By Staff Writer Azzy Bergendahl
Seniors begin to wonder what college admissions will look like as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with the consensus among many colleges in Washington state being that the SAT and ACT will be optional, grades will be looked at in a different light as well as extracurricular activities and volunteering.
The University of Washington stated that its counselors will not look at SAT or ACT scores unless an applicant is waitlisted with a score of around 1400 or more and will continue using its holistic application process which takes into consideration things such as G.P.A, class load, running start, extracurricular activities and especially a personal statement essay that shows personality.
KaeBee Burns, an admissions counselor at the University of Washington said that it’s more important than ever for applicants to be multi-faceted; “Really what we’re looking for is a student that is very multi-faceted and is good in a lot of areas,” he added, “the best way really as far as strategy to get into the University of Washington is to make sure if you’re going to be doing things that you do them well.”
Similarly, Washington State University will not be using test scores to determine which students are accepted. Kara Baker, an admissions counselor said; “ In order to treat applicants equitably in the admission process, SAT/ACT scores will not be used as a factor in admission decisions for the entering classes of fall semester 2021 or spring semester 2022.”
Western Washington University has also made tests optional in the admissions process and stated that being accepted isn’t affected by an SAT or ACT score. Freddy Collins, an admissions counselor said, “It’s like the sprinkles, not required on ice cream but it would be nice.” Each student will be looked at on a case by case basis to determine if they’re a good fit.
While it’s not confirmed whether or not colleges in Washington State will continue to remain test-optional, all colleges agree that no matter what year it is it’s important that your personality comes through in an application. With thousands of applications to look through counselors will be looking more and more at what is unique about each student and having a standout personal essay is a key to making sure students get into their college of choice.