As the traditional deadline of May 1 looms for college-bound seniors to accept admission, the immediate future for both incoming freshmen and higher education institutions is uncertain.
NBC 5 Responds spoke to local high school seniors and parents, and surveyed 19 Illinois and Indiana colleges and universities to learn more about their evolving plans.
Whether campuses can fully reopen in the fall remains in question. While some schools say they hope to make a decision in June or July, the outcome depends on public health experts’ evaluation of COVID-19. With the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, many schools are making adjustments for the Class of 2024.
NBC5 Responds surveyed 19 schools in Illinois/Indiana. Below are some key findings:
May 1, National College Decision Day, has always been the deadline for high school seniors to choose which college they will attend. This year, however, the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many schools to extend the deadline.
The following schools are abiding by the deadline:
- Northwestern University
- University of Chicago
- University of Illinois (Champaign)
The following schools have changed the deadline to June 1:
- Columbia College
- DePaul University (The School of Music and The Theatre School are exceptions to this)
- Governors State University
- Illinois State University
- Indiana University (Bloomington)
- Loyola University
- Purdue University
- Wheaton College
- Bradley University
The following schools are offering flexible deadlines:
- Concordia University
- Dominican University
- Eastern Illinois University
- Illinois Institute of Technology
- Northern Illinois University
- Southern Illinois University
- Western Illinois University
All of the schools surveyed say they’re planning for normal fall operations but will monitor the COVID-19 impact and make decisions related with health and safety as top priority.
A number of virtual opportunities and digital platforms have been created for incoming students and their families as alternatives to on-campus programming and visits.
DePaul University has been a test-optional institution for several years now. If students aren’t able to take a standardized test or take the test and do not feel that their standardized test scores are truly reflective of their academic ability, they can apply with or without test scores.
Eastern Illinois University is allowing prospective freshmen and transfer applicants to apply free for Fall 2020 until July 1 with waiver code (SP20).
Governors State University is offering a $200 book scholarship to incoming freshmen that commit by June 1.
Illinois Institute of Technology says it is taking an individualized approach to deliver the best solution for each family, whether that be a deposit extension, a deferral of admission, or a re-review of the financial offer they have previously received.
Purdue University is using Virtual Summer Transition, Advising, and Registration (VSTAR), a required orientation for incoming students, starting May 11. Incoming students who have accepted admission offers will be enrolled in VSTAR automatically and will work with academic advisers virtually to pre-register for courses.
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is allowing admitted students to begin classes online in August if they can’t make it to campus, and providing sign up for in-person classes at a later date. Admitted students can also defer enrollment for up to two semesters.
For more information regarding COVID-19 updates, please visit the following: