A new nationwide poll, with support from Equitable Futures, a project of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, shows that 52% of youth respondents said they value college differently now than before the pandemic.
The findings reveal that COVID-19 pandemic has greatly altered how Black, Hispanic, Latinx youth, and White young people from lower income households nationwide view the value of attending college. With many colleges still remote, departmental and major studies altered, and some job markets collapsing, students are facing a crisis: confidence about their future job and career prospects.
According to the poll, in 2020, 62% said college is or would be worth it, a nine-percentage point decline from 2019. Fewer young people feel clear about their career path, a nearly 20% drop than in 2019.
The poll shows that as young people grapple with uncertainty toward college and careers, amid the COVID-19 crisis, more needs to be done to help instill the value of college during these times. Students feel there needs to be a bridge that helps them adapt to the rapidly changing systems and be given resources and services to help them thrive in this economy.