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Colleges adjust their admissions process with new standards

Test scores have become optional while students look for other avenues to stand out.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — "We have those conversations with students to let them know there are some doors opening for you at college that may not have happened before."

The quote comes from Booker T. Washington High School counselor Lakeisha Mayes, letting her students know that the college admissions process is changing.

It's changing because the senior class faces a more unique set of challenges than any that has come before it. Some local colleges are trying to make the process more fitting of the circumstances. 

"We're realizing a number of students are unable to take the SAT so we're compensating for that in our admissions process," says Old Dominion University Assistant Vice President for Enrollment & Executive Director of Admissions Christopher Fleming. "Any student can apply without regard to submitting a test score," he continues, highlighting other ways for students to stand out. 

"Share with us some accomplishments that you have, share a resume: what have you been doing during this time? Some have been working -- even employment is applicable -- provide that," suggests Fleming. 

The Monarchs are not alone. Christopher Newport University Chief Communications Officer says that in addition to being test-optional, the school won't require a minimum class rank or GPA in order to apply.

While the colleges try to show support for potential students, Mayes is doing what she can to guide her current batch.

"Even though we're separate, virtually we're together. You don't have to feel alone in this process," she states, seemingly directly to an era of college applicants with a bumpier road to secondary education than ever before.