5 Tips for Applying to College During a Pandemic

by Ben Kissam

The college application season is here and for many, the COVID-19 pandemic has added a new layer of challenge for students juggling school and planning for the future. If you have questions about applying to college during this time or you’re feeling overwhelmed, know you’re not alone!

It’s important in this season to keep working on your long-term goals, like getting into college and pursuing your dream career. As you explore colleges and start applying, know that there are many resources to help you through the application process. From creating virtual resources to help you determine if APU is the right fit to adjusting test requirements, the campus community is committed to helping students successfully navigate the application and college decision process. Here are five tips for applying to college during a pandemic.

1. Visit the School Virtually

Due to public health guidelines, many colleges have had to postpone on-campus visits, including APU. However, you can still experience APU by taking a virtual tour of campus. You can also take advantage of scheduling a live guided virtual tour with student interns who can give you a firsthand perspective of life at APU.

Another way to get connected is by participating in Virtual APU events. Virtual APU offers in-depth insights into the university experience. You can also receive information on the admissions process, check out accommodations and facilities, learn about spiritual growth opportunities, and more.

Virtual APU takes place Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. If you’re interested in attending an upcoming session, it’s recommended you register ahead of time.

2. Participate in Other College Events

Along with weekly Virtual APU sessions, you can take advantage of other opportunities to interact with APU community members and gain new insights. Here are a couple of other events prospective students should check out:

  • Saturday Preview: Designed for the whole family to participate, this is a way to connect with faculty and current students. You can ask questions and get answers from those who already call APU home!
  • Academic Connect: Organized by academic department, these one-hour sessions provide information about specific programs, outline relevant majors in the department, and go over available research opportunities. Keep an eye out for your program’s next session!

And if you’re a transfer student, be sure to check out the Transfer to APU sessions taking place every other week this fall.

3. Forge Relationships Early

Now more than ever, prospective students should start building relationships early—especially with admissions counselors.

“It’s important to forge relationships with the school early so students can get questions answered,” said Leah Klingseis, director of recruitment at APU. “That way, students are able to make more informed choices about where they want to go.”

Getting to know the admissions counselors at your prospective universities can help you get a more in-depth look at each school you’re considering, determine whether it’s the right school for you, and get in touch with faculty and staff to answer specific questions. They know the admissions process inside and out, so take advantage of their knowledge and don’t hesitate to ask questions along the way.

4. Don’t Panic over Test Scores

Of the many concerns students and families have right now, submitting test scores is high up on the list. That’s because if you didn’t take the SAT or ACT as a junior—or your test was canceled—you might be worried that this could affect your acceptance chances.

But if you’re applying to APU, there’s no reason to panic. Klingseis noted that APU has enlisted a test-optional policy across the entire institution, meaning you don’t have to submit test scores to be considered.

5. Apply for Your FAFSA Early

When it comes to financial aid, prospective students and families can follow a simple strategy—the sooner you apply, the better.

The earlier you submit your application, the sooner APU’s financial aid department can calculate how much aid you qualify for. The FAFSA application becomes available at the start of October, meaning if you apply by November and get accepted into the university, you could have your financial aid package before the end of the year! This information can be valuable for making the right decision for you and your family.

Online Admissions Events

Looking for additional insights about applying to college during a pandemic? Explore Azusa Pacific University’s online admissions events to get connected and learn more about APU and the admissions process.