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Fall college - options if kids still home?

Jolynne SmythJolynne Smyth 2704 replies127 threads Senior Member
Hi - I apologize if this has been covered in other posts. With state after state going to lockdown for COVID-19 that could last for months I’m trying to picture the possibilities for our HS seniors who were planning to go off to school in August/Sept.

Some options I’ve envisioned that schools could do/might have to do - online classes for the first semester/first year, allow kids to defer, expand commuting options with some modified classroom instruction.

A lot of companies (mine included) are anticipating working from home for months. I can’t see send thousands of kids to college to live in close quarters if the virus is still around.

Has anyone heard about options or modifications that schools might be making? My D has not decided on which school to attend - but even beyond that decision point that there are so many unknowns.

Appreciate any thoughts...!
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Replies to: Fall college - options if kids still home?

  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6115 replies1 threads Senior Member
    I think that this is a very good question. I do not think that anyone has figured out the answer yet.

    I agree that having a few thousand kids from all around the world fly to one campus and start mingling does not seem like a good plan, and does not seem likely to become a good plan by September.

    This leaves deferring school for a semester or a year or on-line classes as the remaining options. Obviously some classes (eg, lab classes and field classes) cannot be held on-line.

    This problem also applies to students who are already in university and planning to return in September.

    At this point looking more than two weeks ahead is tough.
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  • Jolynne SmythJolynne Smyth 2704 replies127 threads Senior Member
    Thanks DadTwoGirls.

    I haven’t been on CC for a few weeks and I’m sure all the parents and students have been discussing this.

    I just see on my local parent FaceBook pages parents chatting about how to do a delayed prom in a few weeks, how sad that the kids will miss their senior trip, etc.

    I get it.

    But meanwhile I haven’t seen the discussions wrestling with whether their kid should take a gap year and try and do some sort of work from home job, develop an online business, take online classes at community college for a year (who wants to pay $30k in tuition for online classes at one of the nicer accepted colleges?), etc.

    My daughter was accepted at a number of schools that were financially out of reach for us. But, if it turns out she might only live on campus there for 2 years - they might actually be financially feasible.

    I know there is no crystal ball re:college for the next - say - 12 months. I just see on-campus living definitely *not* being one of those options (even if it were, not sure I’d want to send my kid there!)

    Trying to explore the alternatives...


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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9069 replies89 threads Senior Member
    My D’s co op confirmed they are still on for the summer (praying that doesn’t change). I’m wondering if school doesn’t resume, if she can switch co op terms and just keep working. It will definitely be something she explores if she can’t go back to in person classes.
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  • silverpurplesilverpurple 274 replies49 threads Member
    We are going to wait for the deadline and decide. One college already changed to a June deadline.
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  • Jolynne SmythJolynne Smyth 2704 replies127 threads Senior Member
    Good luck with the co-op momofsenior1!

    Silverpurple- that was my first hope- the colleges would move decision day back a month or so (since we had a few more schools to visit).

    Now I’m trying to figure out the whole first year thing and if the same college decision-making analysis should even apply....!
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  • CTCapeCTCape 258 replies9 threads Junior Member
    @Jolynne Smyth We’re hoping the same—decision day moved to June 1 so we can all have a better sense of what fall may potentially look like. However, we’re still willing to make some tentative decisions.

    We deposited at our instate flagship for housing purposes because ds’s acceptance was conditional, putting him in a lower priority housing pool. Ironically, his condition was that he would attend the local branch campus for fall only, but could also live on campus and commute for that one semester. If he decides to go there, housing in the fall may be a moot point. We look at it right now as us waitlisting them.

    That said, he finally confirmed last night that UMass Amherst is his first choice. We are willing to pay the tuition for fall if it’s online. Savings will be in room and board for fall if it’s an online scenario, and most importantly, it will secure his merit aid for when this passes. If he did some less expensive online community college in the fall or something, he would become a transfer student at his preferred school, and his scholarship would disappear. This isn’t a savings in the 4 year long run.

    When he’s ready to pull the trigger, we will either commit fully to UConn or deposit at UMass and withdraw from UConn. These are hard choices to make without concrete facts, but I’m viewing it as a 4 year decision.
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  • chmcnmchmcnm 429 replies6 threads Member
    My son had same concerns. Why pay more for online classes next fall when he could go in-state for cheap. I told him to take a deep-breath and think 2, 3, 4 years out. Take a longer term perspective. He smiled and nodded. Five minutes later we put the deposit down for Georgia Tech. Decision wasn't going to change between now and May/June 1st.

    It's a risk but we're hoping it's a temporary setback if fall classes are online. If we're still talking online classes next spring then I think we have bigger problems to worry about.

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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80870 replies726 threads Senior Member
    edited March 24
    But meanwhile I haven’t seen the discussions wrestling with whether their kid should take a gap year and try and do some sort of work from home job, develop an online business, take online classes at community college for a year (who wants to pay $30k in tuition for online classes at one of the nicer accepted colleges?), etc.

    Work for high school graduates may not be that available, except at places like grocery stores.

    Taking college courses after high school graduation could force the student to apply to other colleges as a transfer instead of frosh.
    edited March 24
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 30130 replies182 threads Senior Member
    edited March 24
    Try to not overthink things yet. Do your best to be patient and wait it out a bit longer. If your kid needs more time to decide, ask the college/university for more time. They are still trying to figure everything out themselves.

    Two weeks ago, I hadn't even heard of Zoom. Tonight my students and I stumbled through our first Zoom class. The community college I work at went from "maybe we might do something online" to 100% "emergency remote instruction" in a matter of days. It went week from "back on campus on April 3" to "essential personnel only until further notice" less than a week ago. All of the colleges are in this situation. They can't predict what they will be doing even next month, let alone next fall.
    edited March 24
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  • Jolynne SmythJolynne Smyth 2704 replies127 threads Senior Member
    Thanks for all those helpful comments! I hear you on the 'can't overthink it' plus the 'consider losing all the scholarship $ if kid comes in as a transfer later.' Plus I've seen the risks of a kid getting off the college track & making some money. It's very hard sometimes to get back on it.

    Really contemplating putting down a deposit for housing purposes at D's (so far) favorite school. Hadn't factored that 'housing preference' piece into it.

    Again - many thanks and good luck to all as we navigate this new (and disconcerting) world! Stay safe.
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