How Coronavirus is Impacting College Decisions

Trinity+College+in+Dublin%2C+Ireland.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.

Kate Shanahan, Staff Writer

Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions one can make in their young life. It determines the opportunities available later in life coupled with being a huge financial choice. However, high school seniors have run into new issues with choosing their universities due to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

By now, it appears that COVID-19 has seeped into every aspect of life and is beginning to impact the future far more than anyone could have predicted. Without being able to visit college campuses, seniors are left to decide on a college with the information at hand and their gut feeling of where they’d like to go. Additionally, seniors who choose to travel far from home to attend a university might be sent back home as soon as the fall semester begins as schools are considering an online fall semester for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

Cost of college has become an even bigger issue than ever before. With millions of people joining the unemployed ranks, huge financial decisions like college have become more stressful. Many families are reluctant to pay the same prices for a college education as schools are switching to online courses. With the price of room and board still included in the overall bill, students and parents are hoping for reduced tuitions for schools looking to go online for the upcoming fall semester. Moreover, professors are not able to teach the same online versus in a classroom causing students to learn material on their own, so what are college students even paying for at this point?

Various organizations including the Admissions Community Cultivating Equity & Peace Today, better known as ACCEPT, are advocating for a delay in the National College Decision Day. Organizations like ACCEPT feel delaying Decision Day will allow seniors more time to make a commitment that they might not be ready for. Schools such as Emerson College, Ithaca College, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Whitter have already changed their deposit dates from May 1 to June 1. 

Additionally, international students are facing dilemmas as they try to fulfill their dreams of attending an American school. As more and more countries around the world impose travel bans to protect their citizens, the future of international students remains uncertain. While international students can take their first semester online, a time zone predicament presents itself as students in different time zones will have to rearrange their schedules to various degrees in order to take courses. Likewise, students from America hoping to travel abroad for a semester or an entire year are going to have to put their dreams on hold.