Coronavirus pandemic has affected life in various aspects. Educational institutes are no exception to it. The Ivy League colleges, including Harvard, have modified their admission criteria. And now, it’s not mandatory to submit SAT and ACT scores for the upcoming academic year. The school officially announced the previous week regarding the updated policy on standardized tests in response to the pandemic. According to its website, Harvard has notified its applicants about how the pandemic “has created insurmountable challenges in scheduling tests for all students, particularly those from modest economic backgrounds.” A Harvard spokeswoman Rachel Dane informs the ambitious students in an email on Monday evening.
This step brings in a lot of other aspects that could play a bigger role in getting you admitted to the Ivy League colleges. While the exam scores are no more mandatory, building your profile, preparing for the interviews, communicating your proficiencies efficiently, and diligently delivering the right resume becomes a critical step for acceptance in these schools. It also comes in as an opportunity for all those students who find it difficult to crack an entrance examination but has a good experience and an even better knowledge base. Knowing what is exactly expected out of you during the whole process after knowing the reasons for the changes made, could bring you closer to your dream school.
Let us go through the changes, and see how Miles Smart Tutoring can help you to get into your dream college in this sudden change of scenario.
The need for the SAT and ACT scores
Before understanding the ACT and SAT related decisions, it becomes necessary to know why these exams are essential and were taken up from all this while. ACT and SAT are a few of the examinations needed for colleges and university admissions. With some schools receiving over 75,000 admission applications, entrance examinations become a way to filter through the applicants. A good score in the ACT and SAT also allows you to apply for the scholarships provided by the universities during your application process. You also become eligible for National Merit Scholarship. Moreover, based on the scores attained in these examinations, there are some corporately-sponsored awards and scholarships. A high ACT or SAT score also helps you cover-up for an average GPA during your high school.
Basis of the decision
Amidst the fear of the covid19 virus pandemic, it becomes extremely difficult to manage social distancing and safety measures while conducting these examinations in the exam centers. Reassuring the aspirants, amongst the obliterated exam schedules, various universities have made it optional to add standardized test scores in the academic year’s admission cycle. They have notified that not being able to appear for these examinations won’t add any disadvantage.
Another reason that has stood to support the optional addition of scores for college admission even before the pandemic is the skepticism about the scores being closely aligned with family income. This exacerbates the test biases, defects, and opportunity gaps for students from African American and Latino families. The fight against institutionalized racial inequity and promotion of inclusive diversity has also been supported and backed by The Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and by numerous other organizations.
The attraction for a strong score has been acted as a considerable aspect of how students perceive their chances of being admitted to a university of their choice. In fact, scores also shape the list of colleges students apply to. The coronavirus pandemic has acted as a catalyst in the situation but hasn’t been the sole factor to aid the decision.
Also, by the end of last year, almost 1000 schools have already made the tests optional, while some 200 others joined this list during the global pandemic. According to US News and World Report, this list includes around 85 percent of the top liberal arts universities and schools.With the need to adopt safety measures due to COVID-19, the decision to keep the SAT and ACT scores optional has now been supported by major Ivy League colleges and universities.
The involvement of Boards
The College Board that owns the SAT exam, also acknowledged the virus wreaking havoc in the testing schedules and systems. They have also asked the colleges to be flexible towards students who won’t be able to submit their scores.
The ACT organization faces similar kind of challenges. A widespread cancellation of the testing sites is taking place. The organization website is thanking the test takers for their patience while the organization strives further during the pandemic.
The involvement of Harvard
The pivotal decision-creating ripples across higher education came last week on Monday when a spokeswoman of Harvard, announces that the coming year’s undergraduate applicants don’t need to submit standardized test scores. The updated policy says that the standardized tests are but one factor in Harvard’s “whole-person admissions process.” The school also discusses how “Accomplishments in and out of the classroom during the high school years – including community involvement, employment, and help given to students’ families are considered an important part of our process.” The policy continues by adding relief to the students saying, “However, students who find themselves limited in the activities which they can pursue due to the current coronavirus outbreak will not be disadvantaged as a result, nor will the students who are only able to present pass/fail grades or other similar marks on their transcripts this spring.” Hence, according to the information passed, the applicants applying for the class of 2025 will not have to sit for ACT or SAT compulsorily and shall be considered with whatever they find presentable as accomplishments.
Regarding the financial aid that Harvard provides, it doesn’t intend to change or compromise their revolutionary financial aid program during these hard times. Most of the Harvard applicants are provided with need-based financial aid, and the applicants do not even require loan assistance for further education. The applicants could also use their net price calculator to get an estimate of the financial aid their family is eligible to receive from Harvard.
Preparation Strategies and Essential Tips:
As instead of an examination score, it is much more that now comes into picture for an admission procedure of various schools and universities, it becomes extremely important to not stop working. Miles Smart Tutoring can help you with the following essential steps to maximize your chances of admission to your dream college.
Dealing with the changes with Miles Smart Tutoring:
Being one of the elites, Ivy League schools, Harvard has not stepped back from doing its bit in helping its applicants during these harder times. They are looking forward for an intake of even better candidates with a unique mindset. The same goes for not just Harvard but every college that you dream of today and envisage to be there in the future. Keeping this in mind, a student needs to now build his profile after understanding what a college expects from their applicants. From presenting the right extracurricular activities and establishing the right resume, a good mentor could guide you well through these changes. Because all these settings could be very temporary, it helps to know your strengths and put them well on the table. Every student is different from every other in this regard and we want you to be able to portray the best out of you. We help you with your college preferences, college applications, and keep a track of the recent updates regarding the same. When a holistic view is considered for the admission criteria, do not hesitate to contact Miles Smart Tutoring. Our experts shall not only guide you for the examination process, but also provide you all the additional support required to groom your application. We can ace this together.