SPF seniors share COVID-19 college process


Dylan Klein

In March 2020, the spotlight went onto the high school class of 2020, whose senior experiences – prom, graduation and yearbook signings – were cut short amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At the time, no one could have anticipated the impact that Covid-19 would have on the Class of 2021.

For many members of the Class of 2021 who have applied to college, the struggle of not being able to see the campus in person is real. With Covid-19 preventing or complicating the ways that seniors could visit schools, it is hard for seniors to decide which one suits them best.  

How do you make a decision on going to a college that you have never seen in person before? What if the campus isn’t what you thought it would be? Even if you have the chance to explore in person all the universities you were accepted to, will you have time to do so before May 1? 

The Fanscotian interviewed three seniors at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School: Jackson Hopkins (who applied to six schools), Ryan Duthie (who applied to nine schools) and Caitlyn Sinagra (who applied to five schools) about their thoughts and opinions on their upcoming future for college.


Of the colleges you have applied to, how many have you seen in person (viewing the campus etc.)? 

Hopkins: Of the six I applied to, I have seen four in person. I was planning on touring the last two, but Covid-19 prevented me from doing so.

Sinagra: I have seen most of my colleges on my list, but not Centenary.


Covid-19 has lasted longer than all have expected, preventing many people from touring the schools they were planning or thinking about attending. Like Hopkins and Sinagra, many seniors don’t have that opportunity of touring all the colleges they were planning on seeing compared to seniors in the past. 


If Covid-19 weren’t an issue during this time, would you have applied to more or less colleges or the same amount? Why?

Hopkins: I probably would have applied to the same amount of colleges, regardless of Covid.

Sinagra: I would have applied to the same amount, Covid-19 hasn’t affected my decisions to apply to any colleges.


What would you suggest to the younger classes do differently when applying to colleges than you did?

Duthie: I would advise younger grades to start the college process earlier. I had a lot of free time on my hands that I wasted and looking back there was a lot of unneeded stress that I put on myself because of that.

Hopkins: To the younger class, I would suggest applying to a wide array of colleges, schools that are reach schools and places that are safety schools. I would also suggest applying for as many scholarships as you can.

Sinagra: I suggest talking to your counselor! I thought I had it all figured out, but it’s so confusing. There’s so much that needs to be done and the timeline might seem far away, but it comes a lot faster than anticipated. Don’t be scared to reach out to your counselor; it’s their job to help you. Submit the application as soon as possible because then you’ll hear answers quicker. The longer you wait, the longer it’ll take to get your answer, and for me that gave me a lot of anxiety. Also apply for as many scholarships as you can, and try to do those early too!