Goshen College signs national college admissions’ statement prioritizing self-care and care for others during pandemic

Goshen College has signed a new collective statement from 315-plus college admission deans and vice presidents, prioritizing self-care for students and care for others during the pandemic.

The statement released this week by the Making Caring Common project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education seeks to send clear messages about what college admissions deans value in students during this time. It also aims to relieve stresses on students and their caregivers.

The statement, “Care Counts in Crisis: College Admissions Deans Respond to COVID-19,” provides guidance on self-care, academic work, service to others, family contributions and extracurricular and summer activities.

“After the stress experienced by so many students and their families this spring due to significant changes in their academic and personal lives, we are more committed than ever to making students’ college search and admissions process as stress-free as possible during the upcoming year,” said Dominique Burgunder-Johnson, vice president for marketing and enrollment.

More specifically, this statement underscores the following:

  1. Self-care. The deans recognize that many families during this time are struggling to get by and that a wide range of students are dealing with stresses of many kinds. The statement encourages students to take care of themselves.
  2. Academic work. While the deans emphasize that students’ academic work matters to them during the pandemic, they also recognize that many students are facing obstacles to academic work. The deans underscore that they will assess academic achievements in the context of these obstacles, and mainly base assessments of academic achievement on work before and after this pandemic. They further state that no student will be disadvantaged because “of their school’s decisions about transcripts, the absence of AP or IB tests, their lack of access to standardized tests (although many of the colleges represented here don’t require these tests), or their inability to visit campus.”
  3. Service and contributions to others. The deans express that they value contributions to others and service during this time for those who are in a position to provide these contributions. They emphasize that they are not looking for extraordinary forms of service or leadership during the pandemic. They don’t want to create a “pandemic service Olympics.” They are looking for contributions that are authentic and meaningful, including contributions that respond to the many needs created by the pandemic.
  4. Family contributions. The deans recognize that many students have family responsibilities, including supervising younger siblings, caring for sick relatives, or working to provide family income that can impede their capacity to engage in school and other activities, and that these responsibilities may have increased during this time. They view substantial family contributions as very important and encourage students to report them in their applications.
  5. Extracurricular and summer activities. The deans convey that no student will be disadvantaged for not engaging in extracurricular activities during this time, and they state that students will not be disadvantaged for lost possibilities for summer involvement, including lost internship opportunities, summer jobs, camp experiences, classes and other types of meaningful engagement that have been cancelled or altered.

Read the full statement (PDF)