TheBestSchools COVID-19 Survey: Should Students Be Returning to Campus?
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TheBestSchools conducted a nationwide survey that asked college students and households with college students about COVID-19's impact on their fall education plans.
When the pandemic led to colleges shutting down this spring, many were hopeful they would reopen by fall semester. However, with another round of infections accelerating through the country, questions over student safety and the pressure on colleges to reopen are gaining steam.
We partnered with YouGov to ask university students and households with university students how they feel about colleges reopening, if they plan on skipping fall semester, and how colleges can improve their virtual offerings.
Do you think colleges should open for in-person instruction this fall?
- Our survey found that 69% of currently-enrolled university students and households with currently-enrolled university students want colleges to open this fall. However, 38% of those who said yes want safety measures in place first.
- In total, 19% of college students and households with college students think it's too unsafe for colleges to reopen this fall.
Are you planning on skipping or deferring fall semester/quarter?
- Deferment due to COVID-19 is strong. In fact, 38% of college students and households with college students are planning on skipping or deferring fall semester. Reasons for this include wanting to wait for in-person instruction and having financial concerns.
- There are still plenty of students planning on attending or returning to college despite COVID-19. We found that 55% of college students and households with college students intend to return to school. Reasons include feeling comfortable with virtual learning, not wanting gaps in their education, and already being enrolled in online education.
How can colleges that transitioned from in-person classes to virtual instruction due to COVID-19 increase their educational quality?
- When asked how colleges can improve virtual education, college students and households with college students cited more one-on-one time with teachers (43%), recorded videos instead of live classes (30%), and virtual networking events with peers (29%).
TheBestSchools commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct the survey. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total pool of respondents was 1,353 adults, of whom 130 were currently-enrolled students and 144 were family members with currently-enrolled students in the household.
Fieldwork was undertaken June 11-12, 2020. The survey was carried out online and meets rigorous quality standards. It employed a non-probability-based sample using both quotas upfront during collection and then a weighting scheme on the back end designed and proven to provide nationally representative results.
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