The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will maintain its May 1 deadline for accepted applicants to commit to attending GW and has moved programming online in the wake of COVID-19.
Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Ben Toll said his office considered the option of delaying the deadline to commit – a move more than 100 schools have taken as part of their response to the virus – but ultimately decided not to take the step to ensure students on GW’s waitlist receive a notification about their final status in a timely manner. He added that the change would have also delayed transfer student decisions, another reason his office rejected the measure.
“We have explored this option, but do not believe it is the best path for GW,” Toll said in an email. “It is likely that GW will need to use the waitlist this year given the unknowns related to international student yield, and I would rather not have students on the waitlist have to wait until June 1 to have to hear from GW about their waitlist status.”
Officials said at a Faculty Senate meeting earlier this month that they expect the number of international students in next year’s freshman class to drop as travel restrictions become more prevalent worldwide to curb the spread of the virus.
Toll added that the admissions office has moved many of its events online as all on-campus events, including tours, are canceled for the rest of the semester as part of University-wide efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. Admissions office staff held the first virtual information session for potential students on March 19, he said.
“We imagine that this will become a normal operation for the short-term and likely a permanent part of what we do even after our campus visit program resumes,” Toll said about the sessions.
He added that officials are adapting InsideGW – the University’s admitted students program typically held on-campus throughout April – to an online format.
Toll said the University released its regular admissions decisions on March 20, unimpeded by the repercussions of COVID-19. Admissions office staff worked remotely throughout the evening and admissions were released the day after to answer questions from admitted students and family members, he said.
“The only difference is that this was the first decision release where the admissions office released decisions remotely,” Toll said. “Typically, we all stay late in the office to help students with initial questions by phone and email. Instead, we all worked from our homes to keep the office ‘open’ both the evening after decision release and the following Saturday.”
This article appeared in the March 26, 2020 issue of the Hatchet.