High school seniors are faced with a tough decision regarding college plans this November because of the rising COVID cases at colleges.
Many students are hesitant about whether or not on-campus learning is a smart move. More than 45 colleges have reported that at least 1,000 cases over the course of the pandemic and that the number of cases is still rising. Though most universities are adhering to COVID regulations, many schools with on-campus learning are sending their students home due to a growing number of cases.
“As much as I want to go away to school, it all depends on COVID,” says Senior Caterina Lepore. “I want to go because it’s an important milestone in my life, but I don’t want to risk spreading/contracting the disease.”
Ten percent of college-bound seniors who had planned to enroll at a four-year college before the COVID-19 outbreak have already made different plans. A poll from 1,171 high school seniors on April 21-24 by the Art & Science Group found that one in six students who’d planned to attend college full-time no longer plan to do so. Many students are scared of contracting the disease, while others don’t see a point in attending college if there is a high possibility they will be sent home considering the high number of cases.
Though many seniors do not plan on going away to college next fall, there are some who don’t want to pass up the opportunity.
“I want to go away to college because I feel like going away is an important experience that I don’t want to miss out on,” says senior Julia Galesi. “Though it may be risky, college is a once in a lifetime thing that I have been looking forward to. Even if I have to stay in my dorm, I still want to be there.”
Most seniors have been thinking about college for most of their high school career, so they don’t want to see their preparation go to waste.“I want to go to college just to get away and experience life outside of Wayne Hills,” says Grace Conturso, a senior at Hills.
With the continuation of virtual learning for many colleges and the uncertainty about when the COVID-19 pandemic will end, many students are choosing to take a gap year. A gap-year will allow students to see what happens with the virus before making any commitments.