A former Dartmouth admission officer dispels 5 common myths about applying to college. https://insights.collegeconfidential.com/myths-about-college-admissions
Regarding "Myth 4: So Many Students Deferred Admission in 2020 That There Won’t Be Slots Left for This Fall’s Applicants > About 20 percent of Harvard students deferred, which is about 350 people<
FYI at Brown "The Office of Admission also doubled the number of approved gap years from 40 last year to 80 this year, " … so not a big deal out of ~1700. Read this
for a fuller picture.
Regarding “Myth 5. Admission Officers Don’t Expect to See Extracurriculars During the Pandemic”, excellent points made in terms of applicants inventing opportunities for extracurriculars. As a long-time alumni interviewer, I want to emphasize that this challenge students currently face is also a really good opportunity to break out of the normal pattern: So many of the cookie-cutter EC’s students accumulate just doesn’t stand out. Sure, if someone wants International Relations, then Model UN is a good thing to see (when it exists again). But mostly it’s students going with the flow of what’s readily available.
Individualized, self-created EC’s are what always perk my ears up in an interview. It can be “heal (a small piece of) the world” as the article talks about. Or a technical project of some sort (reviewed / critiqued by a teacher?). So brainstorm / refine / do. Don’t just be someone who wants to be admitted to a highly-selective college – be someone who merits it… and that always means “work”, starting with the mental type and spreading out from there.
Good info/advice here, if students actually believe some of these myths.