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Five Things to Consider When Deciding Where to Go to College in the Era of COVID-19

Sophia Gardner

Posted on May 21, 2020 02:30

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In response to the COVID-19 crisis, many colleges have moved the date that accepted students must commit by to June 1. As this date approaches, it’s important for students to consider a few extra factors when deciding where to attend. Here are five things to think about when making your big decision.

1. Money, money, money. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating financial impact on America. In April, the unemployment rate rose to 14.7%. This figure doesn't account for the whole number of unemployed Americans either, only those who reported unemployment. If you are affected by this rise in unemployment, it may mean that you can't save for college over the summer. It may also mean that money may be tighter for your parents than usual. Make sure that you and your family have a full picture of your financial situation and your financial aid package before making any commitments.  

2. Fall semester. Many colleges have already released decisions about how they'll be holding classes in the fall. Make sure you're aware of any decision they've announced. If you're worried about contracting the virus from being on a busy campus, consider looking for a university that offers online classes. If you need to be on campus, take a look at your school's plans to contain the virus and make sure you have faith in them. Your first semester in college is important, so make sure you're prepared for what your school has planned. 

3. Consider all options. The pandemic has changed everyone's lives; it's important to make sure that college is still the best decision for you. If you're particularly worried about finances or contracting the virus, consider taking classes at your local community college for the semester and transferring into your desired school later. If you didn't get into your top-choice, this is also a great way to prove that you can be a successful college student before you re-apply. Another option is a gap semester. If it is important for you to be on campus, but your college has announced it will be doing online classes in the fall, this may be the best option for you. 

4. Location. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has made travel more difficult than usual. If you're planning to attend a college outside of the country or that you need to fly to, make sure to consider the logistics. If you're planning on attending a college in a highly-populated area, you may want to make a plan for keeping yourself safe from the virus. 

5. Plan for after college. Where you attend school can play a big role in your job after college. The pandemic has damaged the economy drastically and it's possible that it will still be a less than ideal job market when you graduate. Make sure the college you choose can help you become employable after graduation by offering internships and hands-on experience.

Sophia Gardner

Posted on May 21, 2020 02:30

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The Los Rios Community College District announced Thursday it would suspend all face-to-face classes and student interactions...

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