Coronavirus causes college dilemmas for the Class of 2020

HOUSTON – The Class of 2020 missed out on prom, traditional graduation ceremonies and now the coronavirus is threatening the start of their college careers too.

The Dilemma

Terria Williams has dreamed of attending Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee since she was a little girl. She worked hard to get there. The Galena Park Early College High School senior has received more than $500,000 in scholarship offers from about 20 colleges and universities around the country. Last week, she signed her acceptance letter to Fisk University where she will major in biology.

Now Williams is waiting, like hundreds of thousands of other students, to find out if her first year at college will be on campus, or if she will be logging in for classes from home.

“It’s very bittersweet to know that I planned all this time since I was a toddler really to go to school, off to college and get a big an HBCU experience, to know that it will be delayed or altered is kind of weird in a way,” Williams said.

Students consider less expensive options

With faculty and staff working remotely, many universities have canceled visits and have even moved new student orientations online. With so much uncertainty about their freshman year, some education experts said staying home and attending a community college may make more sense for families whose income was impacted by the coronavirus.

Ibrahim Firat, the chief education consultant at Firat Education, said it is hard to justify paying the price of a four-year university when your student won’t get the university experience.

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