Episode Notes | Episode Transcript

Episode Notes

Episode Title: College News Fit to Digest. May 30, 2020

Episode summary introduction: Making sense of the College News of the week curated by Alma Matters. Coronavirus continues to drive the news. Shveta Bagade, College Counselor gives us her take on the news.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • AP Online Test Updates  [1:20]
  • SAT, ACT Fall Testing [3:44]
  • Fall Colleges Reopening? [6:44]

Our Guest: Shveta Bagade, College Counselor based in Silicon Valley California.

Resources referred to in this episode:

Episode Transcript: Please visit almamatters.io/podcasts.


Episode Transcript

Transcript of the episode’s audio.

Venkat  0:11 

Hello, and welcome to yet another episode of College News Fit to Digest. Every week, we pick a few news items relating to US Colleges and discuss it with our own Shveta Bagade, College Counselor. Alma Matters curates the news daily relating to US Colleges, and makes it available on alma matters.io/coronavirus. We pick a few news items from that curated list, and discuss it every week here in these podcasts. Now, without further ado, on with the podcast!

Venkat  0:52  

Morning Shveta.

Shveta 1:02  

Good morning Venkat. How are you today?

Venkat  1:05  

Doing well, and you?

Shveta  1:08  

Not too bad? Not too bad. Lots of things going on already, as always.

Venkat  1:13  

As always, yeah.

Venkat  1:16  

Well, let's just get right into it then.

Venkat  1:20  [AP Online Test Updates]

So maybe the first topic worth talking about is AP online updates and whatever else is going on with it. Where are things with that?

Shveta  1:32  

Well, as you know, they, they finished up the two weeks of testing and then they have the week, I believe it's coming up next week. Kids can take the test, if they had glitches,... tech issues and that kind of thing. And there's a lot of things happening around that where people are actually, you know, they've complained multiple times to the College Board.

There's even a group out there that's suing the College Board over the AP glitches, glitches that were experienced by the kids. And they really try like there's two sides to restore that AP folks seem to kind of be behind the eight ball on some of this the first week, but then the second week sort of came up, trying to catch up, but there's still glitches during the second week.

So there's a lot happening. And there's a recent article that also came out, which should also be interesting. That talked about strategies for cheating even though the test was very short, only 45 minutes. It goes into different tactics on how to do that. That could impact how the colleges may view the AP scores themselves. They may be glad you took them and you know, give you credit for the rigor, but they may end up not accepting them. So There's a lot of unknown still happening right now with APs.

Venkat  3:04  

Wow, it's a no win situation, unfortunately.

Shveta  3:07  

Yeah, terrible. Yeah.

Venkat  3:11  

Okay, so

Venkat  3:13  

I guess. So there's a makeup, sort of test next week, and then we'll see what colleges decide to do with these scores and all that.

Shveta  3:22  

Definitely, definitely.

Venkat 3:29

Okay, Then the other topic that we had visited a while back is AC t imperson. Test scheduled for June being still on. What are you hearing about that?

Shveta  3:44  [SAT, ACT Fall Testing]

Well, so you're hearing a lot of unhappy people about states where their testing facilities are still closed. And then on the flip side, there are testing facilities that are open. So they are going to administer the test where the test centers are open. So there's a little bit of [sigh] just unfairness really for kids who want to take it that happen to live in a state that's, you know, still having campuses and locations close because of the COVID-19. So there's a little bit of that.

And then of course, with the ACT still happening, that then makes you think about, well, what's going on with it? SATs, SATs are now they've opened up their dates for the next school year, and they did a priority session for kids whose tests were canceled, and there's a lot of issues with that that are happening right now. And so it should be interesting. What happens with the SATs - again, we're back to college board needing to really kind of be ahead of this and they're just not able to get ahead of this.

So there's glitches with registration glitches with kids who paid saying they're not getting the credit that they're supposed to be getting to take another test. And then test center is already filling up. Okay? Doesn't even account for the students who want to take it for the first time.

Venkat  5:25  

Right. So these so these are in person tests, their schedule,

Shveta  5:30  

These are still in-person tests. SATs are still the College Board is still exploring take home, but a lot of people have opinions on that, particularly based on the APs and how that went. Yeah. So I unless they do something dramatic. I don't think that's looking good for them either.

Venkat  5:52  

Okay, and the earliest that SATs would be held in what? August, September? August, September, or...?

