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Covid 19 Essay in English

Essay on Covid -19: In a very short amount of time, coronavirus has spread globally. It has had an enormous impact on people's lives, economy, and societies all around the world, affecting every country. Governments have had to take severe measures to try and contain the pandemic. The virus has altered our way of life in many ways, including its effects on our health and our economy. Here are a few sample essays on ‘CoronaVirus’.

100 Words Essay on Covid 19

200 words essay on covid 19, 500 words essay on covid 19.

Covid 19 Essay in English

COVID-19 or Corona Virus is a novel coronavirus that was first identified in 2019. It is similar to other coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, but it is more contagious and has caused more severe respiratory illness in people who have been infected. The novel coronavirus became a global pandemic in a very short period of time. It has affected lives, economies and societies across the world, leaving no country untouched. The virus has caused governments to take drastic measures to try and contain it. From health implications to economic and social ramifications, COVID-19 impacted every part of our lives. It has been more than 2 years since the pandemic hit and the world is still recovering from its effects.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the world has been impacted in a number of ways. For one, the global economy has taken a hit as businesses have been forced to close their doors. This has led to widespread job losses and an increase in poverty levels around the world. Additionally, countries have had to impose strict travel restrictions in an attempt to contain the virus, which has resulted in a decrease in tourism and international trade. Furthermore, the pandemic has put immense pressure on healthcare systems globally, as hospitals have been overwhelmed with patients suffering from the virus. Lastly, the outbreak has led to a general feeling of anxiety and uncertainty, as people are fearful of contracting the disease.

My Experience of COVID-19

I still remember how abruptly colleges and schools shut down in March 2020. I was a college student at that time and I was under the impression that everything would go back to normal in a few weeks. I could not have been more wrong. The situation only got worse every week and the government had to impose a lockdown. There were so many restrictions in place. For example, we had to wear face masks whenever we left the house, and we could only go out for essential errands. Restaurants and shops were only allowed to operate at take-out capacity, and many businesses were shut down.

In the current scenario, coronavirus is dominating all aspects of our lives. The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc upon people’s lives, altering the way we live and work in a very short amount of time. It has revolutionised how we think about health care, education, and even social interaction. This virus has had long-term implications on our society, including its impact on mental health, economic stability, and global politics. But we as individuals can help to mitigate these effects by taking personal responsibility to protect themselves and those around them from infection.

Effects of CoronaVirus on Education

The outbreak of coronavirus has had a significant impact on education systems around the world. In China, where the virus originated, all schools and universities were closed for several weeks in an effort to contain the spread of the disease. Many other countries have followed suit, either closing schools altogether or suspending classes for a period of time.

This has resulted in a major disruption to the education of millions of students. Some have been able to continue their studies online, but many have not had access to the internet or have not been able to afford the costs associated with it. This has led to a widening of the digital divide between those who can afford to continue their education online and those who cannot.

The closure of schools has also had a negative impact on the mental health of many students. With no face-to-face contact with friends and teachers, some students have felt isolated and anxious. This has been compounded by the worry and uncertainty surrounding the virus itself.

The situation with coronavirus has improved and schools have been reopened but students are still catching up with the gap of 2 years that the pandemic created. In the meantime, governments and educational institutions are working together to find ways to support students and ensure that they are able to continue their education despite these difficult circumstances.

Effects of CoronaVirus on Economy

The outbreak of the coronavirus has had a significant impact on the global economy. The virus, which originated in China, has spread to over two hundred countries, resulting in widespread panic and a decrease in global trade. As a result of the outbreak, many businesses have been forced to close their doors, leading to a rise in unemployment. In addition, the stock market has taken a severe hit.

Effects of CoronaVirus on Health

The effects that coronavirus has on one's health are still being studied and researched as the virus continues to spread throughout the world. However, some of the potential effects on health that have been observed thus far include respiratory problems, fever, and coughing. In severe cases, pneumonia, kidney failure, and death can occur. It is important for people who think they may have been exposed to the virus to seek medical attention immediately so that they can be treated properly and avoid any serious complications. There is no specific cure or treatment for coronavirus at this time, but there are ways to help ease symptoms and prevent the virus from spreading.

