From how colleges are evaluating applications in 2021 to the impact of test scores, pass/fail grades, and students' limited ability to visit college campuses during the pandemic, one common theme is emerging among admission teams across the U.S. COVID-19 has disrupted the traditional college admission process, and admission professionals are responding in kind with flexibility, understanding, and agility. 

On October 8, EXPLO hosted a panel of admission professionals from Bowdoin College, Cornell University, Pomona College, and University of Michigan to answer questions from students and their families about how the admission process has changed in the wake of COVID-19 and how they should approach their applications for 2021. The panel was part of a larger series that convened experts from top U.S. colleges and universities, including Colorado College, Harvard University, Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Lindsay Cohen of Spark Admissions, and many more. 

Questions ranged from how students should engage with colleges and universities before applying and how they can get to know a school in a virtual setting to the value of interviews, whether or not to submit standardized test scores, if demonstrated interest matters, and changes to entering class sizes due to deferrals and physical space constraints in the COVID world. 

The live webinar series, Competitive College Admission in the Age of COVID, ran throughout the month of October and provided an opportunity for students and families to hear directly from admission professionals who have been working to revise their approaches to engaging with prospective students and application evaluation throughout the spring and fall.