Advice on How to Answer COVID-Related Questions on College Applications

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In the increasing subjectivity of admissions, as grades are affected by the transition to virtual learning and many extracurricular activities have been canceled or suspended until further notice, college admissions officers are seeking information about what students had planned, yet did instead

Thus, students should reflect on their COVID-interrupted educational experience, to add context for their academic and extracurricular resumes reported on college applications.

First, simply write down both the ordinary and extraordinary experiences. What changed in daily life? What events and activities were missed? What activities were substitutes for regularly scheduled activities? Why? 

Secondly, speculate about the impact of each experience, trying to determine the “lesson learned”. Did a perspective change or broaden? Was the experience a challenge? If so, how did you mitigate or resolve the challenge? What are the lasting lessons which will endure beyond COVID-sequestering? 

Lastly, ask others (who are impartial, unbiased, objective) to read the reflections in order to redact emotion, so the meaning is not masked, and the experience can be described more objectively, not overinflating or minimizing what happened.


To learn more about how Creative Marbles Consultancy’s educational experts advise students who are drafting college admissions essays in a collaborative editorial process, contact us

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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