A quarter of high school seniors, 26%, changed their views about which college to attend because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to recent research from ACT, the company that administers the standardized test of the same name. Roughly the same share, 27%, rethought what college major they would pursue.
Around 2 in 5 surveyed students reevaluated at least one aspect of their post-high school life because of COVID. A third of seniors, 33%, said it affected two or more of their post-school decisions.
The pandemic had a disproportionate influence on students of color, ACT found. Among Latinx students, 36% said COVID changed their thoughts about which college to attend. One-third of Asian students and 30% of Black students said the same. That's compared to 22% of White students.
The survey suggested COVID was more likely to affect the decisions of students from low-income families — those earning $36,000 a year or less — compared to their wealthier counterparts.
One in 5 low-income students reported that the pandemic made them question whether to attend college, compared to 7% of other students. And roughly a third of low-income students, 31%, rethought what kind of postsecondary institution to attend. Just 12% of high school seniors not classified as low-income said the same.
ACT researchers surveyed over 1,500 12th-grade students in September.