Coronavirus (COVID-19) – The latest news impacting our college-bound kids

These are strange times to be sure! We wanted to have a place where we can share the latest news related to changes in the high school/college landscape.

The situation is fluid. Students are thinking about exams–ACT/SAT/AP. Seniors are thinking about college acceptances. Plus, a whole lot more! We’ll use this blog post to include frequent updates as we learn of them.

Keep scrolling to read about how At The Core is adjusting to serve our families best in these times of social distancing.

The latest news/Q&A (UPDATED 4/3/2020)…

How has AP testing been impacted?

On 4/3/20, the College Board shared tons of information about the upcoming online testing format:

Ohio K-12 schools will remain closed until at least 5/1/2020.

Gov. DeWine announced the extension of the public school closure date on 3/30/20.

How has Ohio’s College Credit Plus program been impacted?

On 3/27/20, the Ohio Department of Education announced guidance for colleges and schools about College Credit Plus for the upcoming 2020/21 school year. The Letter of Intent due date which is normally April 1st has been extended to May 1st. The funding application for nonpublic and homeschooled students has also been extended to May 1st.

The guidance document also contains details about what happens if a student couldn’t take the ACT or SAT test for qualification into the program for this summer because of test cancellations. (A student needs a 3.0 GPA. Colleges can still use their institutional standards for admission decisions and placement into courses.)

Currently enrolled CCP students (spring 2020) can choose a Pass/Fail grade on a course if the college they are attending offers that option. (Choosing a P/F option has implications on weighted grading, class rank, NCAA & OHSAA eligibility, and certain graduation seals.)

If you missed Beth Probst’s free informational webinar about College Credit Plus on 3/23, you can watch it by clicking here.

What changes has the Ohio legislature instituted for this year?

On 3/25/20, the Ohio legislature passed a sweeping education bill to address needed changes this year. Annual testing is cancelled. Students on track to graduate as of 3/17 will graduate. Schools are allowed to substitute online learning for in-class time. It allows IEPs to be serviced online, and it allows for waivers to College Credit Plus requirements (see comment re: CCP above). (We don’t know how graduation requirements needing a specific end-of-year exam like Algebra will be adjusted if that exam wasn’t given.)

What about IB testing?

On 3/23/20, the International Baccalaureate cancelled the IB exams originally schedule for May 2020. “Depending on what they registered for, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on student’s coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programmes.” More detail can be found here.

Have you seen any great messages from college counselors with support for current juniors?

Yes! Without a doubt, all the admission folks are understanding and amazing. On 3/19/20, this letter attributed to the University of Chicago’s Dean of Admission and Financial aid demonstrated the messaging to all current juniors–a great read for your current junior if they are worried.

Will summer camps be affected this year?

Delaware Area Career Center, Tolles Career & Technical Education, and Great Oaks Career Campuses have all cancelled their summer camp programming. We’ll keep an eye on future closings as best we can. We’ll update our Summer Opportunities page as needed; however, due to the sheer number of camps listed, we ask that you check with the camp directly if in doubt.

Will colleges change their grading this semester?

On 3/19/20, we read this piece. Some colleges are switching to pass/fail grading instead of letter grades this semester to ease the tension some students may be feeling about online coursework. It is not clear what will happen to things dependent on GPA like scholarships, transfers, and grad school applications. Some colleges are giving students the choice between standard grades (A, B, C, etc.) and pass/fail grading. We are awaiting for guidance from the school districts themselves as to what is best for our students.

Will colleges change their application requirements for fall 2020 after the ACT/SAT tests were cancelled?

On 3/18/20, Case Western announced they would allow fall applicants to apply without providing ACT/SAT test scores. This test optional policy is for Fall 2020. On 3/19/20, we learned that the University of Toledo is piloting a test optional policy for summer and fall 2020 as well. They are also allowing students to apply with a self-reported GPA if they are struggling to access a high school transcript. As with colleges that allow for self-reporting, we assume they will require a transcript to confirm your reporting information.

Is there somewhere that I can find at-a-glance info about colleges and whether or not they have extended deadlines, admitted student events, etc.?

NACAC, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, is providing a searchable spreadsheet with about 970 colleges on it (40 in Ohio) as of 4/3/20.

Will college graduations take place on schedule?

On 3/17/20, Ohio State announced they will be postponing their commencement ceremony that was to be May 3. They hope to reschedule. Capital University and Ohio Dominican University have also postponed their commencement.

Do you know if ACT/SAT testing will go on during this time?

Announced 3/16/20, the April 4 ACT has been rescheduled to June 13 (or subsequent national testing date) and the May 2 SAT has been cancelled. Those registered for the April 4 ACT will receive an email about rescheduling. “The College Board will provide future additional SAT testing opportunities for students as soon as feasible in place of canceled administrations.”

“Dr. Sam” (Srinath Sampath of PrepAccelerator) had a good share about test prep during this time: “Students, please make the most of the downtime and reduced school hours to push hard on the ACT and SAT. When school reopens, there will be a sense of urgency for educators, parents, and students to catch up with school work, so focused prep during the next few weeks will go a long way in reducing stress thereafter.”

What about SAT Subject Tests scheduled for May 2?

While the announcement from SAT does not specifically mention SAT Subject Tests (as of 3/17/20, we are awaiting official confirmation), college counselors are working under the assumption that those subject tests are cancelled as well.

I have a senior making their final college decision. What do I do if they can’t visit campus? Do you think the May 1st deadline will change?

First, we are putting together a blog for current seniors with action items and ideas to help you. We’ll link it here. In the meantime, pay attention to the communications from colleges you’ve been accepted to–many are planning online outreach of some sort for those “admitted student events.” You’ll be able to get lots of your specific questions answered. Try fleshing out a list of last minute questions so you are prepared and know what last minute info you need. This article from Forbes (3/17/2020) has excellent information.

Second, regarding that May 1st deadline, some colleges (led by Oregon State) have postponed their freshman decision deadline to June 1st. Watch your email closely for communication from the colleges awaiting your reply. Ideally/hopefully, most will follow Oregon State’s lead. Some of the best minds in college admissions, like those at Oregon State, are lobbying on behalf of our children. Here is a list we found of colleges with new deposit dates. Note they have an “updated as of” date on it.

I have a junior or sophomore, and we were planning on visiting colleges over spring break. What do we do now?

Many (though not all) colleges have postponed official college visits/tours. The Forbes article referenced above will include ideas for how to visit a college virtually.

If you’d like to be receiving information about online events, be sure the college has your child’s email address. Visit the college’s website and look for a place to get on their mailing list or request more information.

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Remember at this time, you can always contact us with your questions via email, website chat, Facebook Messenger, or by phone (614) 404-0646. We will reply as soon as we can.

How Coronavirus is impacting At The Core…

As concerns about the spread of Coronavirus increase, At The Core wants to let you know our team is prepared and can provide uninterrupted support during this time.

At The Core is carrying on normal business operations, and the team has the resources and tools they need to do their work from any location.

Our services including Guided Self Assessment, Private Consultations, and even educational programming can be done (and has been for years) through online platforms. In these times of social distancing, we are weighing each and every interaction carefully.

But no matter how the interaction takes place, the needs for our teens and their families have not changed. Please know we’re here to help.

We’re equipped to operate fully online, and we are standing shoulder to shoulder with other parents in these unusual times.

We will continue to keep families updated should program dates or their format change.

Remember, you can reach out to us at any time with your questions.

Thank you everyone. Please stay safe. We are thinking about all of you during these times.


CDC Website and Ohio Department of Health