coronavirus

Academic expert Neha Gupta on how COVID-19 is affecting college-bound students

Academic expert Neha Gupta on how COVID-19 is affecting college-bound students

ABC News/Steve Iervolino(NEW YORK) — Finding the right college is stressful enough, but how will those looking to start the next stage in their life do so in the days of COVID-19?  With no in-person visits possible, how will prospective students make informed decisions about which school to attend?  How is the stress of quarantine affecting them?

We checked in with Neha Gupta, best-selling author and the founder of Elite Private Tutors and the website College Shortcuts, for some strategies college freshman-to-be can use to make the right choice.

“My advice right now is to breathe,” Gupta tells ABC Audio. “I think there’s a lot of changes happening. We just heard that the [University of California] system is going to go S.A.T. and A.C.T. test-optional.”

“From my perspective, doing this for over fifteen years at College Shortcuts…it’s become more competitive than ever to get into college,” she adds. “The upcoming school year, especially for this next round of admissions.”

However, she notes, “They’re going to be weighing the essays and extracurricular activities way above the scores and GPA than ever, before due to COVID-19.”

That’s why Gupta advises you to brush up on your grammar.

“Now, more than ever, students need to be able to write well and be able to present themselves well and package themselves well — explain what their passions are, what their interests are, and so forth,” she explains.

“We’ve studied over two thousand students over the last five years…and we saw that 86% of students have had a decline in their writing ability in the last five years,” she warns. “We attribute that to the fact that they’re on social media, there’s no way that people spend the time writing and writing. So students are going to find it quite challenging.”

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