Applying to College during COVID

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In a year of can’ts, colleges

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and college-bound seniors are

figuring out how they can.

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And with more online

applications, more technology,

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and more creativity, colleges

are finding their place

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in a pandemic world.

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You’re watching the Local News Network,

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brought to you by Kroeger’s Ace Hardware

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and FastSigns of Durango.

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I’m Wendy Graham Settle.

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Over the years, the college

admissions process has consisted

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of an application, maybe a

college visit and interview,

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and a decision.

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That much hasn’t changed since last March,

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even though colleges now have

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to accommodate social distancing

and other safety measures

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during the pandemic.

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After all, many perspective

students can’t visit campuses.

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Many have also been unable

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to take standard college entrance exams

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and remote learning has

disrupted their lives.

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So at Fort Lewis, our

application for admission

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typically opens in early September.

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We’ve seen a bulk of our

applicants come in from September

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through about January in a typical year

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and an application

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for a traditional first-year

student would include

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a high school transcript

showing their work completed

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through their junior year,

standardized test scores

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as required by the state of Colorado,

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either ACT or SAT scores,

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and then the application form itself.

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Colleges have found

creative and different ways

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to show off their campuses

without in-person visits,

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and at smaller schools like Fort Lewis,

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they’ve kept the tours operational

with some modifications.

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We are really fortunate that we get to do

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in-person options both

based on our location

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and using the best, you know,

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San Juan Basin public health

COVID guidelines in the state,

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we felt we could do our visits.

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We’re a small enough

school that we could give

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these students and families

a personalized visit.

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So instead of 35 people

sitting in a presentation

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and then going on a tour around campus,

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now students and families

come to our office

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and it’s a one-on-one meeting

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or like a one-on-family meeting

where the family comes in,

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they sit on one end of a conference table.

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We have our admission

counselor on the other end.

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There, of course is a health screening

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when they arrive, they wash their hands,

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everyone has masks and

they’re keeping distance,

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but we’re still able to do that,

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to kind of give that

personalized experience,

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and what we have found

is that both our staff

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and the students and families

actually really enjoy

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that experience.

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It’s much more individualized.

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Many colleges now offer

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online admission applications

and have added virtual tours.

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It’s now an expectation

that every college is going

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to have virtual visit options.

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You know, I think, like I said,

we’re constantly refining,

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so what we’re offering today might not be

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what we’re offering a

year and a half from now.

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If you’d like to learn more about changes

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to college admissions, contact

your high school counselor

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or college admissions advisor.

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Thanks for watching this

edition of the local news.

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I’m Wendy Graham Settle.

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