The college essay has always been a crucial part of your college application. It’s your shot to show the admissions counselor who you are, outside of test scores and grades. The perfect essay tells schools everything your transcript can’t, and highlights exactly why you’re deserving of admission. Now, in this strange and uncertain time, your essay will become more important than ever in the admissions process. Here’s why.

#1: As many schools go test-optional, SAT & ACT scores will take a backseat.

Because of coronavirus, national SAT and ACT testing dates are being canceled. The new dates on the calendar are tentative at best. As testing opportunities become more limited, many colleges and universities – like Cornell, Boston University, and all University of California schools – are going “test-optional,” meaning they won’t require SAT and ACT scores for students applying beginning in fall 2021. It’s highly likely that there will be more schools joining their ranks in the coming months.

Because test scores will not be as high priority as in previous years, your essay(s) will move up the ranks in terms of importance. Schools will be seeing batches of applicants with and without test scores, and it won’t be used as a point of comparison across the board. As counselors have less data to base their decisions on, your essay needs to do the talking (and the impressing).

#2: Because COVID-19 has disrupted the school year, less focus will be placed on grades.

Obviously your grades are important, but things are also… well, chaotic. Even if your courses have transitioned online seamlessly, there’s no denying that tests and projects look a whole lot different right now. High schools across the country are choosing to go pass/fail for this semester – meaning final grades will hold less weight. And thus the importance of your college essay increases once again.

We always stress this point, but I’m going to stress it one more time: admissions counselors are humans. They understand that this pandemic has disrupted life as we all know it, and likely affected your transcript as well. Your essay is your chance to connect with them on a human level. It’s your introduction, and your chance to entertain. Instead of worrying about pass/fail grades or a missing ACT score, use your essay to show them the student (and person) that you are.

It can be hard to focus on long-term goals during this historic crisis. With the constant chatter about the uncertainties in our future, it’s hard to stay fully committed to to-do lists and action plans. That’s where The Enrichery’s College Admissions Workshop comes in.

In this six-day, all-inclusive workshop, you’ll solidify your college list, create your resume, write your main essay and supplemental essays, finish your applications in their entirety, and more. You’ll work with expert coaches and editors to find and write your story, and finish the week with a rock solid essay and application (and one less thing on your senior year to-do list). Did we mention 100 percent of our Workshop students get into one of their top choice schools, and two-thirds are accepted into an Ivy League school?

There are plenty of things you cannot control right now. Luckily, your college application isn’t one of them. Reserve your spot in the College Admissions Workshop today, and we’ll help you navigate this unprecedented application cycle with confidence.

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