4 News Now Q&A: College and COVID-19

Your Questions Answered

Q: How is college planning different for this year’s class of graduates?

A: We’re just getting settled into a new school year, but it’s already time for high school seniors to start working on their plans for after graduation.

But in the midst of a pandemic, college planning looks much different for students making the leap next year. So, how can graduates navigate the uncertainty?

Good Morning Northwest Anchor Robyn Nance spoke with University High School’s College and Career Counselor, Nicole Rippee, for some clarity. Rippee said there are two major differences for college-hopefuls. One is that the pandemic canceled a number of SAT and ACT test dates, so most colleges are not requiring them for admission.

“They’re really just saying that we don’t want to create a barrier for these students who haven’t had the opportunity to take a tests,” Rippee said.

A second big change is touring college campuses. However, there is good and bad in that. The good is that everything is at the student and families’ fingertips. Tours and so so many resources are online. But, there is something missing.

“I think as much as we say this generation is an online generation, they really want that in-person connection,” Rippee said. “They really want people physically there to make that connection.”

Rippee said as far as filing for financial aid, nothing has really changed. The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid is now open. The only change you should know about is that you now access a free phone app.

What advice does Rippee have for students? Get organized.

“I am very visual and so I like a calendar,” Rippee said. “If I know the colleges I’m applying, I would get out my calendar and write those application deadlines on that calendar. I’d write scholarship deadlines or any other deadlines I had. If I was taking an SAT/ACT, I’d write that on my calendar, and just certain things that I’d need to prepare for.”

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