April Maguire 3 min read Coronavirus

How Will Coronavirus Impact College Decisions?

As American colleges take action to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, it’s not just current students who are feeling the effects. High schoolers waiting to hear back from their dream schools might find that they aren’t receiving those college decisions on schedule. With admissions and financial aid officers working remotely, the decision-making process could take longer. Read on to find out how the Coronavirus is expected to impact college admissions for schools and applicants alike. 

 

Delayed Decisions and Deposit Dates

 

With colleges shutting down across the country, a number of institutions may need to delay the release of college decisions. As a result, schools are likely to also delay their deposit deadlines. Typically scheduled for May 1, this date represents the deadline for accepting a college’s offer and making the first deposit on your tuition. As of March 17, dozens of schools have already changed their deposit dates to June 1, including Emerson College, Ithaca College, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Whittier.

 

Various groups are advocating that National College Decision Day should be moved from May 1 to June 1 for the 2020 admissions season. ACCEPT, or the Admissions Community Cultivating Equity & Peace Today, believes that changing the deadline will help protect students from making a commitment they might not be ready for. 

 

How a Delayed Deposit Date Could Benefit Students

 

A delayed deposit date comes with numerous benefits for students and their families. First, moving the date will give students the time they need to make the best possible choices regarding their future. Because students will have had fewer opportunities to visit campuses, they might be uncertain about what college best meets their needs. In particular, students with less experience in academia may be at an extra disadvantage. First-generation college students and those from low-income households may be less aware of their options when it comes to requesting decision delays or negotiating aid.

 

Moreover, all students deserve the opportunity to speak to a financial aid officer before spending tens of thousands of dollars on college. A delayed deposit date would ensure that students can wait until things are more settled to make these types of decisions. This is especially true during a time of financial instability for many families, due to the economic impact of the Coronavirus.

Stay up-to-date on the COVID-19 situation

The impact the current Coronavirus situation is having on high school and college admissions is constantly changing. We're posting up-to-date information at our COVID-19 Information Center.

What About International Students?

 

It’s not just American college students who are being affected by COVID-19. As countries around the world impose travel bans to protect their citizens, the future of international students remains uncertain as well. Along with delayed admissions timelines, international students may find themselves unable to secure visas to study in the U.S. This could mean online learning for the first semester or year, or a significant number of international students staying local for college.

 

A reduction in the number of international students attending American colleges doesn’t just impact things abroad. According to a recent CNBC article, a third of international students come to the U.S. from China, which was hit especially hard by the virus that originated in the Wuhan Province. In light of recent cuts in state funding for higher education, an increasing number of colleges are relying on tuition from international students to fill their cofferstuition that might not be available to them in the coming academic year.  

 

It’s worth noting that fewer international students may leave more slots open for domestic applicants. However, without the surge in tuition dollars coming from overseas, many colleges will have less money available for students who need generous aid packages to attend school. 

 

This is another reason that college decisions may be delayed this year, as colleges may want to wait things out and see whether the Coronavirus will impact travel into the fall. 

 

These are difficult times for everyone. At CollegeVine, we’re here to support you. COVID-19 is a constantly-changing situation, and we want to ensure you have access to the most up-to-date info in one place. Visit our Coronavirus Info Center to check for any new developments in college admissions during these unusual circumstances.

 

April Maguire
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire taught freshman composition while earning her degree. Over the years, she has worked as a writer, editor, tutor, and content manager. Currently, she operates a freelance writing business and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three rowdy cats.