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College Admission & Testing During Coronavirus



College admission and tests may be the last thing students and parents choose to think about right now. That’s a valid and healthy choice, and for far too many it’s a necessity, not a choice. 

It’s also OK to cope by looking ahead to life’s familiar rites of passage that will endure, including the transition to college, and asking what the new normal may look like and what practical questions and steps should be considered. 

Join us for a conversation with college admission experts (see panelist bios below) who will seek that balance and share insights on how higher ed may adapt to these unprecedented circumstances. We’ll invite your questions, and we’ll seek to provide guidance around the following:

  • 11th graders would normally be immersed right now in activities that are deeply attached to decisions unfolding over the next six to eighteen months. What must be adjusted, what should be held tight, what should be let go? 
  • What are some of the ways that college admission decisions for the class of 2021 are likely to be changed, maintained, or upended? What are some of the ways that student matriculation decisions for the class of 2021 may be affected? How might assumptions about the latter affect the former?
  • What may be the role of all the various standardized tests in this climate? Many testing-related decisions creep well down into the high school years. Testing was already complicated and nuanced; now it seems impenetrable. We’ll try to cut through the confusion and give balanced, clear guidance or at least best-guesses from our range of perspectives.
  • The pace of changes to testing policies and practices is accelerating and already has us in uncharted waters. We’ll discuss test optional, test blind, and traditional testing expectations. We’ll break down the latest news on at-home APs and the possibility that the SAT and ACT may go that route as well. 

Broadly, we’ll try to give clarity on what are the known knowns at this point, and we’ll dive into the known unknowns and the completely unknowable at this moment in time. We hope to see you there. 

This webinar takes place in two parts on Monday, April 6, 2020 from 7:30-9:00 pm Eastern. Part one is from 7:30-8:00 pm and is intended for 11th grade students and parents from the NYC area. Part two begins at 8:00p.m when we will welcome a national audience and be joined by Cornell’s Vice Provost of Enrollment. You must register separately for each webinar.

For those unable to attend, the recordings of both webinars will be made available at https://www.compassprep.com/impact-of-covid-19-on-testing/ shortly thereafter.

Registration for this webinar has closed! Please visit our blog on Tuesday, April 7 for a recording.


Tamar Adegbile
Director of College Counseling
Cate School, CA

After graduating from Vassar College with a degree in film studies, Tamar accepted a position in the Admission Office, and later worked in undergraduate admissions at Columbia University for five years. Tamar then transitioned to “the other side of the desk” to become the Senior Associate Director of College Counseling at the Riverdale Country School in New York. She is currently the Director of College Counseling at Cate, having come from Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, where she spent twelve years as a dean and college counselor.

Jonathan Burdick
Vice Provost for Enrollment
Cornell University

Prior to joining Cornell, Jonathan Burdick was the University of Rochester’s Vice Provost and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid for 16 years. As Cornell’s Vice Provost for Enrollment, Burdick oversees admissions, financial aid, and the university registrar. He is charged with strategically positioning Cornell to better achieve its institutional goals and priorities, while also supporting and strengthening the specific enrollment-related needs and goals of the university’s colleges and schools. He has also served in governance and advisory roles for The College Board and other higher education entities.

Wendy Chang
Director of Deans and College Counseling
Avenues, The World School,  NY

Wendy Chang has more than two decades of experience in the college admissions field within schools across the United States and Africa. She joined Avenues in 2018 after previously leading college counseling at St. John’s School in Houston and Collegiate in New York City. Wendy was also the inaugural director of U.S. college counseling for the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, where she lead the first U.S. college guidance program at this renowned boarding school. She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Harvard, where she also worked for six years as a senior admissions officer.

Adam Ingersoll
Compass Education Group

Adam began his career in test prep in 1993 at USC, where he was a student-athlete and worked in the admission office. Over the last two decades he has guided thousands of families to successful experiences with standardized tests. Adam is known nationally as a leading expert on college admission testing and is a frequent presenter at higher ed conferences, faculty development workshops, and school seminars.

Canh Oxelson
Executive Director of College Counseling
Horace Mann School, NY

Canh has been the Executive Director of College Counseling at Horace Mann School in New York City since 2011. Prior to joining Horace Mann, Canh served as an Upper School Dean & college counselor at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angles for 8 years, and in college admission roles at the University of Pennsylvania, UC Santa Cruz, Saint Mary’s College of California, and the University of San Francisco.

The Compass Resource Center

Download the latest version of…

The Compass Guide to College Admission Testing

…in our comprehensive Resource Center. Get answers to the most important questions, including:

  • How competitive are your test scores?
  • What is the most effective calendar for testing?
  • What are the implications of ‘test optional’ policies?
  • How do the SAT and ACT compare?
  • How do you interpret PSAT scores?
  • Should you take SAT Subject Tests?