Oklahoma seniors slow to apply for college in wake of pandemic

The college experience has been disrupted by the pandemic, which has contributed to a slowdown of applications at some universities. In this file photo, a man is seen riding his bike with a mask on near the University of Oklahoma's north oval in September. WHITNEY BRYEN/OKLAHOMA WATCH

Many Oklahoma seniors have yet to take an admissions test or apply for college as they begin their final semester in high school.

"I know it has everything to do with the pandemic," said Christopher Lynch, vice president for enrollment and student success at the University of Central Oklahoma.�

COVID-19 put students out of the classroom and parents out of work. It severely limited access to the ACT college admissions test and gutted the traditional college campus experience.�

As of mid-December, applications to UCO from first-time freshmen were down by 709 students or 35% from the same point in December 2019.

Lynch said some students who have not taken the ACT yet are considering taking a gap year before applying for college.

"We're hearing that from students and we're hearing that from high school counselors," he said.