Explore Career Options (By Industry)

  • Construction
  • Entertainment
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  • Information Technology

Bio Medical Engineer

The field of biomedical engineering opens up a universe of expert chances. An Individual in the biomedical engineering career path work in the field of engineering as well as medicine, in order to find out solutions to common problems of the two fields. The biomedical engineering job opportunities are to collaborate with doctors and researchers to develop medical systems, equipment, or devices that can solve clinical problems. Here we will be discussing jobs after biomedical engineering, how to get a job in biomedical engineering, biomedical engineering scope, and salary. 

Data Administrator

Database professionals use software to store and organise data such as financial information, and customer shipping records. Individuals who opt for a career as data administrators ensure that data is available for users and secured from unauthorised sales. DB administrators may work in various types of industries. It may involve computer systems design, service firms, insurance companies, banks and hospitals.

Ethical Hacker

A career as ethical hacker involves various challenges and provides lucrative opportunities in the digital era where every giant business and startup owns its cyberspace on the world wide web. Individuals in the ethical hacker career path try to find the vulnerabilities in the cyber system to get its authority. If he or she succeeds in it then he or she gets its illegal authority. Individuals in the ethical hacker career path then steal information or delete the file that could affect the business, functioning, or services of the organization.

Data Analyst

The invention of the database has given fresh breath to the people involved in the data analytics career path. Analysis refers to splitting up a whole into its individual components for individual analysis. Data analysis is a method through which raw data are processed and transformed into information that would be beneficial for user strategic thinking.

Data are collected and examined to respond to questions, evaluate hypotheses or contradict theories. It is a tool for analyzing, transforming, modeling, and arranging data with useful knowledge, to assist in decision-making and methods, encompassing various strategies, and is used in different fields of business, research, and social science.

Geothermal Engineer

Individuals who opt for a career as geothermal engineers are the professionals involved in the processing of geothermal energy. The responsibilities of geothermal engineers may vary depending on the workplace location. Those who work in fields design facilities to process and distribute geothermal energy. They oversee the functioning of machinery used in the field.

Remote Sensing Technician

Individuals who opt for a career as a remote sensing technician possess unique personalities. Remote sensing analysts seem to be rational human beings, they are strong, independent, persistent, sincere, realistic and resourceful. Some of them are analytical as well, which means they are intelligent, introspective and inquisitive. 

Remote sensing scientists use remote sensing technology to support scientists in fields such as community planning, flight planning or the management of natural resources. Analysing data collected from aircraft, satellites or ground-based platforms using statistical analysis software, image analysis software or Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a significant part of their work. Do you want to learn how to become remote sensing technician? There's no need to be concerned; we've devised a simple remote sensing technician career path for you. Scroll through the pages and read.

Geotechnical engineer

The role of geotechnical engineer starts with reviewing the projects needed to define the required material properties. The work responsibilities are followed by a site investigation of rock, soil, fault distribution and bedrock properties on and below an area of interest. The investigation is aimed to improve the ground engineering design and determine their engineering properties that include how they will interact with, on or in a proposed construction. 

The role of geotechnical engineer in mining includes designing and determining the type of foundations, earthworks, and or pavement subgrades required for the intended man-made structures to be made. Geotechnical engineering jobs are involved in earthen and concrete dam construction projects, working under a range of normal and extreme loading conditions. 

Cartographer

How fascinating it is to represent the whole world on just a piece of paper or a sphere. With the help of maps, we are able to represent the real world on a much smaller scale. Individuals who opt for a career as a cartographer are those who make maps. But, cartography is not just limited to maps, it is about a mixture of art , science , and technology. As a cartographer, not only you will create maps but use various geodetic surveys and remote sensing systems to measure, analyse, and create different maps for political, cultural or educational purposes.

