Estrela Consulting Blog

College Planning Resources During COVID-19

Estrela Consulting April 04, 2020

UPDATED: May 28,2020

During this time of uncertainty families are being inundated with daily updates from colleges, testing organizations and many other entities. We, too, are working hard to stay up-to-date on what feels like a non-stop flow of emails and social media messages informing us about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting - and will impact - the college planning process for the next few graduating classes. In a valiant effort to streamline information for our families we've compiled a comprehensive list of resources that will be updated as needed during this crisis. If our college planning team can support your family during this trying time, please don't hesitate to reach out.

College planning resources during COVID-19

Campus Reel: Check out 15,000 real videos, tours and experiences from 300+ college campuses.

YouVisit: Virtually visit 600+ colleges for free.

Strive for College Knowledge: More than 300 information session recordings on a wide range of college-focused topics from college and university reps.

Cialfo Online College Fair: Online event put together by university admissions officers and Cialfo, for students, high schools, counselors and parents (May 29-30).

Virtual Admission Events: Crowd-sourced list of colleges offering virtual admission events/open houses.

College VirtualTours: Crowd-sourced directory of virtual tour platforms offered by colleges

induck: Student-focused college guide providing a "detailed rendition of what happens socially, how different types of students navigate the social scene, and how they feel about the social scene." Currently offering a free trial.

UCAS/Study UK Updates: Information on the COVID-19 impact on universities and study in the United Kingdom and the UCAS system 

Assessing Virtual Tours for Students with Physical Disabilities/Health Conditions: Tips to support students with health conditions and physical disabilities who are taking virtual tours.


SAT Test Updates: Updates from the College Board on upcoming test dates, cancellations and postponements

ACT Test Updates: Updates from ACT on upcoming test dates, cancellations and postponements

AP Updates/Exam Calendar: Updates on "at home" test administration and exam schedule

AP Exam Day Experience and Demo Page: Interactive demo of the online exam so you know exactly what to expect on exam day.

AP Exam Survival Guide: AP Survival Guide developed by ArborBridge to help students navigate changes to the 2020 exams.

Colleges Accepting 2020 AP Credits: List of colleges that have announced decisions regarding acceptance (or not) of 2020 AP exam scores for college credit.

IB Program/Exam Updates: Updates from the International Baccalaureate (IB) organization on upcoming exams and results

TOEFL Updates: Updates from the Educational Testing Service on TOEFL "at home" testing

Revolution Prep: FREE downloadable official ACT and SAT practice tests

Summit Education: FREE online SAT and ACT practice tests with detailed score reports

Khan Academy: FREE online SAT practice tests and resources

ACT Academy: FREE online ACT practice tests and resources

FairTest: List of test-optional colleges and universities

Test-Optional/Flexible Colleges for International Students: List of U.S. colleges that are SAT/ACT optional/blind/flexible for international students


NCAA COVID-19 Response: Updates from the NCAA for student-athletes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic


Federal Student Loans: Updates from the U.S. Department of Education on Federal Student Loan Forbearance

FormSwift Financial Aid Appeal Templates: SwiftStudent helps students understand the financial aid appeal process and will help you write a financial aid appeal letter for free

Federal Student Loan Interest Rates Reach Record Lows: Rates for federal loans issued between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 will be 2.75% for undergraduate Stafford loans, down from 4.53% this year. 


What to Know About Deferred College Admission: Article from US News for students considering deferring admission due to COVID-19.

Deferral Guide: The folks at Year On have put together this "Deferral Guide" with the steps you need to take if you're considering taking a year off before college.

Is a Gap Year Right for You?: Estrela's Amy Rice shares the Who, What and Why of considering a gap year experience.

Gap Year Association: The Gap Year Association is the only national nonprofit working to coordinate the growing Gap Year Movement.


What to Do Now That Your Summer Internship is Cancelled: Article from Forbes listing online summer options for students to consider.

Opportunities for Volunteerism from Home: List of virtual volunteer opportunities for students to consider.

iXperience: Innovative summer programs that teach in-demand skills blended with internship experience, online or abroad.

Internship Status for 2020: Crowd-sourced list of the hiring/internship status for hundreds of national and global companies.

Online Summer Programs: List from TeenLife Magazine of nearly 200 virtual summer programs for students.


List of Colleges' Plans for Reopening in Fall 2020: A list maintained by The Chronicle of Higher Education of colleges that have either disclosed their plans or set a deadline for deciding on Fall 2020 plans for reopening.

Colleges Still Accepting Applications for Fall 2020: Voluntary listing of NACAC member postsecondary institutions that are still accepting applications from prospective freshman and/or transfer students for the upcoming fall term.

15 Fall Scenarios: Inside Higher Ed shares 15 possible scenarios that colleges may be considering for the 2020-21 academic year.

College Status Updates: Via the National Association of College Admission Counseling, a central resource for information about changes in college admission events, deposit dates, and more as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

UK Universities Status Updates: A resource from The British Council Americas with updates on UK universities’ admissions and contact information during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Canadian Universities Status Updates: A resource from University Affairs providing regular updates on the situation facing Canada’s universities with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.

S & P Outlook Ratings for Higher Ed Institutions: Updated S & P Global ratings for U.S. institutions and impact of COVID-19 on financial stability.


U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Hearing: COVID-19: Going Back to College Safely - Live Senate Hearing on Thursday, June 4th at 10am EST with Presidents from Purdue University, Brown University and Lane College.

What Will College Look Like in the Fall?: Podcast on Freakonomics Radio featuring three college presidents - from Boston University, Arizona State University and American University - answering questions about what campuses might look like this fall.

What Does COVID-19 Mean for the Future of College Admissions?: PBS NewsHour Report

CDC Guidance/Considerations for Colleges and Universities

"We Get It!" College Admission Deans Speak Out (3 Part Series in Forbes)

College Admissions? It Will Be Okay.

A Letter from the University of Chicago Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid

Virtually Possible: Locking Down the College Search in a Global Pandemic

Coping in the Time of Corona: Jeff Schiffman, Director of Admission at Tulane University

Being Seen - This One is For the Juniors: Kati Mattli, Senior Assistant Director of Admission at Georgia Tech

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Tagged: campus visits, college admission, college applications, financial aid, campus tours, testing, standardized test, ACT, SAT, athletics, ncaa, Coronavirus, COVID-19, AP, IB

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