Corona disrupts college decisions for seniors

                                                                                          Photo by Siri Kanter ’20
Some seniors had to decide between dozens of universities without being able to see them in person.

For the past three years, seniors have eagerly awaited for May 1, 2020: a day where they could represent their selected post-high school plans, confident in their choices.

For the class of 2020, however, this image will not be fulfilled. In the age of Covid-19, many seniors feel uncertain and nervous about their post-college plans. Because quarantine has made the possibility of visiting universities harder, seniors had fewer resources available to make their college decisions.

Ellie Doran ’20, who was admitted to multiple universities, feels that coronavirus made the process of choosing a school a lot more difficult.

“I wasn’t able to visit campuses and truly get a better feel for the schools,” Doran said. “I think if I were able to visit, it would’ve helped finalize my feelings towards each school.”

Jordi Katz ’20, who will be attending the University of Maryland next year, agrees with Doran–she was relying on visiting campuses in person before making a final decision.

“Here in Westport, we have the privilege of visiting the schools we may be going to next year, and it’s a very large part of understanding what you would look like at campus,” Katz said. “You get to people-watch, see what type of facilities they have, and even the weather. Small things like that you can’t really get a sense of online.”

“You get to people-watch, see what type of facilities they have, and even the weather. Small things like that you can’t really get a sense of online.

— Jordi Katz '20

Jake D’Amico ’20 agrees that coronavirus made the college process a bit more difficult, but the decision was bound to be difficult regardless.

“I’ve seen enough schools [in person] that I felt I could get a sense of the schools just based off a virtual tour,” D’Amico said. “It made it a bit crazier because a bunch of schools were letting kids off waitlists so I had a bunch of new options I wasn’t expecting.”

To compensate for the lack of visiting, some colleges set up virtual tours and Zoom calls for admitted students. This way, the class of 2020 was able to communicate with other students and faculty.

“The schools were very supportive, and they provided many virtual resources for students who were in the decision process,” Doran said. “They provided things like virtual tours, student panels, faculty Q&As, and one-on-one counselor and student chats.”

Violet Feldman ’20 sees some opportunities in choosing a college in the midst of a pandemic that previous classes may not have gotten.

“Don’t get me wrong, I would have done anything to wear my college logos to school on May 1,” Feldman said, “but I think that the online opportunities pushed me to learn a lot more on the colleges I was admitted to and discover the one that was truly best for me.”