Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

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Double Dog
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Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by Double Dog » Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:52 am

For kids who are graduating high school this spring and starting college in the fall, what changes in plans do you anticipate in light of the current crisis? My kid's in this boat, and already it's prevented her from visiting the colleges where she was accepted before the May 1 decision deadline.

Would the present situation change your outlook about what college to attend? Or whether to attend college at all?

It seems likely to me that fall semester 2020 at most colleges will still be video/distance learning from home. That's bad enough for students who attended in person for a year or two previously, but for new freshmen it seems like an insurmountable obstacle to getting integrated into the college community or benefiting from the "college experience". Is it really worth enrolling as a new freshman at MIT, say, if you're just going to sit at home and watch class lectures online?

Does this argue for taking a gap year and deferring until 2021, assuming the college will permit it? Or maybe it argues for attending a second or third-tier school close to home, even if the student was accepted to a top university in another part of the country? Or just stay the course?

bloom2708
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by bloom2708 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:56 am

Too early to know if fall semester will be affected. We are still only in March.

I would be more worried about a college senior set to graduate in April or May.

It may mean that a school closer to home is a more prudent choice. But, likely too early to make any decisions.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead

chipperd
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by chipperd » Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:58 am

Interesting decisions. Have any of the schools decided about the fall semester yet (online vs in person classes)? Perhaps asking or trying to get as much info before deciding is best course (guess that's obvious, sry). I have a college soph and first year home with me now. Both schools just switched to choise of pass/fail (doesn't impact gpa) or grade, with the students deciding after they see the grades for their courses. Seems like the best of the gpa world from the student perspective and perhaps that could be part of the info gathering.
Not an easy time for college aged kids now. My first year kid runs track and qualified for nationals (D3), but couldn't go, possibly missing out on a once in a lifetime experience. Sucks all around.

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Double Dog
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by Double Dog » Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:00 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:56 am
But, likely too early to make any decisions.
I wish we had the luxury of waiting longer to decide. College decisions are due at the end of April.

HomeStretch
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by HomeStretch » Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:09 pm

I personally would not take a gap year and would encourage my child to choose the best school based on the info available. Students are going to have to stay flexible and adaptive. Too early to tell if incoming freshmen will be delayed moving onto campus in the fall or if the fall classes will only be online. It’s pretty common for on-campus students today to have a couple online courses over their college career.

chipperd
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by chipperd » Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:12 pm

Another resource just popped into my head, albeit reader be warned about the reliability of info: https://www.collegeconfidential.com/

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:35 pm

OP, everyone is making it up as they go along. Unfortunately, there’s no other choice. I have a niece in your child’s situation. The one thing I suggested to her parents is that we have appreciated our son’s attending a school within driving distance, more so now than ever.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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Double Dog
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by Double Dog » Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:44 pm

NPR story today on this very topic: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/22/81872278 ... uture-is-i

btenny
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by btenny » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:33 pm

Maybe college costs will crash like the stock market due to fewer students and COVID 19 issues. So I suggest you ask for max stuff like financial aid and dorm room discounts and so forth. And make sure your kid has one of the good local schools on the list as fall back if the best school does not work out.....

I hope things work out. Good Luck. .

MotoTrojan
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by MotoTrojan » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:49 pm

Perspective is important in times like these. If your biggest worry is not getting the full college experience while starting at MIT, I think you have a lot to be thankful for. Things will return to normal, or at-least stabilize at a new-normal, and there isn't anything you can really do about it in the meantime.

Not being able to visit campuses before having to decide is a bummer, but my 1st point still applies.

btenny
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by btenny » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:51 pm

As a bench mark my next door neighbor is going crazy. She is a senior at a local nursing school. She is finishing up a four year degree. She was taking some classes and getting ready to take her nurse exam. Then school was cancelled until April. She was not working as a intern at the time. She has no idea what to do next. Her school is not telling her any thing else.

This is Arizona and right now we have very few verified COVID 19 cases. So another nurse we know is at home as elective stuff has been cancelled so her work is slow.

Good Luck.

Irisheyes
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by Irisheyes » Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:06 pm

Juniors in high school who were busy getting themselves ready to apply to selective colleges are getting thrown for a loop too.

My dd had the SATs cancelled on her the day before she was set to take them. No word on when/how to reschedule.

The exams for her AP courses are going to be administered online and have been reduced to 45 minutes (from two+ hours previously). Not sure how this approach is really going to be able to separate out the super-prepared from the rest. No long essays and no multiple choice questions.

