GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) High schoolers across the country are applying to universities after a year of learning under the rigors of COVID-19. Kris Schuller spoke to college admission personnel to learn if the pandemic has led them to make any changes.

For a year high school seniors have been trying to learn, either in-person, virtually or with a little bit of both. A fact not lost on those involved in the college admissions process.

“It’s important for us to have some compassion and empathy for what these students have faced in terms of how we evaluate applications,” said Associate Director of Admissions Maribeth Franken from St. Norbert College.

“We’re taking into consideration that everyone’s lives have been disrupted since March of 2020,” said Jen Jones, assistant vice chancellor for Enrollment Services from UW-Green Bay.

So this year hundreds of colleges have made some significant changes, making the application process a bit easier. Both St. Norbert and UW-Green Bay have removed the requirement to submit ACT or SAT scores.

“Test scores don’t necessarily predict a student’s success in college,” Franken said.

And UW-Green Bay has waived application fees.

“We’ve been removing obstacles so students can apply and not have to worry about the money or sending scores that cost money to send,” Jones said.

Instead the colleges are looking at transcripts or requesting recent grades and looking over essays submitted from applying freshmen.

“In their personal statement I’ve read a lot related to COVID and what challenges they’ve had and how they’ve risen about those challenges,” Franken said.

St. Norbert says they are busy and expect a freshmen class of about 560 for the fall. UW-Green Bay says they’ve admitted over 3,100 freshmen, representing a 102 percent growth over last year. Jones hopes come the fall – all those students officially enroll.

“We want to give everybody that opportunity and find a way to help support them to that success,” Jones added.

Both schools expect that come fall they will be offering in-person classes.