College students are not eager to return to regular face-to-face classes amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
So reports Simpson Scarborough in its new National Student Survey on student attitudes related to how coronavirus is affecting their college education. Surveying 927 incoming college freshpeople and 905 returning students in late July, Simpson Scarborough found that only 17% of both groups want to return to full-time in-person instruction. About 70% of each cohort would prefer either fully online instruction or a hybrid model combining in-person and online classes. Interestingly, the incoming freshpeople—most of whom just went through the chaos of finishing high school in classes suddenly converted to online delivery—incline more toward all online classes than returning college students:
40% of incoming first-timers say they are likely or highly likely to not attend college at all this fall; that’s double the percentage reporting such attendance doubt in the spring. 16% of students who were on campus last school year say they are choosing not to go back; another 14% are still not sure.
While 74% of freshpeople and 76% of returning students say they are worried about catching coronavirus on campus this fall, only 56% of freshpeople and 63% of returners say they’ll always observe the six-foot rule indoors, and only 52% of freshpeople and 59% of returners say they’ll always avoid social gatherings and parties with more than ten people. Only 7% of freshpeople and 21% of returners say they trust their fellow students to follow campus guidelines to prevent the spread of the pandemic.