As the Senior Program Coordinator with Crosby Scholars Iredell County, I get a lot of questions from students about the college application process. Most of the time students and parents want me to get my crystal ball out and answer questions, that usually have the same answer… “It depends on the school”, “Schools handle that differently”, my favorite “You will need to check with the school or institution to see what they say.” People might think I am passing the buck and/or too chicken to answer the questions. I assure you that this is NOT the case. Example: Will my kid get into school Fill in Name if they have a 3.8 GPA and a 21 on their ACT. Guess what the answer is…I DON’T KNOW.
Unfortunately, there is no crystal ball. Each class year is different, you never know what circumstances might affect a decision and just because a student got in last year with those scores, does not mean they would get in this year. The list of things that can affect the decision is a mile long.
I would like you to put yourself in the shoes of the college admissions officers out there. Imagine you have 1,000 seats to fill and you receive 100,000 applications. Now we know this is an exaggeration, but you get the point. These admissions teams want to do what is best for the school, students, families, and everyone.
The college application process is hard enough, now add a global pandemic and the cancelation of every type of test used to help make placement decisions. Students and parents are worried, counselors are frustrated, and schools are again trying to do what is right.
I recently reached out to a group of College Admissions Officers and asked if they would be willing to answer a few questions. I picked the questions based on what I get several times a day. I would like to thank Appalachian State University, North Carolina State University, Southwestern University, SUNY Maritime College, and UNC Asheville for taking the time to answer these questions for our students.
Most schools agreed that students should use every available resource to reach out and learn about their campus, programs, and opportunities. Some schools are even offering one on one zoom sessions and UNCA is offering in-person tours by appointment only.
Deciding when to apply can be a struggle. If you are interested in applying for financial aid, honors, or scholarships, I suggest you apply early. Again, check with your school to determine application deadlines and details.
The schools we talked to are test-optional for college admission applications. Be sure to understand if you will have to submit scores for Honors programs, Merit Scholarships, or athletic participation.
Be sure to understand your schools test policy and school specific process.
These admissions officers offer some great advice for our class of 2021 applicants.
Remember to visit your school’s website for up to date information.
Special thanks to the following colleges and people who participated in our survey. Also, a special thank you to App State, NC State, and UNC Asheville for participating in a Zoom Q&A session with our Crosby Scholars in Iredell County.
Appalachian State University – Elena Taylor, Associate Director of Admissions
North Carolina State – Frankie Miller, Admissions Counselor
Southwestern University – Christine Bowman, Dean of Admission and Enrollment Services
SUNY Maritime College – Carlos Cano, Assistant Director of Admissions for Communications
University of North Carolina Asheville – Savannah Purdy, Admissions Counselor