This is the season of peak anxiety for high school seniors planning to go to college, and on top of all the application forms and deadlines and personal essays they usually have to juggle, add a host of new obstacles in this pandemic year.

The coronavirus has put American families in financial crisis, forced millions of students to learn remotely, canceled college tours and standardized testing dates, and prevented legions of students from participating in the sports and other extracurricular activities that serve as creative outlets and résumé boosters.

“It’s all a balance, and I’m not really balanced right now,” said Lea Caldwell, 17, a Detroit student who is working part time as she wrestles with her senior year course load and her college applications.

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