College Search and Planning During a Pandemic
Our Current Back to School Reality
Ever since schools and districts went completely virtual in the spring, the looming question has been, “What will the next school year look like?” Back to school season is right around the corner, and the answer continues to be unclear. Schools and districts nationwide continue to wrestle with whether to reopen for in-person learning, continue with distance learning, or offer a hybrid option. In the last few weeks, plans to reopen schools have shifted several times as COVID-19 cases continue to surge.
Many schools and districts have decided to start the fall semester online and later reevaluate the state of the pandemic. California’s Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school system in the country, will continue online learning for the fall. KIPP Public Charter Schools in Texas will offer online and in-person learning options, allowing parents to choose. In Virginia and Maryland, school administrators in Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and Montgomery County Public Schools altered plans; they opted to continue virtual learning for the fall semester for the safety of staff and students.
Whatever decision schools and districts make, counselors will play an integral role in ensuring that students–especially juniors and seniors–stay on track for graduation while continuing their college and career planning. With college application deadlines fast approaching, students must be equipped with the tools and resources they need to plan for their futures, just as they would during any other academic year.
Adapting Quickly College Planning From Home
When schools and districts transitioned to online learning at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, we were proud of how quickly Naviance students adapted their college planning and research methods. Hear from Naviance students on how they navigated the college search process after their schools switched to distance learning:
- Emma shares how Naviance helped her stay connected with school counselors to ensure her final transcripts got to Michigan State University. Watch here.
- ZuZu shares how she used SuperMatch and College Profiles to navigate difficult college choices and find her best-fit college. Watch here.
- Student and parent, Beth & Delia, share how they adapted their college search in the new remote reality. Watch here.
We also heard from many school counseling teams across the country who worked tirelessly to support their students’ college planning; tracking transcripts, letter of recommendations, and scholarship applications. In a recent blog, we shared a story of how Wicomico County Public Schools quickly adjusted to their new normal.
College Search From Home: The COVID-19 Effect in Naviance
While school counselors and students quickly adapted to their new normal at the end of the school year, we know that it has brought on changes for students. In a recent analysis of Naviance usage data, we found student searches were drastically different from previous years. There has been a 25% increase in Naviance SuperMatch® searches from this time last year. Naviance SuperMatch® offers students a uniquely calculated fit score for each college that appears in the student search results with specific information on how that fit score was determined.
Naviance students have utilized this tool more now than in previous years to help them adjust their planning to their changing needs from their devices at home. Students also have increased their searches for scholarships, academic majors, and colleges based on location. This tells us students are responding quickly to the changes in their environment; whether it is financial or needing to be closer to home.
Download this infographic to learn more about how Naviance students are navigating college search from home:
To learn more about resources to support the college search, contact our team today.