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How Has COVID-19 Affected Applications to Independent Schools

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1 Abstract The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in uncertainty in the admissions and enrollment processes of independent schools. The Enrollment Management Association (EMA) analyzed the empirical application data submitted via the Standard Application Online (SAO) over the past five years and compared the 2020 data to that historical trend, focusing on March through August. The results showed that overall, more families applied to independent schools in 2020 than in 2019. Although there were fewer applications from March to May in 2020 as compared to 2019, applications increased from June to August. The application trend was analyzed at a variety of subgroup levels as well, including domestic vs. international applicants, applications to day schools vs. boarding schools, applications with financial aid requests vs. without, applications from public school students vs. independent school students, and applications from different ethnic groups.

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