Some organized drives to help local charities. Others learned a new skill. Many rediscovered their love of art, reading, and writing.
- Remote learning was more difficult than many thought it would be. Colleges that did it well will reap the benefits in years to come. Those that did not, will need to step up their game or risk having students transfer and/or apply to other schools.
- College tours went remote as well. The upside to this was an improvement in many colleges’ websites and virtual tours/information sessions.
- Test-optional allowed more students to apply to top-tier schools. The short-term impact of this has been lower acceptance rates at many of these schools, but hopefully the long-term impact will be a decreased reliance on a number which is but a snap-shot moment of a student’s ability (and perhaps an indication of how much time and money they invested in test prep) and an increased appreciation for a student’s GPA, coursework, and activities.
- There’s a growing interest in local and public universities which many times offer an outstanding education at a very reasonable cost. Two reasons that stand out:
- Many students (and families) want to attend school closer to home.
- Students are becoming smarter consumers and aren’t willing to shoulder a mountain of student debt for their education.
- Gap years have become very popular as students realized they do not want to pay full price for remote learning.
Want to look back at the full year? Scroll through my 2020 blog posts to see what transpired.