Seniors face uncertainty in college decisions

Campus tours, admitted students days offered virtually amid pandemic

Due+to+the+coronavirus%2C+colleges+have+shut+down+their+campuses+and+moved+tours+and+admitted+student+days+online.+Seniors+Anna+Urrea+and+Justine+Tarabocchia+share+their+challenges+with+picking+a+college.

Ellie Kim

Due to the coronavirus, colleges have shut down their campuses and moved tours and admitted student days online. Seniors Anna Urrea and Justine Tarabocchia share their challenges with picking a college.

Rachel Cohen, Editor in Chief

For many seniors, spring marks the time of year for college acceptances, financial aid offers, admitted students days, and open houses. In wake of the coronavirus, colleges have closed and moved their programs online.

Seniors Anna Urrea and Justine Tarabocchia are among many who are struggling to make a final college decision before the May 1 enrollment deadline outlined in the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s code of ethics.

Right now in this situation, I’m definitely dealing with the setbacks in having to choose where I want to go.”

— Senior Justine Tarabocchia

“Right now in this situation, I’m definitely dealing with the setbacks in having to choose where I want to go,” Tarabocchia said. 

As most colleges have shut down, virtual tours have been offered to prospective students to see the campuses in order to help narrow down their options.

“Without going on [an in-person] college tour, it is hard to figure out what you want in a college and don’t want in a college,” Urrea said. “There are certain encounters and experiences one may have on a campus that may spark a certain interest for a student to want to go there.”

Tarabocchia said she also feels that she is going to make her decision “blind” by not touring the college campuses in-person. 

“One of the biggest struggles with not being able to visit the two schools I’m between is getting that feeling that everyone talks about,” Tarabocchia said. “You always hear how people had a feeling of comfort when they visited their college for the first time.”

Colleges have also transferred their newly admitted students programs online through videos or webinars with professors, directors, and current students. 

Without those personal interactions with current students and other students that were admitted to a particular college, the process becomes so much harder.”

— Senior Anna Urrea

“Colleges are really trying to bring their welcome days to the internet, but it’s simply not the same,” Urrea said. “A lot of people choose a college based on their great experiences and feelings after an accepted students day at the school. Without those personal interactions with current students and other students that were admitted to a particular college, the process becomes so much harder.”

In response to student concerns, around 300 universities nationwide have extended their deposit deadlines from May 1 to June 1, according to a survey by the National Association for College Admission Counseling

Tarabocchia said she believes pushing back the date of enrollment is the least all universities could do to give seniors time to decide on a college.

“In hopes of this blowing over soon, pushing the commitment day to even early June can give students the opportunity to do more research,” Tarabocchia said, “or even in some cases, hopefully visit the school again when all is well.”

Urrea, however, does not think extending the date will help seniors make a decision.

“There comes a time when we’ll just need to trust our gut and decide, and that decision shouldn’t be prolonged,” Urrea said.