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9 Tips During the COVID-19 Pandemic to Stay Focused and Prepare for College

9 Tips During the COVID-19 Pandemic to Stay Focused and Prepare for College

Updated April 17, 2020


Whether you are just beginning to think about college admissions or you’re in the process of choosing a college to attend, your college planning doesn’t need to fall off track during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are 9 tips to stay focused and prepare for college as well as to take care of your physical and mental well-being while you are home.

1. Find scholarships for college

CollegeData’s free Scholarship Finder helps you find scholarships that are looking for students like you — with your academic qualifications, interests, and other personal characteristics. 

But, regardless of where you find college scholarships, you’ll need to put serious effort into your applications and essays if you hope to receive money for college.

From the blog of CollegeData’s provider, 1st Financial Bank USA, here are 10 Ways to Stand Out When Applying for Scholarships.

2. Move on from rejection

Having trouble deciding on a college because you can’t get past a rejection? See CollegeData for ways to cope and what to do next

Then, when you’re ready, read How to Make a Great College Choice.

3. Stay on top of changing admissions requirements

Some colleges – including the entire University of California system – will not require SAT/ACT test scores from students applying for the 2021 incoming freshman class.  

See an updated list of test-optional schools here.

4. Add some extracurriculars to your resume

You might think it’s impossible to add (or even continue) impressive extracurriculars under quarantine. But think again. Here are 50 extracurriculars you can pursue from home.

5. Learn more about the colleges you’re interested in

Whether you’re making your college choice or just starting your college list, it’s important to research colleges – especially the college’s strength, focus and breadth of course offerings in the subjects you are interested in. Even highly ranked colleges have some less-than-stellar academic departments. How do you evaluate a college’s strength in the major you are considering pursuing? Lynn O’Shaughnessy, a nationally recognized college expert who helps students and families navigate the college planning process, provides some pointers in her blog, The College Solution.

Or see CollegeData for more tips.

6. Practice self-care

Social distancing and sheltering in place are testing everyone. From UNICEF, here are some tips for protecting your mental health.

And from Harvard University, here are some nutritious foods that can help reduce stress and anxiety.

7. Contribute to your community

Studies have shown that helping others in your community is one of the best ways to cope in a crisis.  Youth Service America has some great ideas for volunteering from home.

8. Make-Your-Own masks

The CDC recommends the use of cloth face masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus. These masks can be made from household items such as a scarf, a bandana, or a towel.  

For tips, visit JoAnn Fabrics. Or, watch this video from the CDC

9. Plan a virtual event

Most senior-year events have been cancelled or postponed, but students all over the world are finding a way to celebrate the end of high school virtually. Check out this article about students in Japan, who created virtual graduation ceremonies with robots and Minecraft.

Interested in planning your own virtual event? See these tips for planning a virtual prom.

CollegeData wishes all of you, your families and loved ones, good health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.  For more updates regarding COVID-19, go to the CDC’s COVID-19 website.

The information contained on the CollegeData website is for general informational purposes only and may not apply to you or your situation. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content contained on the CollegeData website without consulting with your parents, high school counselors, admissions representatives or other college counseling professionals. We disclaim all liability for actions you take or fail to take based on any content on the CollegeData website.