Virtual College Counseling and Standardized Tests
While the full impact of the pandemic on college admissions remains to be seen, we continue to guide our students through every step of the journey with robust and personalized advice, led by Director of College Counseling Sophia Meas and supported by each student’s faculty advisor.
We remain confident in our students and their ability to achieve their college goals, and we are happy to supplement our college counseling program with the following measures and guidance.
Conducting the College Search
In addition to regular meetings with our Director of College Counseling and faculty advisor to address individual needs, we are encouraging and facilitating the following:
- Connecting students with Commonwealth alumni/ae, particularly recent graduates, who can speak to the admissions process as well as their experience at schools of interest
- Pairing juniors with senior peer mentors (“college buddies”)
- Conducting virtual “campus visits” (Many schools have pre-existing, immersive virtual visit opportunities.)
- Contacting professors and students at schools of interest
- Updating Naviance accounts to reflect students’ interests
College Application Requirements and Standardized Tests
Colleges and universities are updating their application requirements to provide an equitable process for all students. Our Director of College Counseling, Sophia Meas, is attuned to these updates and works closely with admissions representatives to provide individualized guidance to our students and their families. Though it is unclear what, exactly, colleges will require during the upcoming admissions cycle, schools are signaling flexibility, with many colleges already committing to test-optional admissions policies. We will keep families and students informed as we learn more.
Having canceled SAT and SAT Subject Test dates through the spring of 2020, the College Board will continue to assess the situation and offer additional test dates where possible. The College Board also offered significantly shortened (forty-five-minute-long) Advanced Placement Exams in May, which students could take at home, as well as a full refund for any students who decide not to take the shortened, at-home test. We will continue to designate courses on transcripts as AP or APE (AP Equivalent).
Advisors, teachers, and the Director of College Counseling will be happy to help students and families think through the practical considerations and advisability of taking future exams.
We understand the impact of cost and financial aid eligibility on the college decision-making process. We encourage families and students to contact Director of College Counseling Sophia Meas directly with their questions and concerns.