University leaders from more than 300 colleges and universities on Monday issued a statement in which they outlined what they do and don’t expect from applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement also underscored these colleges leaders’ commitment to equity and encouraged students to focus on self-care, balance, meaningful learning and care for others during the pandemic.
The statement, titled “Care Counts in Crisis: College Admissions Deans Respond to COVID-19,” was issued in association with the Making Caring Common project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Self-care was on top of the list of expectations listed in the statement.
“Self-care is of high importance, especially in times of crisis,” said the statement. “We recognize that many students, economically struggling and facing losses and hardships of countless kinds, are simply seeking to get by. We also recognize that this time is stressful and demanding for a wide range of students for many different reasons. We encourage all students to be gentle with themselves during this time.”
Under expectations to do with course work, the college leaders acknowledged that many students may face obstacles to academic work in a time of pandemic. Academic assessments, they said, would be made in the context of these obstacles.
“No student will be disadvantaged because of a change in commitments or a change in plans because of this outbreak, their school’s decisions about transcripts, the absence of AP or IB tests, their lack of access to standardized tests (although many of the colleges represented here don’t require these tests), or their inability to visit campus,” the statement said.
The higher education leaders encouraged service and contribution to others during the pandemic and added that they view substantial family contributions as very important and a part of service.
The college leaders also said no student will be disadvantaged for not engaging in extracurricular activities.