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Common App adds COVID-19 question to college applications

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QUINCY, IL (WGEM) -- The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the application and admission process for future college students.

The Common Application has added a COVID-19 question to its application on top of the usual test scores and school activities.

Quincy University is one of the more than 900 schools that accept the Common Application.

The university wants to know more about students who may have missed out on opportunities or schooling because of the pandemic.

Quincy University admissions officials said this question helps admissions staff to get to know students beyond just their grades.

“We’ve always looked at the big picture and there’s no question that for this generation of students going to college, this is a big picture event. That’s not just going to change how their high school experience went, but their outlook for the future is going to be shaped somewhat by this, just like our grandparents were shaped by the great depression," said Tom Oliver, Quincy University vice president for enrollment management.

An optional question has also been added for high school counselor recommendations to describe how COVID-19 has affected school experience from an administrator perspective.

Officials at QU said that perspective can be important to learn if a school was hit hard by the pandemic and learning had changed for students and teachers.

Many colleges, including Quincy University, have said test scores like the SAT and ACT can be optional to students this year after some testing times and sites had to be canceled due to the pandemic.

For Quincy University, the deadline to complete the Common Application is Feb. 15 and March 15.

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Isabella Rossi

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