In addition, no more AP material is to be taught. The tests will be on the 3/4s of the material they have already covered.

Ironically, my dd had just finished covering First WW and the Great Depression in her AP US history. So she has a handle on the Spanish Flu and what a Great Depression really means.

Determined
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by Determined » Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:12 pm

chipperd wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:58 am
Interesting decisions. Have any of the schools decided about the fall semester yet (online vs in person classes)? Perhaps asking or trying to get as much info before deciding is best course (guess that's obvious, sry). I have a college soph and first year home with me now. Both schools just switched to choise of pass/fail (doesn't impact gpa) or grade, with the students deciding after they see the grades for their courses. Seems like the best of the gpa world from the student perspective and perhaps that could be part of the info gathering.
Not an easy time for college aged kids now. My first year kid runs track and qualified for nationals (D3), but couldn't go, possibly missing out on a once in a lifetime experience. Sucks all around.
My husband teaches business for Penn St. they had a zoom meeting the other day talking about what fall might look like in their department, but that’s as far as it went.

Prahasaurus
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by Prahasaurus » Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:17 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:56 am
Too early to know if fall semester will be affected. We are still only in March.

I would be more worried about a college senior set to graduate in April or May.

It may mean that a school closer to home is a more prudent choice. But, likely too early to make any decisions.
Exactly!

We are looking at a global depression unlike anything we have seen in a many generations, we are in the middle of a pandemic that could completely transform the USA: politically, culturally, and economically. I think it's a bit early to discuss impact on the 2020 Freshman class...
Asset Allocation: 50% cash (USD), 30% VT, 20% Bitcoin

Pigeon
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by Pigeon » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:02 pm

It's too early to predict what the fall might bring. As the parent of a couple of college kids and someone who works at a university, there are a few things I'd think about.

Health services on college campuses tend to be less than optimal. I wouldn't want my kid in a college that is too far away from a reasonable hospital.

Some colleges do a decent job of keeping parents informed about what's going on. Others totally ignore the parents. I had two kids in different colleges in the same state system. One college did a pretty good job. FERPA is a thing, so they can't tell you much, if anything, about your particular kid. However, this college had an option where your kid could voluntarily add you as an authorized payer on accounts, which was hugely helpful in knowing when bills were due, info downloading info tax purposes, etc. You could opt in to a school communication system which sent out regular emails about what was going on during the semester and any special events. During this crisis, that kind of information could be very valuable.

My other kid's school sends absolutely zero information to parents. They don't post much on the website, and you can't be an authorized payer on your kid's account. So the parents, unless they contact the schools directly, don't know what the campus policies are in times like this. My kid has a friend who is lying through her teeth to her parents about the situation on campus because she doesn't want to return home--it's boring at home. I get it, they are adults and some kids might have abusive parents, etc., but still, this girl is going to be living in a much more dangerous situation, not keeping social distancing, etc., having almost no access to health care or transportation. She's telling her parents she needs to stay because they are still holding some in-person classes like labs. They aren't, and the college wants everyone to go home. She's telling the school she has no access to technology at home and has to stay to complete her online classes, which is also a lie.

Obviously, this is an issue with communication within families. But college students can be pretty dumb.

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Michael Patrick
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by Michael Patrick » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:05 pm

My daughter is a senior. We're focused on what it is going to take to get her graduated, we'll worry about college after that. I'm assuming the college has no clue yet what the situation will be in September. No one does.

getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:08 pm

chipperd wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:58 am
Interesting decisions. Have any of the schools decided about the fall semester yet (online vs in person classes)? Perhaps asking or trying to get as much info before deciding is best course (guess that's obvious, sry). I have a college soph and first year home with me now. Both schools just switched to choise of pass/fail (doesn't impact gpa) or grade, with the students deciding after they see the grades for their courses. Seems like the best of the gpa world from the student perspective and perhaps that could be part of the info gathering.
Not an easy time for college aged kids now. My first year kid runs track and qualified for nationals (D3), but couldn't go, possibly missing out on a once in a lifetime experience. Sucks all around.
We don't know yet. I'm at a university with a reasonable online presence, but moving everything online isn't optimal for most disciplines and downright disastrous for others. I think we'll know more about the fall in a month. If we have widespread testing and guidelines for keeping businesses, etc., open, I suspect we'll be back to normal. If not, I'm gonna get very friendly with Zoom.

psteinx
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by psteinx » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:40 pm

1) College orientations mainly start in early August. That's ~4.5 months from now. But of course, it's hard to predict today in what situation the pandemic will be by then.

