Local school counselors offer advice on college applications during pandemic

Posted at 5:40 AM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 11:17:53-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — College applications opened earlier this month and high school seniors have some concerns. In a time full of unknowns, local school counselors told 23ABC one of the best things seniors can do right now is focus on what they can control.

Garces Memorial High School's Director of Counseling Denise Limi said one the biggest concerns seniors have this year is being penalized for not taking standardized tests that have been postponed due to COVID-19.

“We are encouraging them to focus on those things that they have control over because obviously not being able to take an ACT or SAT is out of their control,” Limi said.

Bakersfield Christian High School's Director of Counseling Susan Chandler said the colleges really will understand what seniors are going through.

“Everyone is going through COVID-19 and sometimes it’s easy to think that, oh what am I going to do? Well everyone is going through this so everyone has a tremendous amount of grace and understanding right now," Chandler said.

Limi said if COVID-19 has impacted a student financially, they should include that in their applications.

“It’s important for a student to be honest in their college essays and let the college admissions counselors know how they've been impacted," said Limi.

It’s unknown whether or not college will be virtual or in-person next year. Bakersfield Chrisitian High School’s senior counselor Carissa Cady said students should still apply to colleges right now, but include local schools in the mix

“I think it’s important for them to have the option to stay home, you know, if, in a year, things haven’t changed and they just need to stay locally because they don’t want to do college digitally," said Cady.

In the end, Limi says seniors should try their best to remain determined and confident.

“You’ve worked so hard in high school. This is your dream and I say go for it," said Limi.

The deadline for college application will be determined by each individual school. Limi said seniors should make the most of online resources like virtual campus tours and Zoom meetings with admissions counselors.