Tips for high school seniors applying to college in the middle of the pandemic

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SYRACUSE N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — This is the height of the college search and application season, but the pandemic may have added extra stress for high school seniors and their families.

One high school counselor says that while some things have changed many have stayed the same when it comes to applying to college.

“So, the amount of support and resources that we’re providing hasn’t changed it’s just the format of the delivery that’s changed,” says Chris Robinson, school counselor at East Syracuse Minoa High School.

One of the biggest changes is to the traditional campus visit, but he says schools are creative with how high schoolers can look at a college.

Robinson tells NewsChannel 9, “Whether it be offering tours by appointment individually or some colleges are even offering tours virtually or maybe even self-guided tours.”

Some of the biggest things high schoolers and their parents should be focused on right now are the same as they were before the pandemic.

“Students need to be accessing the individual college websites finding out what the deadlines are, finding out how many letters of recommendation and from whom they need to come from,” Robinson says.

He also adds that high school seniors shouldn’t stress about the SAT Test and whether they’ve taken it or not because 60% of colleges in the country, including all SUNY schools, have waived them in the admission process.

“What they’re doing is just taking the other factors into account a little more, and that could be the college essay certainly the grades and those letters of recommendation become a little bit more important,” Robinson tells NewsChannel 9.

To relieve some stress he says don’t wait until the last minute, get all your applications submitted by Thanksgiving.

“What we stress to students and parents is that college admissions folks are not out to get them, they want to accept them. College admissions folks are encouraging students to apply and they all understand that we are in a difficult time,” Robinson says.

He adds that East Syracuse Minoa High School will start helping juniors with their college search around the middle of winter.

More from NewsChannel 9:

For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9.

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