Across the tri-state, many colleges and universities are set to re-open but many students won't be returning to campus.
In a new survey from SimpsonScarborough, 40% of incoming freshmen say they are likely or highly likely to not attend college in person this fall.
Elizabeth Johnson is the chairman of SimpsonScarborough and she says, “I think most of the colleges were trying to get open because they thought the students wanted them to open, and that was what we were seeing back in April. But what we're seeing now is actually the top choice for incoming freshmen is to stay home and take their classes remotely. The top choice for returning college students is to go back and take classes in a hybrid format, some online and some in person."
But of students returning to campus, three out of four say they are very or somewhat worried they’ll contract COVID-19, with only 34% saying they feel safe living in residence halls. Johnson says, “Well they definitely don't trust their fellow students. We found that only 7% of returning college students said they strongly agree they trusted their fellow students to follow their institution's COVID guidelines.”
The survey also found that among returning students, only half said they wouldn't go to social gatherings of over 10 people.
College freshman Tia Moore says she loves collaborating and meeting new people. She won’t get to do much of that this semester though. Her university is opening, but she’s going to stay home and take online courses. “I won't have that freshman experience because I'm staying home, but I think it’s the best thing because my safety is my main priority," she says. “It's a tough choice to decide not to go to campus because I think of all the things I'm going to be missing out on," she says. Moore hopes to attend school in person next year and have the full college experience.