Week 3: Effects of COVID-19 on College Students and Families

Mar 31, 2021

Howdy Folks!

This week I’m going to discuss the impact that COVID-19 on students and families. The virus has affected the ability for families to afford college for a plethora of reasons (including but not limited to):

  1. High unemployment resulting in loss of primary source of income for many families.
  2. Little flexibility on part of universities to decrease tuition/costs in response to virus.
  3. Less ability for certain universities to provide generous financial aid packages and/or scholarships as a result of significant losses of revenue.
  4. Increased number of college students having to work part-time jobs to afford college while simultaneously managing rigorous coursework.

Education is an institution that’s importance has been greatly stressed in American society for decades. College enrollment has increased in every economic recession since the 1960s, as young people have difficulty finding jobs at their previous level of education. Many American families believe that a college education is essential to living a prosperous and happy life. 78% of families in both waves agree higher education is part of the American Dream. Due to the uncertainty of this year, many colleges turned to remote learning. A survey by Cengage found that faculty taught using a variety of techniques and services such as their school’s learning management platforms (83 percent), real-time video conferencing (80 percent), pre recorded video lectures of their own making (65 percent), or video lectures designed externally (51 percent).There is this rising stigma that paying for college might not even be worth it. Many complain that the traditional college experience has been stripped away from them and that colleges aren’t fairly reimbursing families for that regarding tuition cuts. A study found that 90 percent of parents of college students are “not comfortable with their children returning to [the] status quo learning experience” under COVID-19. At the same time, 47 percent of parents of students at private colleges said they were expecting a “meaningful reduction in price” because of the limitations of online learning and the deprivation of campus life. 


See the source image

This survey conducted by Rise provides important data from a pool of college students from different universities and states. Their survey further supports the notion that the virus has significant financial and emotional impacts on college students as a whole. Perhaps, the most surprising statistic from the survey is the 75% of students that have experienced higher levels or anxiety, depression, or stress from the virus. This is frightening considering that many incoming college freshman will be living by themselves for the first time ever in an unfamiliar environment while taking primarily virtual classes from their dorm room.

Thank you for tuning in this week, I look forward to sharing more of my findings with you all next week.


Karan Mehta


One Reply to “Week 3: Effects of COVID-19 on College Students and Families”

  1. Jeffrey G. says:

    Your research is very detailed! I never imagined all the impacts that COVID-19 has, and continues to have on students across the country. Although these statistics seem dark, I hope that we will be able to recover soon. If anything, let’s keep a positive outlook as we venture off to college.

Leave a Reply