What can college bound students expect this year?

Monday, December 21, 2020

The holidays are here and the Spring 2021 semester is fast approaching. Before we know it, Fall 2021 will be at the door.

Earlier this year, colleges and high schools all over the U.S. and in the rest of the world had to adjust to the new reality shaped by COVID-19. The rapid spread of the disease brought on by the novel coronavirus resulted in the shutdown of many top colleges and universities early on in the Spring 2020 semester. Higher education institutions around the globe transitioned to online learning in an attempt to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.

The Spring 2020 semester was defined by the hasty transition to online learning and quick shutdown of school campuses all over the country. The Fall 2020 semester has been marked by different learning strategies and campus operation plans depending on the university. Nearly all students engaged in some kind of online learning, if not fully online college semesters. Any on-campus activity was regulated by COVID-19 testing and physical and social guidelines and/or mandates.

What can college bound students expect this year?

College bound students who return to their university campuses and communities will be expected to partake in an auto-quarantine.

Similarly, to the Fall semester, students will be expected to self-quarantine and self-isolate for at least two weeks before the spring semester or quarter begins. This strategy is meant to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Universities in the U.S. will still try to keep on-campus operations limited.

Most U.S. colleges are encouraging students to study from home if they can do so because it is a safe option. Colleges and universities, of course, will be doing their best to accommodate students who must be on campus.

University student codes of conduct will have COVID-19 health precautions and guidelines written into them.

While these codes of conduct may change depending on the college or university, students can expect to find rules written into the codes of conduct that they are expected to review at the start of each semester.

What about college Spring Break?

It is highly likely that Spring Break will be cancelled at most schools, in an attempt to reduce COVID-19 outbreaks. Traveling outside of the university community only to return is an incredibly risky move that colleges and universities want their students to keep from doing.

Online learning will continue.

Students can expect to continue taking some, if not most or all, of their classes online. Even students who are back on their college campuses can expect to take online classes.

Students and families will keep seeking continued, if not increased, financial aid options.

As the COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing economic crisis continue, many students and their families are struggling to make ends meet. Students and families will continue seeking financial aid from colleges, universities, public and private institutions, and more.

Students, staff, faculty, and any campus visitors will be required to wear face coverings on campus.

This will apply even on the university campuses that are in states where there are no mask mandates.

Students will most likely be asked to engage in regular COVID-19 testing on campus.

Students who are returning to campus will be most likely asked to engage in regular COVID-19 testing.

College students will have to wait longer for a vaccine.

College students with no pre-existing conditions are low on the list of priority for who receives the vaccine.

On-campus university life will still look different.

  • College and university dormitory halls will have restrictions. – Similar to the Fall 2020 semester, residence halls will have restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Indoor dining options will be limited, and most dining options will be grab-and-go.
  • Any physical barriers that were in place in the Fall are going to keep being in place this semester.
  • Students will be asked to socialize in safe ways that minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.
  • Some work-study jobs may be available online for students.
  • College sports will be facing challenges due to postponements and even cancellations that result from positive cases.

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