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San Domenico School News & Events

College News

Dear San Domenico Community Members,

Throughout this pandemic we have all been called to innovate and pivot, wondering at times what changes would disappear as we returned to “normal” and which ones would “stick” and become new traditions. The way we shared last year’s annual college news is one change we are pleased to share we are going to stick with: rather than one long list at the end of the year, we will share sector updates and stories of student perspectives throughout the college admissions season.  

Today, as we conclude the early phase of the current college admission cycle, we want to take a moment to recognize our seniors, the Class of 2021, who continue to navigate a college admissions process like no other, and one that provides more unknowns than ever before. Despite the significant disruptions and challenges brought to our daily lives by the ongoing pandemic, our SD seniors impressed us as they maintained a mindful approach to their college search and application process.

The Class of 2021 helped usher in a new era as college counseling as a whole shifted to an online format. College fairs and information sessions once held in gymnasiums, hotels, and convention centers could suddenly be live streamed from the comfort of our couches. High school visits with admission counselors once held in the Upper School at SD moved to Zoom and allowed our students currently living worldwide to engage with the professionals who would ultimately read their applications. Our San Domenico College Application Process (CAP) class also moved online throughout the fall, allowing us to include guest speakers from the admissions and financial aid world at the press of a button. Though physical distancing restrictions prevented many of our seniors from visiting college campuses in person, the influx of virtual engagement options ultimately decreased the figurative distance between prospective students and universities. This allowed our students to interact with colleges and universities from all over the world which they may not have originally considered.

Here are a few takeaways from the early admission cycle for the Class of 2021:

  • 80% of the SD Class of 2021 submitted at least one application in an early round - including Early Action, Early Decision, Priority, and Rolling admissions plans.
  • Though the vast majority of college admissions news is coming later this month and into early April, as of this writing over 75% of our seniors have been admitted to at least one of their college or university choices.
  • These include a wide array of colleges and universities that reflects the broad scope of interests of our senior class: California public and private universities such as Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara University, and University of Southern California, as well as colleges and universities across the nation. These include research universities such as the University of Chicago, Emory University, and Gonzaga University, small liberal arts colleges like Colorado College, Reed College, and Warren Wilson College and fine and performing arts programs such as NYU's Tisch School of Performing Arts, Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, and Columbia College - Hollywood.
  • 17 members of the Class of 2021 have already enrolled in their college of choice!
  • The University of California and California State University systems, which only offer a Regular Decision admissions plan, remain top choices and exciting options for many of our seniors. Admission decisions from the UC and CSU will be released campus by campus throughout March.

The past year taught us a lot about perseverance and has sparked important conversations about equity and access in the college admissions process that will have lasting effects in the coming years. We navigate these exciting changes together with our students, remembering the importance of personal purpose in the college admissions process.

As we await the bulk of our admission decisions from seniors who applied as Regular Decision candidates, we know there are still many unknowns to navigate for this graduating class. Through it all, we look forward to continuing to support our seniors, celebrate their successes, and honor the resilience and flexibility they’ve demonstrated throughout this year. We could not be more proud of the personal approach each of our seniors is taking as they continue to consider their next steps after graduation.


Melissa Martin
Co-Director of College Counseling
Katie May
Co-Director of College Counseling