Senior struggles: No standardized test scores from last Spring

Zachary Headley, Staff Writer

The beginning of senior year is stressful enough without the impact of the novel coronavirus. Usually, college applications are due in early December, with mid-year grade reports due the following February. This process includes hours of answering questions, writing and revising essays, and asking for letters of recommendation from employers, teachers, or coaches. This also includes applying for scholarships, which is another extra process in itself.

Normally, seniors do not have to be concerned with the SAT, as students normally take it late in their junior year, and it’s out of the way. Considering that this test is usually an important factor for college admissions offices, not being able to take this test in early 2020 put a lot of stress on this year’s seniors.

Senior Blaine Cullen had the chance to take his SAT early, before most testing sites were shut down. “I can’t really say if I consider myself lucky,” Cullen said. “Sure, taking the test was a benefit, but I’m not a college admissions officer, so I don’t know how this will affect me. Ideally, having the score I did (1250) should help set me apart from all the students choosing not to submit scores.” 

Another senior, Javon Aragon, has had less trouble with college prospects, and has been more bogged down with the hybrid schedule and lack of sports. 

“Being a senior and not being allowed to have my senior season really hurts,” Aragon said, “but I get it. I was expecting the hybrid schedule to be kind of smooth, but I know a few teachers who are struggling with the technology. There’s not much I can do about that since we are relying so heavily on it. I think this is okay in terms of preparing us for college because a lot of professors use online resources, so I see benefits but that doesn’t mean it’s been easy.”

Many students share similar sentiments to Aragon, frustrated about lack of a sports culture which, frankly, is part of what makes Greeley West special. 

Although the SAT is being offered to seniors on October 14, many are still choosing to opt out of their score on college applications. Senior Ashlynn Estal stated,“If I get my score before the application deadlines, then I’ll decide if I want to submit it or not.”

Estal is a full-DP student in the IB program, so college applications are very important. She said, “I want colleges to see that I’m a good student outside of standardized tests, that I’m well-rounded. But, If I do well enough, I think having a good score could supplement my application because so many are choosing not to send in scores.”

Many colleges, especially on the West Coast, have made the standardized testing requirement optional for this year’s class, much to the chagrin of the class of ‘22. However, most students are unlike Cullen, and have not, and likely will not, get the chance to have a scored SAT or ACT by the time college applications are due.

As these students have shown, there has been a lot of confusion over what will become of their senior year, but more than anything, a spirit of hope and determination cuts through the potential problems. Sure, there may be some bumps along the way, but the class of 2021 maintains a stature of confidence, showing their peers that if anyone can manage these trying times, it’s Greeley West’s senior class.