The coronavirus pandemic didn’t just rob students of the experience of going to prom or attending their graduation. The ongoing health crisis and its subsequent effect on the economy are also responsible for killing the dreams of many students.
As the unemployment rate reaches historic heights, college is an expense that a lot of American families and students find themselves suddenly unable to afford.
A survey by OneClass found that 56% of college students now can’t pay their tuition. The sentiment was found in the 10,000 freshmen and sophomores going to over 200 different higher learning institutions in the United States who were surveyed for the study.
Meanwhile, half of the undergraduates polled said that they are currently trying to find ways to afford their schooling again after their finances were affected by the pandemic. Unfortunately, around 7% have already needed to unenroll themselves to pursue full-time work or other education paths.
There’s also the fact that some 40% of parents resorted to using their children’s college funds to ferry their families through the economic downturn in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
And that’s only scratching the surface considering the effects of the pandemic on the job prospects of recent college graduates.
Those who have yet to enter college are also feeling similar financial strains. Incoming college students, as well as their parents, have said that COVID-19 affected their ability to afford college, according to a poll by NitroCollege.
Their answer to such difficulties is to borrow money instead of relying on savings and income.
A different survey from the College Savings Foundation found that about 41% of parents expected to take on more debt to afford college for their children.
Re-Planning the Future
Given the circumstances of their entrance to college, the high school class of 2020 would likely end up owning more money (up to $37,200) compared to students who graduated years earlier.
Some have changed their plans due to the COVID-19 health crisis. A survey by the College Savings Foundation determined that 39% of recent high school graduates adapted their plans because of current economic uncertainty.
This resulted in 15% of students switching to a public college as they are more affordable, with 36% choosing to attend community college instead to save money.