The college admissions process is always stressful, but the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges for current high school seniors and juniors. Endicott’s admission team has worked hard to ensure that prospective students are still able to connect with the college. Traditional tours, information sessions, and interviews have primarily gone online, though in person tours are still available to students coming from low-risk areas as mandated by Massachusetts state guidelines.
Virtual tours can be done either guided or independently. Tours are like Google Maps’ Street View option, allowing prospective students to see the layout of campus. Tours led by guides are also available, allowing prospective students to hear stories and anecdotes, as well as ask questions about life on campus. Joe Flynn, assistant director of admission, recommends this option to all prospective students who cannot attend in person.
To ensure the safety of the entire Endicott community, contact tracing protocols have been put in place. In addition to these protocols, preventive measures are being taken. In person tours are conducted in small groups, with a maximum of nine participants. All attendees are expected to fill out health form questionnaires, wear masks through the entirety of the visit, and observe all social distancing guidelines. Between each building, guests are expected to sanitize their hands, and touch nothing. “The mask wearing is difficult for some families, and not difficult for others, but the mask is definitely the biggest adjustment.” Said student tour guide Nate Magoon. “I try to make [perspective students] feel comfortable. I realize how incredibly nerve racking it is to try to find a college that works for you during a pandemic.”
The pandemic has led to other stressors and complications, such as difficulty taking the SAT or ACT exam. Many high school students have had testing dates cancelled or postponed. To address this, the Endicott admissions team has waived testing requirements for all programs.
While most of the changes in the admissions process are expected to be temporary, some may become permanent. Referring students coming from a large distance who are unable to come to campus, virtual information sessions, interviews, and tours may become the norm. Joe Flynn says, “I’m expecting some of those new options to stay in place once we’re in a Covid-free world. It’s a great way to connect to those students.”