NACAC Update: Coronavirus Outbreak

(Updated March 31, 2020) — NACAC is closely monitoring the evolving news about the coronavirus (COVID-19). This webpage provides information, resources, and links for NACAC members and other college counseling and admission professionals as well as students and families. See below for:

Two New Tools Tracking the Status of College Admission
Updates on NACAC College Fairs and Conferences
Factors Affecting the College Admission Process
Other Impacts
Additional Resources

Two New Tools Tracking the Status of College Admission

College Admission Status Update

As a service to students and families, NACAC has created a tool that compiles in one place campus changes to college admission due to the coronavirus outbreak. With information submitted by more than 900 colleges and universities, the tool includes changes to deposit and decision deadlines, admission events, and more.

Secondary Schools Status Update

NACAC launched an additional crowdsourced tool to provide insight from the high school side of the desk. The Secondary Schools tool provides information on the challenges of providing students, especially seniors, with transcripts, guidance, and other services for finalizing college plans at a time when many schools are closed or disrupted.

Updates on NACAC College Fairs and Conferences

National College Fairs

Due to coronavirus health and safety concerns, all remaining Spring 2020 college fairs have been canceled. This includes National College Fairs and STEM College and Career Fairs. Full credit information has been provided to exhibitors affected by this cancellation. Please contact NACAC's customer service department if you have any questions. At present, NACAC plans to kick off the Fall 2020 season of college fairs on Sept. 10. A total of 55 college fairs are planned for fall. We look forward to your participation.

2020 Guiding the Way to Inclusion (GWI) Conference

Registration for the 2020 Guiding the Way to Inclusion (GWI) conference will open on April 16. Please view our Message About the Coronavirus and Upcoming NACAC Conferences.

2020 NACAC National Conference

Registration for the 2020 NACAC National Conference will open on April 21. Please view our Message About the Coronavirus and Upcoming NACAC Conferences.

Affiliate Conferences

Many of NACAC's 23 affiliate organizations hold annual conferences. Check the affiliates webpage for information on rescheduled or canceled events.

Factors Affecting the College Admission Process

NACAC encourages flexibility with deposit and decision deadlines and other admission-related issues that are impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Open communication between counselors and admission officers about disruptions and possible accommodations is encouraged. 

School Closures

  • Secondary Schools. School closures may impact the ability of students, teachers, and counselors to complete work, submit transcripts, or send recommendation letters required for college admission. Education Week is tracking public school districts that are closed. Many, but not all, closed schools are moving to online instruction.

  • Colleges and Universities. Colleges may be closed to students and/or closed to campus visits. Admission events that usually occur at this time—such as campus tours, information sessions, and open house events for admitted students—may be canceled or moved online. The current crisis will likely also impact orientation events usually held on campuses for incoming freshman. Bryan Alexander at Georgetown University is crowdsourcing a list of colleges and universities that are closed or offering courses online only. 

  • Study Abroad Programs. The Centers for Disease Control issued recommendations that institutions of higher education cancel or postpone foreign exchange or study abroad programs. See this list of study abroad programs canceled or altered for Spring 2020.

College Applications

  • The Common App provides information regarding disruptions such as the coronavirus. If you are impacted, you can reach Common App's dedicated support team via email. Fee waivers may be available if you are facing unexpected loss. Students who are having difficulty sending official test scores also have the option of sending self-reported scores to colleges.

Financial Aid

  • FAFSA. The FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) remains open until June 30, 2020. Any student or family who has not yet completed a FAFSA may still do so. 
    • Note: For those who have completed a FAFSA, and whose financial circumstances have changed considerably, we encourage you to reach out to your institution’s financial aid office. Financial aid administrators are afforded a degree of professional judgment under the law for state and federal aid, as well as for institutional aid, and can work with students and families whose incomes have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Federal Financial Aid. The Federal Student Aid's website includes information for students and parents regarding the coronavirus crisis and financial aid. The site includes information on whether students can keep financial aid if their campus is closed, for example, and provides answers to loan repayment questions.

  • Student Loans. The US Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid is suspending federal student loan payments. It is important for student borrowers to contact their loan servicers (such as Navient, Nelnet, FedLoan Servicing, or Great Lakes) over the phone or online to determine the necessary steps to take. Your assigned loan servicer can be found by logging into

Testing Dates

  • SAT and AP Tests
    The College Board, which administers both the SAT and AP tests, is continually updating its website.
    • SAT — The SAT for May 2 has been canceled. Registered students will receive refunds. Currently, the next SAT is scheduled for the first weekend of June. 
    • AP — Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home. For each AP subject, there will be two different testing dates. Free remote learning resources are also available. 

  • ACT Tests
    ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13 across the US. All students registered for the April 4 test date will receive an email from ACT informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or a future national test date. Please check the ACT website for updates.

  • IB Exams
    The International Baccalaureate program's May 2020 examinations for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme students will not be held in any country. Please check the IB website for details.

  • TOEFL and GRE Tests
    The Education Testing Service (ETS), which administers the TOEFL and GRE tests, provides updates on its website. Testing dates have been canceled or postponed in several countries. ETS has, however, arranged a secure TOEFL testing solution that will, by the end of March, allow students in some affected areas to take the test from home.

  • GMAT and Executive Assessment Testing
    The Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the GMAT and Executive Assessment testing, has suspended testing in some locations and is providing updates on its website.

  • Other Tests
    • The IELTS website indicates that the vast majority of IELTS English Language Tests are going ahead. Some locations have suspended testing and are listed on the website.
    • Regular updates about Cambridge English Qualifications testing is posted to the organization's website.

Other Impacts

Additional Resources


The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of more than 15,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. NACAC is committed to maintaining high standards that foster ethical and social responsibility among those involved in the transition process, as outlined in the association's Code of Ethics and Professional Practices.


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