WOOSTER, Ohio – Scott Friedhoff, vice president for enrollment at The College of Wooster, was among the nation’s college admissions leaders who made a resolute statement in regards to the expectations of prospective students during this unprecedented time caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The collective statement, which aims to relieve stress on students and their families, included more than 300 college admissions deans and was made through the Making Caring Common project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. It declares a shift in priorities for admissions offices and provides guidance in five categories – self-care, academic work, service to others, family contributions, and extracurricular and summer activities.
Among the highlights, admissions deans “recognize that many families are struggling to get by and a wide range of students are dealing with stresses,” so they are “encouraged to take care of themselves.” As for their academic work, the deans “recognize that many students are facing obstacles,” thus their achievements will be assessed “in the context of these obstacles.”
Additionally, admissions offices will be “looking for contributions that are authentic and meaningful, including contributions that respond to the many needs created by the pandemic” and “encourage students to report them in their applications.” And, “no student will be disadvantaged for not engaging in extracurriculars during this time” due to the number of cancellations of such activities.
This falls in line with the mission and values of Wooster, which also announced in April the adoption of a test-optional policy moving forward. Friedhoff believes adapting to these more holistic approaches and evaluation techniques will enable Wooster to continue to attract talented, socially-responsible students from across the U.S. and throughout the world.
“This statement so fits the Wooster culture it was an easy one and certainly a pleasure to endorse,” Friedhoff remarked. “It also fits so well with the commitments to equity and care of my wonderful colleagues in our admissions and financial aid offices. We look forward to continue working with students and their families to make the college selection process as equitable, meaningful, and caring as possible.
Making Caring Common’s goal is to help families, educators, and communities raise kids who care about others and the common good. For more information, visit makingcaringcommon.org.