How is Covid-19 Affecting College Admissions?

July, 2020 Update

Students applying to college in 2020 have new challenges and changing policies to navigate that students before them never experienced. At Opus College Prep, we want to ensure our families are fully aware of how this application season is different, and how to use those differences to their advantage. See below for the most recent Covid-19 updates as they relate to college admissions. Schedule a consultation with us to figure out how to move forward with this information.

12 General Updates for Covid-19 & College Admissions

  1. Many colleges and universities are eliminating the SAT/ACT/SAT Subject Test requirements. For the full list of test optional schools, visit:
  2. Many schools are still recruiting students for fall. Enrollments have dropped by 30% at some schools.
  3. Some schools, like Princeton University, have moved all of their admissions deadlines to the regular decision deadline date.
  4. International students are able to take their TOEFL tests online. Many new times are being offered. 
  5. Universities continue to search for new ways to accommodate students and are developing new models for learning. Up to 17 hybrid models are still being explored across the country.  
  6. Many colleges and universities were predicting that they would receive few to no applications from international students before ICE regulations required international students to attend class in person in order to maintain visa status. Though these regulations have been rescinded (see MIT-Harvard lawsuit), the regulation leaves many parents of international students even more nervous about sending their kids to US colleges and universities.
  7. College and university admissions offices are also expecting to see far fewer applications from students across the country. 
  8. University admissions offices are anticipating their students will need financial support to return to school and are anticipating funding many more students. Davidson College, a relatively wealthy southern school, is suspending tuition payments for all students for one year. While Southern New Hampshire University is offering all students a one year full scholarship. 
  9. Universities unable to offer full tuition scholarships or suspended tuition payment are considering discounts on tuition for virtual or hybrid classes. Studies show parents expect schools to lower tuition by 20% if classes are all virtual.
  10. Schools like University of Kentucky have set up emergency wellness funds to help students cover utility costs and food. 
  11. The University Learning Center at NYU continues to offer all students free online Zoom tutoring. 
  12. Universities are scrambling to offer students singles housing and individual bathrooms to curb outbreak.
Opus College Prep Breaks Down Covid-19 and College Admissions

4 Financial Aid Updates for 2020/2021 College Application Season

Students can also expect lower interest rates.

  1. 10-Year Treasury bill auction set the rates for federal education loans that will be disbursed between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.
  2. Direct Undergraduate Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized).
    Current rate – 4.53% → Estimated new rate – 2.75%
  3. Direct Graduate Student Loans (Unsubsidized).
    Current rate – 6.08% → Estimated new rate – 4.3%
  4. Parent PLUS Loans and Grad PLUS Loans.
    Current rate – 7.08% → Estimated new rate – 5.3%

4 Student Athlete Updates for 2020/2021 Recruitment

The National Letter of Intent has announced new Signing Periods for athletes signing their NLI’s during 2019-2020 and enrolling in the 2020-2021 school year. Some of these changes include:

  1. All National Letter of Intent (NLI) signings have been suspended through April 15, 2020 for D1 and D2 sports. 
  2. The Division 1 Basketball Regular Signing Period, originally scheduled between April 15-May 20 has been extended until August 1, 2020.
  3. The Division 1 and Division 2 Football Regular Signing Periods, originally scheduled between February 5-April 1 have also been extended until August 1, 2020.
  4. The Regular Signing Period for all other D1/D2 sports has not changed, and will go until August 1.

Covid-19 is complicating an already complicated system. If you have questions about how to move forward, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Call 929-376-8450 or email

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