How college students feel about COVID and their careers

Students are most concerned campuses will close due to lack of social distancing at parties

Students have increasing confidence they will be protected from COVID by the safety measures in place at their college or university, a new survey has found.

Some 55% of students said they trusted their school’s prevention efforts, according to a November survey by College Pulse. That’s up from the 48% of students who expressed the same confidence in a July College Pulse survey.

However, only about one-third (37%) of students said they would feel comfortable living in a dorm this fall.

Students are most concerned about their classmates not following social distancing guidelines at campus parties. Three-quarters of those surveyed feared such behavior could cause their campuses to shut down.

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And while female students are more likely than male students to worry about this (77% vs. 65%), just one in 10 students admitted to having attended a college party during the fall semester.

Slightly more than half of students said they would report a risky party to administrators.

Housing disruptions

A quarter of students surveyed said rising COVID cases forced their schools to return to full-time online learning after beginning the fall semester with a hybrid approach that let them attend some classes in-person.

And Black students were almost twice as likely as white students to say they had to move out of on-campus housing (27% vs. 14%) due to such a transition.

Just 17% of students who had to leave on-campus housing reported getting a full refund, while 13% got no refund at all.

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And when it comes to returning home for Thanksgiving, nearly one-third (31%) of students said they were worried about bringing COVID-19 back to their hometowns.

Career prep concerns

In a separate survey, more than two-thirds of students said COVID disruptions will leave them feeling less prepared to find a job after college.

Despite these concerns, a large majority of students (75%) said they remained positive that their major will lead them to a good job after graduation. However, arts and humanities majors are significantly less optimistic than are science majors by a margin of 50% vs. 81%.

Beyond COVID, students are less confident that they will graduate with adequate job interviewing skills. Most students, however, said they would have sufficient collaboration and problem solving skills.

Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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