The college admissions process has undergone significant and lasting changes due to the pandemic. For example, most colleges and universities have gone test-optional, and many will remain so beyond the upcoming 2022-23 admissions cycle. Colleges and universities are also shifting their institutional priorities to build more diverse classes than ever before.
Over the past several years, there has also been significant grade inflation at many high schools across the country with the majority of students now applying to college having an "A" average. This development in addition to a significant percentage of applicants not submitting standardized test scores has made it more challenging for college admissions officers to distinguish among students with similarly strong high school GPA's.
This means that admissions officers will place more emphasis on a student’s essays, extracurricular activities, teacher recommendations and community service projects when they review a student's application as part of their holistic review process.
College admissions officers want to understand how students have engaged with and given back to their communities. They want to see that students have a sense of social responsibility and have taken action in authentic and meaningful ways. Colleges value the compassion, leadership and commitment students exhibit through service.
One of the areas we focus on with our students is community service because it provides a way for them to demonstrate their character. Creating a service project that speaks to a student's interests and skills is a win-win for all. Through their efforts, students experience personal growth from their projects, in the form of increased confidence, enhanced communication skills, and greater resourcefulness and problem-solving skills, among others.