Pandemic Alters College Process for Seniors

By Wesley Jansen ’21

Every year, nearly all high school seniors face the same pressing question: “Where am I going to college next year?” This dilemma is usually accompanied by a bombardment of inquiries from parents, extended family, teachers, and friends. 

Strange and exhausting under the best of circumstances, the college process has become even more intense during today’s climate of irregularities due to COVID-19. For example, the Heritage Hall College Counseling office traditionally welcomes representatives from schools across the country to campus to meet with students interested in gaining greater insight into their institutions. However, because of current restrictions on contact and travel, students and representatives now meet virtually through Zoom. This forum, though less personal and slightly bizarre, has been generally effective in allowing students to get information and make potentially valuable contacts.

In the past month alone, Heritage Hall students have had the opportunity to visit with representatives from a number of diverse schools, including Vanderbilt University, the University of Chicago, Boston University, and the University of Oregon. 

Asked about his virtual meeting experiences, senior Sam Ring replied, “Having to meet online has been a little strange, but I’ve been able to talk with the colleges that I’m interested in and get answers to questions that help me decide which schools to keep on or remove from my list, so I’m happy about that.” 

Along with virtual meetings with representatives, many students are also having to rely on virtual tours because of closed campuses. While neither are ideal, Dr. Vicki Schaeffer, Director of College Counseling, observed, “We are seeing the benefit of colleges who may not be able to travel to our campus who are signing up to talk with our students. This can only serve to help all involved as we move into this new normal.”

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