COVID-19 Complicates Senior College Decisions

Emily Kloostra, Staff Writer

For seniors in high school, the spring semester means lots of decisions. Do I take the AP Exam still? Which college do I go to?

Now with the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting social distancing regulations, there are new problems. How do I know which college to go to when I can’t even visit campus? How do I take the AP Exam when I’m not supposed to sit next to someone for more than 20 minutes?

Teens on the popular social media app TikTok are poking fun at the situation, showing others how they are “virtually touring” their prospective colleges. 

The College Board recently announced new policies for the AP Exams, although they are not entirely fleshed out. Students looking to earn college credit will take a shortened version of the test at home, only over materials that schools should have covered before mandated shutdowns took place in many states.

“I’m worried about the testing environment,” senior Hannah Kramer said. “I’m used to testing in a quiet classroom, and now with my whole family at home I don’t see [the testing environment] being as distraction free.”

Regulations regarding at home testing have yet to be announced, but Kramer said she hopes to see an effort to combat academic dishonesty.

“I’ve heard rumors of open-note exams, which I don’t think will accurately measure our knowledge of a subject,” she said.

The College Board said that the rest of the information about exams will be released by April 3.

While some worry about getting college credit, other students, like senior Anna Marie Buss, worry about selecting their future university.

“Even though I have previously visited most campuses, the visits this spring would have allowed me to interact with specific groups I have been invited to join,” Buss said.

Campus visits can provide vital insight into how being a student at that university actually feels, Buss said, and her previously scheduled trips over spring break have been postponed.

Even with all the cancellations, some are finding a happy lining.

“I mean I had the time to deny the colleges I didn’t plan on going to,” senior Makenzi Keller said.