Decision Day During Quarantine

Seniors Face Uncertainty and Expenses


The emails have flooded in: accepted, rejected, waitlisted. The senior class’ already difficult process of committing to a college by May 1 has been complicated by canceled upcoming college sports, a costly potential online fall semester, and being unable to visit schools before deciding.

“I’ve already committed to UCLA for pole vault, so I’ll be going there no matter what, but with the possibility of the first semester being online, I’m not sure how that will affect my athletic season, or if I’ll even have an indoor season at all,” senior Katerina Adamiec said. 

Adamiec is considering beginning at UCLA next spring, as the cost of tuition at many schools remains the same for online classes. Deferring acceptance to a major university to attend a semester of community college has also become an ideal back up plan for students.

While teachers are working incredibly hard getting students the resources they need, in-class education has more hands-on and engaging opportunities. Current and incoming college students have concerns that they will be paying for an experience they will not receive.

“A big part of college is the atmosphere and being around all these people who want to study a certain subject and are as interested in it as you, and right now we don’t have that. We don’t have the social atmosphere, we don’t have the facilities and labs and technology, and some of us don’t even have reliable internet or quiet places to study,” Syracuse freshman and Poway High Alumni Keira Barry said.

A college education already empties wallets quicker than students and parents can fill them. With online classes costing the same as in-person classes, the uncertainty many people are facing regarding employment is an important concern. 

“There’s definitely a lot of us who will take a semester off or something if we can’t go back in person in the fall. It’s not worth it” Keira Barry said.

Additionally, narrowing down top college lists has become really challenging as students choose between schools they have been able to visit and ones they have not.

“I was supposed to go visit three of my top choice colleges, and due to quarantine, my trips got canceled. If those trips didn’t get canceled I might have chosen differently based on what I saw or heard in person. I ended up choosing a school I had already visited,” senior Tiffany Healey said.

While planning for the next four years has become extra challenging, it is important to remember that many students and schools are experiencing similar struggles.