Amid increased anxiety over a global pandemic, parents and students alike are frantically adjusting to the new reality of school shutdowns, online learning, cancellation of standardized tests, library closings, the postponement of extracurricular activities, and limited travel. Meanwhile, there is a group of students that is eagerly awaiting college admission for fall 2020. How will the COVID-19 pandemic impact the college-going decisions of students, and how should colleges adjust admission criteria accordingly?
In a previous Ed Trust blog, I argued that institutions should, as the Supreme Court currently allows, use race as a factor in college admission, since the measures that most colleges use in their admission criteria (strength of curriculum, standardized test scores, grade point average, and non-academic factors) disadvantage students from low-income backgrounds and students of color. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the reality is that these same students will likely be disadvantaged by the factors that colleges and universities value in admission.