Supporting Our Students During COVID-19
Dear CollegeSpring Community,
I hope you and your loved ones are all staying safe during this COVID-19 outbreak. I’d like to share with you how the pandemic is affecting the teachers and students we serve, and how we will work to support them in this difficult time.
All of our partner schools are closed, and many will likely remain so through the end of the school year. Schools and districts are discussing how to best implement remote learning, and we are rapidly responding to support those efforts. CollegeSpring is pivoting to deliver our program to teachers and students virtually and to develop online testing and new digital content.
The May SAT has been cancelled, and it is unclear whether the June SAT will take place yet. As an organization that exists to serve students who already face significant disadvantages in college admissions, we are gravely concerned about the impact this will have on our students’ college application process in terms of both admissions and financial aid. We are actively exploring options to deliver summer or booster programs to ensure that students are prepared to excel on the test as soon as it is made available.
It is an unfortunate truth that the less you have, the more this crisis will hurt. Losing months of instruction and test prep will widen existing equity gaps in the college admission process. Our commitment to our students’ futures is unwavering and must be stronger than ever before. We aim to stay the course and emerge better positioned to serve the schools and students who have lost their ability to prepare for and take the SAT this year.
For many of the students we serve, school closures pose additional hardships beyond the disruption of their college planning. More than four out of five CollegeSpring students qualify for the federal free and reduced-lunch program. There is a very real possibility that they will face food insecurity during this crisis, as well as other kinds of distress, including possible loss of access to healthcare, shelter, and the technology needed for remote learning.
That is why CollegeSpring, along with 50 other nonprofit organizations, has signed a petition urging Congress to pass student-focused legislation in response to COVID-19. Congress should support students by providing emergency funds to cover food and housing; exempting students from paying back Pell grants and loans; and more. I encourage you to read the full petition here.
As you all know, circumstances continue to change by the day. We will continue to keep you abreast of any major developments as we learn of them.
With warmest wishes during uncertain times,