Budget Analyst

Budget analysis, in a nutshell, entails thoroughly analyzing the details of a financial budget. The budget analysis aims to better understand and manage revenue. Budget analysts assist in the achievement of financial targets, the preservation of profitability, and the pursuit of long-term growth for a business. Budget analysts generally have a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, economics, or a closely related field. Knowledge of Financial Management is of prime importance in this career.

Product Manager

A Product Manager is a professional responsible for product planning and marketing. He or she manages the product throughout the Product Life Cycle, gathering and prioritising the product. A product manager job description includes defining the product vision and working closely with team members of other departments to deliver winning products.  

Underwriter

An underwriter is a person who assesses and evaluates the risk of insurance in his or her field like mortgage, loan, health policy, investment, and so on and so forth. The underwriter career path does involve risks as analysing the risks means finding out if there is a way for the insurance underwriter jobs to recover the money from its clients. If the risk turns out to be too much for the company then in the future it is an underwriter who will be held accountable for it. Therefore, one must carry out his or her job with a lot of attention and diligence.

Finance Executive

Operations manager.

Individuals in the operations manager jobs are responsible for ensuring the efficiency of each department to acquire its optimal goal. They plan the use of resources and distribution of materials. The operations manager's job description includes managing budgets, negotiating contracts, and performing administrative tasks.

Bank Probationary Officer (PO)

Investment director.

An investment director is a person who helps corporations and individuals manage their finances. They can help them develop a strategy to achieve their goals, including paying off debts and investing in the future. In addition, he or she can help individuals make informed decisions.

Welding Engineer

Welding Engineer Job Description: A Welding Engineer work involves managing welding projects and supervising welding teams. He or she is responsible for reviewing welding procedures, processes and documentation. A career as Welding Engineer involves conducting failure analyses and causes on welding issues. 

Transportation Planner

A career as Transportation Planner requires technical application of science and technology in engineering, particularly the concepts, equipment and technologies involved in the production of products and services. In fields like land use, infrastructure review, ecological standards and street design, he or she considers issues of health, environment and performance. A Transportation Planner assigns resources for implementing and designing programmes. He or she is responsible for assessing needs, preparing plans and forecasts and compliance with regulations.

An expert in plumbing is aware of building regulations and safety standards and works to make sure these standards are upheld. Testing pipes for leakage using air pressure and other gauges, and also the ability to construct new pipe systems by cutting, fitting, measuring and threading pipes are some of the other more involved aspects of plumbing. Individuals in the plumber career path are self-employed or work for a small business employing less than ten people, though some might find working for larger entities or the government more desirable.

Construction Manager

Individuals who opt for a career as construction managers have a senior-level management role offered in construction firms. Responsibilities in the construction management career path are assigning tasks to workers, inspecting their work, and coordinating with other professionals including architects, subcontractors, and building services engineers.

Urban Planner

Urban Planning careers revolve around the idea of developing a plan to use the land optimally, without affecting the environment. Urban planning jobs are offered to those candidates who are skilled in making the right use of land to distribute the growing population, to create various communities. 

Urban planning careers come with the opportunity to make changes to the existing cities and towns. They identify various community needs and make short and long-term plans accordingly.

Highway Engineer

Highway Engineer Job Description:  A Highway Engineer is a civil engineer who specialises in planning and building thousands of miles of roads that support connectivity and allow transportation across the country. He or she ensures that traffic management schemes are effectively planned concerning economic sustainability and successful implementation.

Environmental Engineer

Individuals who opt for a career as an environmental engineer are construction professionals who utilise the skills and knowledge of biology, soil science, chemistry and the concept of engineering to design and develop projects that serve as solutions to various environmental problems. 

Naval Architect

A Naval Architect is a professional who designs, produces and repairs safe and sea-worthy surfaces or underwater structures. A Naval Architect stays involved in creating and designing ships, ferries, submarines and yachts with implementation of various principles such as gravity, ideal hull form, buoyancy and stability. 

