在5月 1, high schoolers around the country will begin to declare their commitments. Unlike during normal school years, 的 大流行 has upended regular college traditions such as meeting with college counselors, touring schools and taking the SATs.
“There was a little bit of disappointment in the fact that [今年] didn’t shape up to be like the normal year where you get accepted, you go to admitted students day, and you go visit the campus. Right now it’s like you get accepted and you get a zoom link,” said Gorman.
Taking away standardized testing made easier for high school seniors to apply to schools but also harder to get accepted. The test-optional feature led to a surge of applications, causing colleges to be more selective. New York University saw a 20% spike in applications, Harvard saw a 42% increase and Colgate’s applications more than doubled.
“A big part of the surge is that more students realize that if the SAT and ACTs aren’t barriers to getting in, that they wanted to apply and see if they had a chance to actually get in,” said Angel Perez, CEO of the National Association of College Admission Counselors.
Gorman said that if the test wasn’t optional, he wouldn’t have applied to 10 学校.
“I definitely think it helped having that flexibility. Because I am a much better student than I am a test-taker and probably couldn’t get into the schools applied to with my scores,” Gorman added.
College admission officials think the test-optional movement has also opened doors for many students from traditionally underrepresented groups who weren’t able to score well on standardized tests because of inadequate resources.
“We’re seeing that many students of color and first-generation students that are applying to college, are now throwing in an application because the tests were optional. … It’s definitely a big change to see that the competitiveness has actually gotten stronger since the pandemic,” said Neha Gupta, creator of College Shortcuts, a leading college admissions consulting firm.
Another reason for the surge in applications may be that students are eager to return to an in-person learning environment, which has led to many schools to set a mandatory vaccination requirement.
“My one goal for next year is for it not to be boring and to get as far away from Zoom classes as possible,” said Gorman. “I’d rather do a gap year than return to Zoom learning.”
福克斯新闻’ Maya Broadwater contributed to this report.