The Most Important Things to Keep in Mind About the College Process This Year, According to Admissions Counselors | St. Lawrence University

The Most Important Things to Keep in Mind About the College Process This Year, According to Admissions Counselors

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

As a current high school senior navigating the challenges of a global pandemic, your college search process is unlike any student’s before you.

The good news? You’re not alone in this process. We understand the stress, frustration, or uncertainty that you may be experiencing because we’re working through it too!

That’s why we thought it might be helpful to outline some of the most important things to keep in mind as you start to discover where you’d like to spend your next four years.

1. Care for yourself and your mental health.

We value selfcare, especially in these difficult times. Be gentle with yourself and understand that we know you may be stressed out, facing hardships or losses, or struggling in another way.

2. Don’t worry about the things beyond your control—we won’t hold them against you!

Your junior year was disrupted academically, and it's likely that you may have faced some obstacles in your academic work. We are going to review your application in the context of a global pandemic, and you will not be at a disadvantage if your high school made changes to transcripts or grading policies, or if there’s an absence of AP or IB exams or other standardized tests. 

At St. Lawrence, we're also test optional and have been for over a decade. If you take the SAT or ACT and want to share your scores, the Admissions team will take them into consideration. If you can’t take the SAT or ACT or simply don’t want to share your scores, it won’t count against you.

3. It’s okay if you can’t make it to campus for an in-person tour.

Your ability to tour our campus in person won’t affect your application in any way. Most colleges do recommend making an effort to connect, but there are plenty of ways to do that from home. Consider taking a virtual tour, attending a virtual info session or visit day, reaching out to a student ambassador, or connecting with an Admissions counselor to get a better feel for life on campus.

4. Your interests, passions, and past-times matter.

Regardless of how you spend your time outside of the classroom, we encourage you to share that in your application. Please know that there is no perfect formula of co-curriculars, volunteer activities, or athletics that colleges look for. 

Throughout your high school experience, or in these past few months, you may have found opportunities to serve your community, to address concerns about the environment, or to combat injustice. You may have spent a lot of time supporting your family by helping with siblings or elderly relatives, by working to contribute to your family's finances, or in other ways.

Even if you missed out on organized activities, summer opportunities, or athletic competitions over the past year due to the pandemic, we're curious to learn more about your past times, interests, and passion projects. Maybe you made alternative activities work despite obstacles. Tell us all about it!

While we can’t speak for every admissions office everywhere, we can say that these are the guiding practices at St. Lawrence for the months ahead. We’re ready and excited to connect with you, in whichever way works best for you, soon!