Public Viewpoint: Student Viewpoint on Impacts to Completion

Released Oct. 15, 2020

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How is COVID-19 affecting college students currently enrolled at American four-year institutions? Nearly two million (13 percent) feel they will have to push back their graduation date, and another two million-plus (15 percent) are unsure whether they will need to delay, bringing the ratio of students who may delay graduation to more than 1 in 4. Current students also say their emotional well-being is their biggest challenge this fall, and online learning has been a struggle. In fact, nearly 1 in 3 report online instruction has made learning “much worse.”

These insights are from the Strada Student Viewpoint survey, which collected more than 4,000 responses from students at four-year institutions between Sept. 10 and 25. The Student Viewpoint survey is a companion to Strada’s Public Viewpoint, an ongoing and nationally representative survey with more than 18,000 responses collected between March 25 and Oct. 1. The Public Viewpoint is intended to provide insights to the education and training providers, policymakers, employers, and individual Americans who are navigating the COVID-19 crisis.

13% of college students expect COVID-19 will delay their graduation.

Students rank emotional well-being as their biggest challenge this fall — well ahead of cost, academic rigor, or internet access.

Nearly one-third of college students say online instruction has made their ability to learn “much worse.”