NASSAU COUNTY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The coronavirus outbreak is creating an even more stressful environment in the already competitive college admissions process.

Decision deadlines are coming up and students are trying to commit to a college, but have been unable to physically visit campuses, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Tuesday.

“It’s a real struggle because I was going to tour all of my schools during spring break,” Cranford High School senior Mikaylee Grohol said.

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Grohol is among the millions of high school seniors facing a tough choice in trying to choose a college site unseen.

“The University of Vermont. I’ve never even been to Vermont, and so I have no idea,” Grohol said, “and that was one of my top schools so now I’m really not sure.”

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Decision day is usually May 1, but many colleges have pushed it back to June 1. Hofstra University is among many universities making the virtual experience the next best thing to being there with not only virtual tours of the physical campus and departments, but by also hosting group and one-on-one chats with students and parents. The campus is deserted, but admissions officers like Sunil Samuel are very much available for business.

“This is an incredibly anxious time for seniors. Where am I going to go? Where am I going to end up in September? We are able to seamlessly push them through this process as best as we can,” Samuel said.

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High school juniors are also navigating news stresses. Madelyne Gaibor of East Hampton is trying to get into college, but grades this quarter are now pass fail and standardized tests have been delayed.

“The most stressful part of it is the grade-wise thinking about it, our GPA and standardized testing some of us can’t even take,” Gaibor said. “It’s just like, what do we do now?”

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Julie Gross, the president of Collegiate Gateway, an education consulting company, said she counseled 70 high school students this week to maintain excellent work habits, a structured day, and to keep in close touch with teachers and guidance counselors.

“How you manage through this challenging period in terms of your discipline, your positive attitude, the way you help other students, the initiative you take, will reflect so positively on you through the admissions and application process,” Gross said.

Grades and standardized tests will still be important, but Gross said students’ character during this challenging time will be weighed heavily in the admissions process.

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