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Dickinson College Signs Collective Statement on College Admissions and COVID-19

Admissions Office

Care Counts in Crisis: College Admissions Deans Respond to COVID-19

by Craig Layne

Dickinson is among more than 315 colleges and universities across the country to issue a collective statement on what admissions deans value in prospective students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement, "Care Counts in Crisis: College Admissions Deans Respond to COVID-19," was released nationwide by the Making Caring Common project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and aims to relieve stresses on students and their caregivers. The full list of signatories and the full statement are available online.

“From the start of the pandemic, our message has been one of understanding and compassion,” said President Margee M. Ensign. “We want prospective students to know we are here to support them, answer their questions and affirm our commitment to a fair, thorough admissions process.”

The collective statement underscores the importance of self-care, service to others and family support. It also explains academic work matters, but the deans recognize many students are facing obstacles to academic achievement due to the pandemic. The deans also convey that no student will be disadvantaged for not engaging in extracurricular activities during this time, including internships, camps and summer jobs. 

“We pride ourselves on getting to know our applicants, and the pandemic hasn’t changed that,” said Catherine McDonald Davenport '87, vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions. “This statement solidifies a commitment that no student will be disadvantaged because of their school’s decisions about transcripts, nor the absence of standardized tests.”

Davenport also pointed out Dickinson has not required standardized test scores on applications since 1996. “Test scores give you a piece of information, but it is far from a complete picture of a student. We want them to control what they can and know that we understand,” she said.

Phillip Moreno, director of West Coast recruitment, also signed the collective statement in his capacity as the president of the Western Association for College Admission Counseling.

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Published June 30, 2020