Admission During COVID-19
A message from Drew Riley, Director of Admission
I know that, for many students, you’ve been looking forward to and preparing for the college application process for a very long time. Then a global pandemic occurred, and many of you and your families have been impacted personally.
Over the years, we’ve worked to remove as much of the stress as possible from Denison’s application process. Our goal has always been to give students space to show us who they are—in the classroom and out—and to convey how they plan to contribute to Denison’s community. We won’t let COVID-19 get in the way of that priority.
The entire admission team and I are here to work with you, and we’ve provided some resources to help to answer your questions. If questions remain, don’t hesitate to reach out to your regional admission counselor for more information, advice, or reassurance. Also, I encourage you to take advantage of our virtual and, if you are able, in-person opportunities to connect with us.
The application process, at its best, should be the first chapter in your college education. This admission cycle will be unlike any before, and if we can help you through some of the difficult parts, our hope is that this will be a learning experience that you will take with you to college in the fall.
I look forward to reading your applications!
Director of Admission
We are currently welcoming visitors to campus, but as Denison closely monitors the COVID-19 situation and follows guidance from local, state, and national health organizations, we have condensed our typical campus visit to an extended tour and, for rising seniors, an interview. Additionally, we have implemented social distancing practices in line with the guidance given by the Governor of Ohio. We will continue to evaluate the ongoing situation and anticipate offering more of our traditional campus visit options when we feel we can safely do so. In the meantime, you can supplement your on-campus visit with a number of virtual opportunities.
Absolutely! We completely understand the concern and have developed a number of opportunities to explore Denison remotely, including a video tour, virtual information sessions, and a student-produced podcast. Check out all of our virtual options.
Yes. We are currently conducting virtual interviews for students who are unable to join us on campus. Additionally, in the fall, we will offer alumni interviews in your area. (Please note: Interviews are offered to seniors and second-semester juniors).
Applying to Denison
Our deadlines for admission applications remain November 15 for Early Decision 1 applicants and January 15 for Early Decision 2 and Regular Decision applicants. If you have a specific concern in meeting our application deadlines, we will work with you on an individual basis. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this point, we are not seeing higher-than-usual numbers of students electing to take a gap year. So, we do not anticipate fewer spots for students graduating high school in 2021.
Trust us, we get it. Many of our admission staff members also had summer plans that were affected by the COVID-19 situation. Denison’s admission committee always takes individual situations into account, providing personal context when reading applications. This year will be no different, just let us know about your specific situation. The Common Application provides a specific place to talk about how COVID-19 has impacted your life, and nothing is too small to mention in that space - if it was important to you, it’s important to us.
However, Denisonians tend to be resilient, nimble, and creative. If your summer plans have changed, it might be a good time to showcase what you chose to do with your time instead. Some examples might include: Teaching yourself a new skill, volunteering in your community, working a summer job, and exploring some undiscovered passions through art, literature, and YouTube. And seriously, share your summer reading lists with us, we are always looking for a good book recommendation.
We always take high school context into account when evaluating a student’s application for admission. As a part of your application (counselor recommendation or school profile), your high school will provide details of their official policy on how class schedules and grading were affected this year. We will be understanding if specific courses were not made available to you. Denison does not have any course requirements to enter into specific majors, so if you are admitted to Denison you are still welcome to pursue any degree you choose. If you have specific questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com.
Our admission committee will take into account the context of your high school policies during this time and will not hold this against you during our application review. The grades that appear on your transcript for prior semesters and in your senior year, will be used as a demonstration of your academic ability and performance.
Denison has practiced test-optional admission for a number of years, meaning that applicants are not required to submit standardized test scores as part of their application. If applicants choose this option, we will place additional weight on the rigor of their high school curriculum and their performance in the courses they completed. If applicants desire, they may provide ACT, SAT, and/or SAT Subject Test scores as additional information in support of their application for admission. Any test scores submitted are superscored.
We know that IB examinations were cancelled in 2020 and while AP exams took place in a modified format, many students were not able to test as they had planned. Denison’s policy for granting credit for AP and IB examinations can be found online. For admission purposes, we have always been more interested in course performance than exam results, and we will continue to closely review an applicants’ transcript, looking specifically at course rigor and course performance, to evaluate academic preparedness.
You will have several opportunities in your application to address how your life has changed over since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Common Application has a section dedicated to discussing the effects of COVID-19 on you personally and academically. COVID-19 has affected us all, and we want to hear about your experience regardless of the size of the impact. This will allow you to write about a separate topic in your personal statement, and to speak specifically about your fit at Denison in our member questions.
The Common Application also provides a space for additional information if you don’t believe you want to convey additional information beyond what fits in the rest of the application.
Finally, we highly encourage you to interview with us as well. Your interview notes will become part of your application to Denison, and this can be a great place to discuss how your life has been recently impacted.
Applying for Financial Aid
Each student’s situation is different. Regardless of the impacts of COVID-19, Denison meets 100% of a student’s demonstrated need. We are committed to ensuring the most competitive and accurate financial aid package is offered.
Guide to Fall 2020
This is your source for information related to Fall Semester 2020. It includes the most current information and decisions. We will continue to develop and finalize plans, and we will update this page throughout the summer as information becomes available.