Seniors trying to push back decision day

Students at AHS have been posting this photo in attempts to spread the word about their efforts to push back college decision day.

Photo by Stef Wojcik

Students at AHS have been posting this photo in attempts to spread the word about their efforts to push back college decision day.

The developments of mass closures due to COVID-19 are making high school seniors question how to gain information about prospective colleges with the May 1st decision day quickly approaching. Nervous and frustrated seniors have not gotten the opportunity to visit their potential schools and are struggling to make such a commitment with limited emotive information. The future effects of COVID-19 are unclear as well. Students are in classes virtually, creating questions about the future of standardized testing, but, most importantly, possibly changing prospective college students’ academic start next fall.

Hannah Zanin, a senior at AHS, recently shared a nation-wide petition to push back national college decision day on Facebook, arguing that, due to the cancellation of college campus visits and acceptance days, students deserve extended time to commit to schools.

“Many people I know were waiting on acceptances from schools to then visit schools and attend admitted student days to finalize their decisions, but with the recent outbreak of COVID-19, all of those opportunities have been taken away,” Zanin said. “Class of 2020 deserves the same opportunities as the class before us. This is too big a decision to base on pictures,” Zanin said in the post.

In hopes of getting herself and other senior students equal opportunities, Zanin is trying to catch the attention of as many educational institutions as possible.

“We just need to get the attention of the institutions to hopefully show them how these unusual circumstances deserve a different approach to the decision process,” Zanin said.

Charlie Laube and Karen Hawkes, the college counselors at AHS, understand the challenges some seniors, and even juniors, are facing\; however, they have already seen some colleges change their dates from May 1st to June 1st.

“I like where Hannah’s head is at, and I think it’s important that students say that they want to be able to see the school, but I think that most admissions have already thought about that and will start moving the date,” Laube said.

Even with some schools pushing back their deadlines, further challenges may be faced as a consequence of the adjustment.

“I think we might see some changes in where students are thinking of studying: some may choose to stay closer to home, international students may choose to study in-country versus go abroad, and more students might take advantage of their Community Colleges and then transfer to in-state schools,” Hawkes said.

Though many unique challenges are being faced in the college world and admission processes, Hawkes also adds that there could be technological growth and enhanced remote learning. Additionally, she mentions some of the adjustments the junior class will see.

“I think we will see more universities adopt a test-optional policy, given that juniors are currently facing a delay with regards to when they can take their ACT/SAT tests,” Hawkes said.

Zanin explains that she and the senior class are feeling “cheated out of the best times of [their] senior year.” However, the College Counseling department is hoping for a more community-like college process and describes that they are trying to work around the COVID-19 circumstances in a way that will make AHS and the graduating classes even stronger.

“College will have a lot more humanity and empathy, so my hope is that [this situation] will make colleges work harder to earn students’ trust,’ Laube said. “Crisis can show the true colors of people, and I think that the best colors of Aspen will come out.”