Preparing for College During the Coronavirus Pandemic


With Michigan schools closed through the remainder of the school year, the coronavirus has majorly disrupted the final months of school—especially for the class of 2020.

“This year’s graduating seniors are missing out on the traditional senior experience—important milestones like their graduation ceremonies and senior proms,” says Kimberly Leverette, executive director of Education & Training at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the promise for a successful future.”

According to Leverette, it’s important that seniors with plans for college not let this experience throw them off track.

“Now is the time to focus on your next steps,” Leverette says.

To help students prepare for the transition to college, the Afterschool Download editorial staff called Lou Rawls, a success coach for the Flint Promise scholarship program. In her role, Rawls helps scholarship recipients address the challenges and opportunities presented by college life.

According to Rawls, graduating seniors can prepare for the upcoming fall semester by:

  • Studying for placement tests
    First-year students are required to take placement tests when entering college. However, according to Rawls, many students are unaware they can prep for these tests to ensure they are placed in the classes they need. Students can contact college advisors to inquire about study resources.
  • Preparing for roadblocks
    Changes are plenty when transitioning into college, especially with the transition from online learning to in-person learning. Expecting there may be challenges will make those challenges easier to face.
  • Planning to utilize resources
    Make sure to identify resources available at the colleges you are attending. Most colleges offer tutors for all subjects, career resources and more.
  • Taking a self-inventory
    Understanding your habits will help you understand what works for you, Rawls says. For example, identify when you feel your best—the morning or the afternoon. Then, try to schedule your classes around when you’re most productive.
  • Building a schedule before the school year starts
    When transitioning to college, one of the biggest adjustments is taking accountability, according to Rawls. No one in college will force you to go to class or study for classes, so it is important to build a schedule and maintain it.
  • Applying for scholarships
    While many scholarship deadlines have passed, some are still accepting applications. That includes Flint Promise, which is designed for students who live in the city of Flint and graduate from a high school or GED program located in the city of Flint. To learn more, visit