This is not going to be the senior year your high school student imagined. He or she will need you to help them stay positive during these uncertain times. Some things we do know. Colleges will make admissions decisions in the context of the opportunities and challenges of each student’s experience. Grades will still count. The role of the SAT and ACT will be different.
At Athens Advisors we are tracking our professional sources to keep up with the fast-moving landscape of college admissions and are prepared to advise students accordingly. Most colleges are making test scores optional for this cohort of students due to the difficulty of accessing the exams. What that actually means will be different for each student and we will help them sort it out.  Changes in grading due to the pandemic will be indicated to colleges on the high school profile and will not disadvantage the student.
One very likely consequence of test optional admission will be an increase in the importance of the college application essay or personal statement. Encourage your student to work on their essays now, when school is not in session and they have more time to be thoughtful.  The essay should be a reflection of what is important to the student and must be written in his or her own voice. Parent edited essays stand out when read and do not help the student. 
Parents can play an important role in the college admissions process. Keep up with all communication from the high school. Help make sure your student follows through with the school’s protocol for gathering information and submitting school documents. Help with SAT/ACT registration if needed. Now is the time to have an honest discussion about the college list and be clear about any family boundaries on college choice, including cost and geography.
Athens Advisors establishes personal timelines for students and these can be posted on the refrigerator. Seeing tasks crossed off is a great mood booster.  Following your student around asking how their applications are going will be counter-productive. Set up a consistent, weekly discussion time for your student to tell you what they have accomplished and what they plan to do next. Encourage your student to maintain a healthy balance of schoolwork, outside interests, (virtual) time with friends and sleep. Finally, try to ignore all of the media hype and the parent rumor mill. We are here to answer your questions and make sure you have accurate information. Feel free to use the contact form to reach out.