Shveta  6:00  

There's a, so they have an August test date. And because of all the cancellations, they added a September test date. Normally it's August, October, but they added a September test date. So they have three test dates in a row, August, September, October that are available. But the fear is because there's so many kids who want to take it, and you're now dealing with the rising junior class that want to take it, so there's gonna be a lot of students vying for a spot.

Venkat  6:32  

Well, okay, so, fair amount of confusion there.

Venkat  6:44  [Fall Colleges Reopening?]

Okay, so let's move on to colleges and fall. Looks like, there's a decision or a[n] opinion coming out every day about what should happen and for And situation at best is murky. So, what do you, what are your thoughts on that?

Shveta  7:10  

Oh, well, there's too many factors, and too many issues with the colleges. And it's basically all over the map. It almost seems random. And a lot of these colleges are coming out with plans to go on campus - full on maybe a hybrid model, maybe not a hybrid model.

And then you've got campuses I've already decided full online. We're not worrying about this. We've got campuses, rearranging their schedule to accommodate the flu season, the normal, very typical normal flu season, which tends to be around Thanksgiving is the typical start time of that flu season. So there's just too many things that are happening and too many unknowns.

It's very much even just like applying to colleges, it just depends on which campus you're looking at where they are the size, things like that.

And I do know, the US Senate is holding hearings next week to kind of discuss the safety of going back to colleges. And it looks like two of the university presidents that are going to be at the hearing are the ones who've been extremely vocal about having that full on experience on campus and getting ready to make that happen.

Venkat 8:36  

Yeah, I mean, we'll have to see... I mean, the sad truth is that, you know, can make a lot of plans, I think the more important things to look for are the contingency plans that colleges need to make, not knowing whether there'll be an outbreak if things happen that, you know, obviously, nobody has control over this.

So I know that Notre Dame I think wants to finish up, it's in class by Thanksgiving, or maybe even the semester by Thanksgiving. Because, you know, their health experts saying that the wireless is likely to be back in fall in a big way, you know, sometime in the November December time frame. So, who, who knows? And the planning is all based on something that we don't really know.

So I think I think that's sort of the challenge. I don't know as parents and students, I would think those are the hardest things to deal with. So...

Shveta  9:32  

Definitely. And I think if I'm a student right now looking to apply to colleges for the 2021 school year, I would be looking at how the universities are handling that and kind of look at what's going on how they're communicating. Some universities are great at communication and some are, you know, kind of slow or very vague. And also keep in mind, though, I think it's important for people to remember, sometimes that vague information is because, behind closed doors, they're coming up with like a, Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, maybe even a Plan D and E, to, as it gets closer to one is supposed to start when colleges are supposed to open up for the fall, that they could implement one of the plans, right, based on the current situation.

Venkat  10:31  

I agree. I mean, I think one of the other things I would do as well is to see if the colleges, especially state colleges, public colleges are making the decision based on science or the other pressures because there's a lot of economic pressure being exerted everywhere. So, you know, people end up, may end up making decisions, certain decisions for the wrong reasons. And so as a parent and as a student, you should sort of take a look at how they arrived at whatever they have arrived at. So. So I guess we just have to hit. And unfortunately, this is going to be unfolding live as we go forward. So...

Shveta  11:16  

Yeah, week by week kind of thing. And we just have to kind of bear ourselves for the next changes or announcements that come out.

Venkat  11:27  

Very good. So

Venkat  11:30  

I guess that's those are the main topics. They're all sort of, unfortunately, not as satisfying because everything's up in the air. So not a single one, sort of pinned down. So that's the state of things right now. So I, I guess we just stay tuned, then. You know, meet again next week and see where things are.

Shveta  11:54  

That's all we can do. Good talking to you today.

Venkat  11:57  

Likewise, take care Shveta.

Venkat  12:08

Hi again, hope you enjoyed this conversation with Shveta Bagade on this week's College News Fit to Digest. Stay connected with us by Subscribing to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify or visit anchor.fm forward slash almamatters [anchor.fm/almamatters].

These podcasts are brought to you by almamatters.io. Till we meet again, take care and be safe.

Thank you.

Summary Keywords

Colleges, test glitches, campus, flu season, alma matters, AP, SAT, ACT, Online, Fall Semester, Pandemic, COVID-19, coronavirus, International Students

Is College in US for you?