Starting with the 2020-2021 application, the Common Application is going to add a new optional response for students to share how this Covid-19 pandemic has impacted them. This will be separate from the “additional information” section which normally works as a place for students to share about any negative circumstances that may have impacted their application.
With a word count maximum of 250 words, the optional Common Application question will be:
Community disruptions such as COVID-19 and natural disasters can have deep and long-lasting impacts. If you need it, this space is yours to describe those impacts. Colleges care about the effects on your health and well-being, safety, family circumstances, future plans, and education, including access to reliable technology and quiet study spaces.
- Do you wish to share anything on this topic? Y/N
- Please use this space to describe how these events have impacted you.
On the high school counselor side, there will also be a new place where counselors can elaborate on what changes happened at their school and community because of Covid-19. This will help take the burden off students to explain the many changes they likely saw at their school. From cancelled testing to dropping AP tests or even missing entire units of coursework that could not reasonably be learned from home, these new additions to the Common Application should be very helpful for the 2020-2021 application.
You can read the Common Application’s statement about both new additions at their blog: https://www.commonapp.org/blog/COVID-19-question-common-app