Last week during a Zoom call with my Application Nation - Class of 2021 group (high school juniors and their parents), we discussed how differently each high school is handling grading and coursework during the COVID-19 quarantine.
Some schools are allowing students to take the remainder of their classes using a pass/fail grading system, while other schools aren't skipping a beat and demanding even more from their students than ever before. During the call, every family seemed to mention another highly nuanced approach. My message to them over these last eight weeks has been to make sure their child's high school is clear about what they are doing.
But that's a tall order. That relies on the fact that the high school's college counselors need to be proactive about this by ensuring that the school's grading policy and COVID-19 plan are clear to college admissions officers. If not, admissions officers may miss something and hold it against the student.
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While all of our lives are dominated by COVID-19 right now, I do not want anyone to be defined by this. In my many sleepless nights, I have had time to reflect on who I am and how I choose to live my life. This pandemic can give all of us a newfound perspective. I urge the Common Application, Coalition Application, and all institutional-specific applications to reflect as well and make necessary changes for the 2020-2021 forms and beyond. Let's make sure college admissions officers know what our kids have been dealing with, and most importantly, how they see themselves coming out of it.