6 Criteria to Make Your Teen’s College Application Shine During COVID-19

Find out what NC State University college admissions officers are looking for during the coronavirus pandemic.

Although the effects of COVID-19 on academic life remain uncertain, especially for high schoolers, there are a few things that we have more clarity on that can ease your stress. Here’s an update on how North Carolina State University is adapting their admissions process during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

All of the following information can be found on the NC State COVID-19 FAQs page for prospective students or on the undergraduate admissions page

Some aspects of the college application process are staying the same.

NC State will maintain their college application deadlines. Early action applications are due by November 1, and applicants will be notified by January 30. Regular decision applications are due by January 15, and applicants will be notified by March 30. 

Students are still required to submit either their SAT or their ACT scores. However, because students may face cancellations due to COVID-19, they are not expected to take either test more than once, and they are encouraged to remember that test scores are only one part of NC State’s holistic review process.

Some aspects of the college application process have changed.

As high schools adapt their grading processes and scales to better suit remote learning, some students may have the option to take their class “pass/fail” or on an alternate grading scale. NC State is encouraging students to choose whatever grading system they feel most accurately reflects their performance, however the decision will not influence a student’s application review.

While a pass/fail or credit grade will not factor into a student’s GPA, NC State’s holistic review process allows admissions officers to take context into consideration when reviewing transcripts.

What is NC State looking for in an applicant

    1. Academic Achievement – Admissions officers want to see that students have strong grades in challenging courses.
    2. SAT/ACT Composite Scores – As mentioned above, NC State is not expecting students to take these tests more than once due to the pandemic, so there will likely be less weight placed on this aspect of your teen’s application than usual.
    3. Interest in the Program You’re Applying to – Admissions officers are looking for students who have demonstrated passion and commitment related to their programs of interest. A great place to express this is in the college admission essays to boost your teen’s application.
    4. Accomplishments Outside of the Classroom – NC State is looking for more than just good grades when admitting applicants. They are seeking well-rounded individuals who invest their time both in and out of the classroom.
    5. Background/Opportunity – NC State utilizes a holistic approach to admissions. This means they consider background context that may influence your teen’s application. Your teen will have the opportunity to share these experiences in their college application essay!
    6. Individual Stories – Admissions officers want to hear about your teen. What sets your teen apart? Why does your teen deserve acceptance to NC State? Does your teen have a unique hobby or a passion for a particular career field? Did your teen have a job in high school that impacted their time management or helped them become the person they are today? Again, your teen’s college application essays are the perfect opportunity to share the stories and experiences that make them a candidate for admission to NC State.

NC State is offering virtual resources for you and your rising senior to assist with college admissions questions.

Because the admissions offices are closed, students are encouraged to schedule a virtual appointment with an admissions counselor, take a virtual tour, or attend a virtual information session. 

All virtual resources can be accessed on the website.

What does all of this mean for your teen?

If your rising senior is applying to NC State this fall, their college application essays are going to matter more than usual. With less weight going to grades and test scores, admissions officers are looking for other examples of your teen’s excellence, aka their essays.

Looking for assistance with your teen’s college essays? Email us at info@totalwritingenrichment.com, and follow us on our Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more information!

Stay healthy and cool this week!

Moira ♥

*Moira Ritter is a junior at Georgetown University and looks forward to contributing her writing skills to Total Writing Enrichment this summer!



Get Started With Total Writing Enrichment Today

Grab your FREE COPY of The Best Tips to Guide Your Teen to Write Amazing College Admission Essays!