We’ve entered a new frontier in college admissions, one where there are fewer formulas and quantitative data points to rely on for success.

With standardized tests cancelled (or hard to come by) and a disrupted spring semester, colleges must rely on more subjective indicators like activity lists, letters of recommendation, and essays, which will get a much closer read this year.

So how can 2020 applicants make the best out of this dynamic situation?

Admission experts say:

  • Don’t worry about test scores at this point if you don’t have them. Admissions offices expect scores from perhaps 50% of applicants. They won’t be admitting just these students.
  • Research alternative admissions opportunities and take advantage of them. Tulane, for example, has added an interview. Bowdoin has launched an app to provide timed, impromptu responses to short questions.
  • Focus on your classwork and completing applications (and all the subjective pieces of it that you can control, like your essays and activity lists).
  • Skip the COVID-19 question on the Common App if its affect on your life wasn’t significant. If you do answer the question, avoid complaining!
  • Attend virtual information sessions held by your dreams schools to show demonstrated interest (AI informs them who attends).

No admissions formulas? No problem for us at Blue Stars! We are experts at showcasing student uniqueness so that it shines beyond metrics!

The key to standing out in this new admissions landscape is preparation over years. Without fail, students who work with us starting in 9th grade do much better in admissions than those who show up right before admissions starts.

That’s why we created the College Planning Foundation service, a 1-on-1 program that guides 8th-10th graders through the exercises of our proven College Planning Foundations Workbook.

The earlier you start the process, the better your chances of getting into your dream school!