College Counselor Bain: Colleges Making Major Adjustments on Enrollment, Juniors Need to Keep Grades Up

Maxwell Timmer, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

As the Coronavirus continues for the foreseeable future, seniors and colleges are adjusting to the new reality of staying at home. 

“Currently, 95.6% of our senior class applied to college and all have been accepted to at least one college. According to Naviance, a total of 79 seniors (44%) have made their final college choice. Of those 79 commitments, 17 different states are represented,” explained Notre Dame’s College & Career Counselor Becky Bain. 

This is Bain’s sixth year as the college and career counselor. Her overall goal is to help every senior have a plan after they graduate. “There’s a school for everybody,” said Bain. “God may have different plans for you.” 

Bain and colleges around the country have had to make major adjustments on how to enroll new students. 

The Coronavirus has affected colleges in myriad ways, which directly affects this year’s seniors. With all in-person tours being cancelled, seniors are touring virtually to take a last look. All of this makes it a bit more challenging to get familiar with the campus vibe if touring was not completed before the pandemic,” said Bain. 

Colleges have been moving deadlines back in reponses, which gives seniors more time to look into colleges virtually. 

“Flexibility has been the key in the thoughtful responses colleges have made to the current crisis,” explained Patrick O’Connor, a writer on college for The Bridge.  

Bain advises seniors to continue to keep updating their status in Naviance and look at all the new tools colleges are posting online to accommodate the “stay-at-home” orders. 

Each college operates independently, so there will be differing alternatives and requirements for incoming college freshmen,” she explained. 

Juniors can also be using this time to their advantage. “Right now, juniors should be focusing on grades first and foremost. Second semester junior year is the last and most important set of grades colleges will see, so concentrate on driving up the GPA,” Bain stated. 

Juniors can focus on researching colleges, practice writing essays and taking ACT/SAT exams during the summer, but staying focused on grades during this time is key for getting into the “dream” college. 

While it is a challenging time for colleges and high school seniors, staying optimistic and focused is key. 

“Stay hopeful that this will all be over in a few months, life will be back to normal and you’ll be able to attend the college you really want to attend. If it lasts a little longer, no worries! Colleges are fully prepared to educate you online via distance learning until it is safe to move onto campus,” said Bain.