UNCF Survey Measures How COVID-19 Has Affected HBCU Students’ Fall Plans - Higher Education

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UNCF Survey Measures How COVID-19 Has Affected HBCU Students’ Fall Plans

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More than 5,000 students from 17 United Negro College Fund (UNCF) historically Black colleges and universities shared how the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting their lives and enrollment plans for fall, in a recently published UNCF student pulse survey.

Key findings from the survey include:

  1. Over 80% of students prefer to return to campus for some level of in-person instruction for the fall semester. Of that number, 55% prefer to return to campus for in-class instruction this fall, while 33% prefer a mixture of online and in-person classes. Freshmen were more likely than seniors to want to return to campus.
  2.  More than half of students (54%) are experiencing financial challenges as a result of COVID-19.
  3. More than one-third of students reported a decline in their mental well-being due to COVID-19, with women (41%) being more likely than men (27%) to experience a decline.

“I’m tired, frustrated, and upset,” responded one student to the survey. “COVID-19 [is] out here killing us and so is the police and I’m tired. I never felt like I needed more therapy in my life.”

“My father is unemployed, my grandmother whom I live with struggles to make ends meet, so I have to step up and become an adult even more than before,” wrote another student. “I’m currently alone for paying for school.”

Both students who reported declines in mental well-being as well as students who reported increased financial instability were more likely to consider or plan to transfer from their institution.

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