2) I agree that close to home is better than far, under current circumstances. If you still have multiple options on the table, lean towards the closer to home option.

3) Of course, portfolio damage (to date, and perhaps future), and other economic concern may cause greater attention to be paid to lower cost options.

4) One of my two college kids started the online/remote stuff last week. Seemed not great, but at least moderately workable. The other starts this stuff today.

5) I agree that, in the event that stuff is still remote/distance next fall, that will be worse for the freshman than those who've already spent ~3/4 of an academic year, or more, in person. That said, maybe (hopefully), in the event this comes to pass, the colleges will make extraordinary efforts to replicate at least some of the social bonding and initiation processes that normally occur in-person?

6) The idea of a gap year sounds bad. If things are bad enough to keep students away from the physical campuses next fall, then probably much of the rest of the economy will be struggling, too, and a gap year kid would be far less likely to have an interesting one year job, or travel, or whatnot. Having an 18 year old, frustrated and on your sofa for a year, would be tough on the 18yo and likely tough on the family.

7) While many colleges focus on admissions decisions in the spring (~May 1 deadlines?), there may be other options, especially in-state publics, community colleges, and the like, where decision (and application) deadlines may be quite late. I don't really know much about this stuff, but perhaps worth researching if you're really on the fence.

OnTrack2020
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by OnTrack2020 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:43 pm

Our daughter is planning on attending a local community college close to our home. How they will be teaching classes we don't know yet. We don't know if they will be on-campus or on-line. I'm not big into on-line learning for kids who need additional assistance.

quantAndHold
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:26 pm

Unfortunately, she’s going to have to choose based on what she knows now. Lots of kids decide without campus visits. Especially this year. Your kid is going to have to be one of them.

The only thing I would say is that even though right now it feels like this is going to last forever, it isn’t. We will get through this, and by the time she graduates from college, this will be in the rear view mirror. If it were my kid, I would encourage them to accept the one that seemed the best before this all started. To use the MIT example, even if she spends a semester or two sitting at home watching video lectures, they’re a) video lectures from MIT professors, and b) when this all calms down, she’ll be going to MIT. It would be a shame to pick Local U instead of MIT for something that will be in the rear view mirror for the bulk of her college experience.

As far as a gap year...I think that decision could be delayed. She can accept, then see what’s happening when the first tuition payment is due, and make a decision then.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:11 pm

Double Dog wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:00 pm
bloom2708 wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:56 am
But, likely too early to make any decisions.
I wish we had the luxury of waiting longer to decide. College decisions are due at the end of April.
I wouldn't be surprised to see revisions of deadlines and schedules.

greenflamingo
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by greenflamingo » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:18 pm

I think it's a good opportunity to consider doing a gap year, or a year of online gen-eds. Lower cost, relatively future-proofed given the current situation. Then, apply as a transfer down the road.

MathWizard
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by MathWizard » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:22 pm

Some Universities are doing live virtual tours, where the guide uses Zoom or WebEx as they walk around campus, and you "follow along"
through an app on your computer or phone.

Zoom and WebEx clients are free from Google Play, and I assume the Apple App store, and can be downloaded or run in a browser.
The vendors get their money from the hosting sites.

Though you don't get to actually visit the place, you can visit lots of campuses at little cost other than time.

mgk2010
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by mgk2010 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:42 pm

Irisheyes wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:06 pm

The exams for her AP courses are going to be administered online and have been reduced to 45 minutes (from two+ hours previously). Not sure how this approach is really going to be able to separate out the super-prepared from the rest. No long essays and no multiple choice questions.
My child is in the same situation. Is the AP exams guidance (reduction to 45 minutes) universal or will it vary by state? We have not heard anything from CollegeBoard.

Edited: never mind, found the info on collegeboard... thanks
Last edited by mgk2010 on Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

megabad
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Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

Post by megabad » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:44 pm

Double Dog wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:52 am
Would the present situation change your outlook about what college to attend? Or whether to attend college at all?
No it wouldn’t. I mentor a bunch of high school kids getting ready for college through our alumni association and I would tell everyone of them this. You need to have an emergency plan but throwing away a good opportunity for an unknown future occurrence is not a good strategy in my opinion. To be blunt, I’m not sure what being closer to home gets the child. Seems like the only purpose there would be parental peace of mind. If that is where student wants to go then fine but I wouldn’t push a student to go there. I would send child off to wherever he/she wanted with a truckload of non-perishable food and instructions to wash hands after touching anything. The most I might do is prearrange a separate living quarters arrangement. ie not in a crowded dorm.

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