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Graduating seniors face new college application process in COVID-19 world

Students communicating with colleges virtually

SAN ANTONIO – Students across the country and across San Antonio are learning virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, but what happens to the graduating seniors?

The current situation is bringing up more obstacles and local students and staff are doing what they can to persevere in these unprecedented times.

”It’s really stressful because there’s a lot of uncertainty right now and we’re not sure if we can even start college in the fall,” Michael Buck, Northeast ISD graduating senior said.

Michael Buck has to make a big decision about what he’s going to do and where he’s going to do it over the next four years and that decision making process can be difficult in normal years. But these are unique times.

”It’s very different, everything is very virtual for them they’re having to do everything online and the application process has always been online, but now they are having to meet with their institution advisers online,” Milena Pedraza-Fernandez, an NEISD counselor, said.

Image of NEISD building
Image of NEISD building (KSAT)

Many students around the country finished their standardized test and their applications just before the pandemic took shape. But a lot didn’t.

”Mainly the obstacles that they’re facing I would say is the cancellation of the SAT or ACT or TSI, the entrance exams that they have to take to go to the universities,” Pedraza-Fernandez said.

And schools across the country are reacting accordingly.

”Universities are doing awesome, they are pushing deadlines, a lot of them I’ve seen deadlines be pushed all the way to July, they are reaching out to kids a lot more individually,” Pedraza-Fernandez said.

It’s not just deadlines, a lot of universities have to be more lenient.

“With taking what an official transcript would be or waiting for test scores they’re looking at students in a holistic manner,” Pedraza-Fernandez said.

As for Michael, like a lot of students across the country he is doing his best to take advantage of these virtual tours that a lot of schools are offering, to help him make a decision and he has a message for his peers.

“Don’t give up talk to the colleges see if they’ll work with you keep pressing forward there’s definitely going to be a light at the end of this tunnel,” Buck said.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.

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