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OSU Admissions Responds to COVID-19

It's been quite an interesting few weeks at every college and university in the US, and around the world, as you can imagine.  What has been gratifying here at Oregon State is the ways in which people have crossed functional lines to come together and to work together to keep us moving forward despite the major disruption of the COVID-19 virus.

Our response and policies are updated regularly and is available here.

There are two important things admissions has done that will, we hope, benefit parents and students going forward.  One was already in process long before anyone had every heard of COVID-19, and the other is a more recent response developed specifically in response to the pandemic.

First, for freshman applicants to the Fall, 2021 entering class, I'm pleased to announce that Oregon State will be test optional in admission.  That's been something we've been working on for a while, but it's especially relevant now, as ACT and College Board have already cancelled test administrations this spring, and we don't know how many more will be subject to cancellation in the future.  It may just be that every college or university will have to make some accommodations for students who--through no fault of their own--cannot take one of the tests.  But regardless, you won't need them at all to apply to OSU.

Details will roll out in the coming days and weeks, so stay tuned.

And, for students who have been admitted (or who soon will be) for the Fall, 2020 entering class: We know the uncertainty, the unavailability of visit programs, and concerns about finances are probably weighing heavily as you move toward the traditional May 1 decision date.  We want to alleviate that concern, so here's what we're doing:

  • First, we're pushing the deadline to respond to our offer of admission to June 1 for all students.  There is no need to ask for an extension.  It's done.  And, if for whatever reason, June 1 still poses a hardship on you, we'll consider extending it longer on a case-by-case basis.  
  • Second, if May 1 is still a deadline at other colleges you're considering, we want you to know it's your right to ask those colleges for an extension, given the circumstances.  They don't have to grant one, of course, but we would hope that common sense and compassion would cause them to consider your request seriously.  We in admissions pride ourselves on being student-focused and student-centered (which is why we're extending the deadline in the first place), and we hope our colleagues would grant your request. 
  • Third, we are in the process of creating ways for you to learn more about OSU, via online media and personal interactions with faculty, staff, and current students.  It's not optimal, but we'll be rolling out functionality as it's available.  For now, standard ways of contacting admissions and financial aid still work, but email is probably the best.  We won't always be able to respond right away, but we'll do our best given the circumstances. 
  • Fourth, we know your high schools are also stressed.  Final grades, transcripts, graduation, and AP courses are all in flux.  Don't stress.  We're going to work with you on this.  I promise, and we'll do whatever we can to assure you we have your back.
  • Finally, we pledge to work with you to the best of our ability during this time, and to consider any requests you make of us. Like many institutions, we're practicing "social distancing" and while many staff are working from home and thus connected to the office virtually during the day, it's just not as easy for us to walk down the hall and get answers to things.
Every generation and every time has its moments.  This is the moment for this generation, and you should be able to trust the adults to help the students get through it.  

We'll do our best, Out Here in Oregon. 


Gerry OBrien said…
it would be great if more people on the college side shared your approach.
Gerry O'Brien
I am a Secondary School Counselor in Pennsylvania at Harriton High School. I greatly appreciate the work you are doing to support high school student during these unprecedented times. I hope your model catches on across the country!
Take Care and Be Well,

Barbara Serratore
RockIt Mom said…
This is such phenomenal news to hear and hopefully other colleges and universities will follow. Thank you so much!!