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According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), nearly 20 million students were expected to attend colleges and universities in the fall of 2019. Another 3.7 million students are expected to graduate from public or private high schools in the spring of 2020. As of mid-March, schools all over the country have closed for an indeterminate period of time in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus disease, nicknamed COVID-19.
The current health crisis in the United States has resulted in drastic changes across the board. Most states have issued “stay at home” orders, closing all non-life-sustaining businesses which includes schools. Though many schools have made an effort to post lesson plans online and teachers are making their best efforts to stay connected with students, many are left wondering about the state of the American education system and the fate of the class of 2020.
In this article, we’ll explore the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on graduating high school seniors as well as the ways community colleges and traditional colleges and universities are responding to the times.
What Options Do High-School Seniors Have?
Senior year is a difficult one for many students. On top of finishing graduation requirements, many students spend the better part of the year completing college visits and submitting applications. Most applications are in by January or February and students generally hope to hear back from schools sometime in April with a national response date being set for May 1.
As COVID-19 sweeps its way across
Many students opt to attend community college over traditional four-year schools because it is generally cheaper to attend community college. But there are always hidden fees and extra costs to consider as an incoming student. This week on social media, various topics related to community college costs have been trending including Detroit’s action to make community college free and San Francisco’s move to use taxes to pay for community college. There was also an interesting post made by NPR regarding a rise in hunger and homelessness as college costs increase.
San Francisco Becomes First U.S. City to Offer Tuition-Free Community College
On Saturday, February 11 the Twitter handle @CNN (CNN News) posted a link to a news article regarding San Francisco’s decision to offer free community college to all residents starting in the fall of 2017. San Francisco will be the first U.S. city to make this choice and it has many residents in uproar, considering that the tuition costs will be paid for by property taxes equaling more than $5 million. CNN news writer Katie Lobosco reports that this tax is called the “real estate transfer tax” and it was increased in 2016 for both commercial and residential properties, an increase that was approved by voters in November of 2016.
The real estate transfer tax begins at 2.25% and goes as high as 3% for properties with an estimated worth exceeding $25 million. The tax is expected to bring in an average
More Adjunct Faculty Seen Statewide
During the same time, the study found that only around 17% of students enrolled in community colleges across the state successfully completed their degree programs. The dismal number was limited to first-time community college students who failed to earn a two-year degree within three years. Researchers attributed the low rates to a growing number of adjunct faculty members.