COVID-19 and its Effects on College Campuses Across The Nation



Online learning during coronavirus crisis.

Nicole Lohman and Janae Morales

During these challenging times, students all over the world attending colleges have been struggling with housing, money, and their education. A lot of students have been forced to stay home and had to move out of their dorms and living spaces. Because of this, the pandemic has already cost the universities millions of dollars. It is proven that living on campus is essential for hundreds of students, however it has left them homeless now that it is a danger to be near other people and the possible spread of the coronavirus. 

Apart from students losing their homes with the campuses being closed down, it means that students have also lost their jobs, and are now unemployed and struggling. In an article from the Chronicle earlier this month titled “When COVID-19 Closed Colleges, Many Students Lost Jobs They Needed. Now Campuses Scramble to Support Them,” it revealed the financial struggles it has caused hundreds of students. Some colleges like Ohio University have offered to still maintain a safe clean environment for students that still wanted to keep their jobs but students like Noah Wright, a junior at Ohio University says “The pay due to lack of sales has not been great.” In Wright’s case, he was already running low on money this month, and he was banking on increasing his hours after spring break. But now, he said, he can work a maximum of only six hours per week, down from his usual 10. Before he returned home, on Tuesday, he had to ask his roommates and his parents to help cover a couple of days of groceries. A majority of students are now in the same situation as Noah, and because students like him work through school it was the only way they could afford college, and now that it’s been temporarily taken away it leaves a lot of students with little to no money for their education and necessities.

 On a different note, while colleges and universities consider the possibility of online schooling in the fall, they’re also worried about losing their students and population. The virus has definitely made it impossible for foreign students and others to study abroad. In specific, students from Asia and other countries that have restrictions on traveling. The virus itself has made the population on campuses decrease drastically. Now that students are rethinking their academic choices altered by the virus universities are concerned by the shrinkage of enrollment and lost revenue. Kent D. Syverud, the chancellor of Syracuse University says, “The combination of fear for health and safety and the economic impact at the same time is one that I haven’t experienced, and I don’t think most university leaders have.” This uneasiness about the unprecedented future worries people like students and parents who have yet to make decisions on either waiting or delaying school in the fall. 

Another aspect of this crisis can be deciding which school to attend. Many students like to take part in certain events like touring schools or even welcome day events and orientation once they get accepted, but due to COVID19  all of this has now become virtual. Students must now take virtual tours of the schools they wish to attend. Welcome Day for some schools like Cal State Fullerton is now being held through Zoom, or other online platforms. Other options students have in order to feel more connected include chat rooms, which are being used to find roommates and make friends. Students also have the option of emailing their admissions counselors if they have any pending questions. 

With schools shutting down and the postponement of standardized testing, colleges and universities have now become lenient when it comes to the admission process. They have tried to sympathize with the class of 2020 by allowing pass or fail grades as reported by Forbes for their last semester of high school, and while all this sounds encouraging, this may not be good news for all students. Some students were counting on their last semester grades in order to increase their GPA. 

Overall this pandemic has been proven to be a rough time for everyone and with everything going on in the world, it can be apparent why college students and incoming freshmen have been struggling to get things done. As students do their part to get in contact with counselors and school representatives regarding admissions, it is also important in the meantime to check your email regularly and see what else you can do to ensure your education is being prioritized.