In this study, we surveyed college-bound high school seniors to understand how the pandemic is affecting their the college search process and their lives as a whole. Do they feel prepared to go to college? Are they engaged in their education? Has their academic performance suffered?
What we uncovered was COVID's other crisis — its deep and pervasive effect on student mental health.
Regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, background, or even the direct impact of COVID-19 on their family's livelihood, all students are struggling.
"To be honest, ever since quarantine I’ve felt lifeless."
With decision deadlines looming, 41% of college-bound high school seniors still hadn't applied to any colleges as of February 2021.
"The COVID-19 outbreak severely affected my mental health, which made me become less motivated for college. Filling out applications felt like a chore, so most of the deadlines had passed by the time I started feeling more like myself."
An alarming 68% of high school seniors said their family had been directly impacted by COVID-19; financially or otherwise. For those college-bound seniors whose family's financial situation was affected, adequate communication with counselors was shown to have a positive, mitigating effect on the extra challenges they faced.
"I wish I could have sat down and talked to a counselor at school, rather than on Zoom."
Media Coverage of our National Student Studies
Wall Street Journal / July 28, 2020
Inside Higher Ed / April 29, 2020
NBC Boston / April 22, 2020
Forbes / April 9, 2020