Orthotist and Prosthetist

Orthotists and Prosthetists are professionals who provide aid to patients with disabilities. They fix them to artificial limbs (prosthetics) and help them to regain stability. There are times when people lose their limbs in an accident. In some other occasions, they are born without a limb or orthopaedic impairment. Orthotists and prosthetists play a crucial role in their lives with fixing them to assistive devices and provide mobility.

Veterinary Doctor

Pathologist.

A career in pathology in India is filled with several responsibilities as it is a medical branch and affects human lives. The demand for pathologists has been increasing over the past few years as people are getting more aware of different diseases. Not only that, but an increase in population and lifestyle changes have also contributed to the increase in a pathologist’s demand. The pathology careers provide an extremely huge number of opportunities and if you want to be a part of the medical field you can consider being a pathologist. If you want to know more about a career in pathology in India then continue reading this article.

Speech Therapist

Gynaecologist.

Gynaecology can be defined as the study of the female body. The job outlook for gynaecology is excellent since there is evergreen demand for one because of their responsibility of dealing with not only women’s health but also fertility and pregnancy issues. Although most women prefer to have a women obstetrician gynaecologist as their doctor, men also explore a career as a gynaecologist and there are ample amounts of male doctors in the field who are gynaecologists and aid women during delivery and childbirth. 

An oncologist is a specialised doctor responsible for providing medical care to patients diagnosed with cancer. He or she uses several therapies to control the cancer and its effect on the human body such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy and biopsy. An oncologist designs a treatment plan based on a pathology report after diagnosing the type of cancer and where it is spreading inside the body.

Audiologist

The audiologist career involves audiology professionals who are responsible to treat hearing loss and proactively preventing the relevant damage. Individuals who opt for a career as an audiologist use various testing strategies with the aim to determine if someone has a normal sensitivity to sounds or not. After the identification of hearing loss, a hearing doctor is required to determine which sections of the hearing are affected, to what extent they are affected, and where the wound causing the hearing loss is found. As soon as the hearing loss is identified, the patients are provided with recommendations for interventions and rehabilitation such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, and appropriate medical referrals. While audiology is a branch of science that studies and researches hearing, balance, and related disorders.

Hospital Administrator

The hospital Administrator is in charge of organising and supervising the daily operations of medical services and facilities. This organising includes managing of organisation’s staff and its members in service, budgets, service reports, departmental reporting and taking reminders of patient care and services.

For an individual who opts for a career as an actor, the primary responsibility is to completely speak to the character he or she is playing and to persuade the crowd that the character is genuine by connecting with them and bringing them into the story. This applies to significant roles and littler parts, as all roles join to make an effective creation. Here in this article, we will discuss how to become an actor in India, actor exams, actor salary in India, and actor jobs. 

Individuals who opt for a career as acrobats create and direct original routines for themselves, in addition to developing interpretations of existing routines. The work of circus acrobats can be seen in a variety of performance settings, including circus, reality shows, sports events like the Olympics, movies and commercials. Individuals who opt for a career as acrobats must be prepared to face rejections and intermittent periods of work. The creativity of acrobats may extend to other aspects of the performance. For example, acrobats in the circus may work with gym trainers, celebrities or collaborate with other professionals to enhance such performance elements as costume and or maybe at the teaching end of the career.

Video Game Designer

Career as a video game designer is filled with excitement as well as responsibilities. A video game designer is someone who is involved in the process of creating a game from day one. He or she is responsible for fulfilling duties like designing the character of the game, the several levels involved, plot, art and similar other elements. Individuals who opt for a career as a video game designer may also write the codes for the game using different programming languages.

Depending on the video game designer job description and experience they may also have to lead a team and do the early testing of the game in order to suggest changes and find loopholes.

Radio Jockey

Radio Jockey is an exciting, promising career and a great challenge for music lovers. If you are really interested in a career as radio jockey, then it is very important for an RJ to have an automatic, fun, and friendly personality. If you want to get a job done in this field, a strong command of the language and a good voice are always good things. Apart from this, in order to be a good radio jockey, you will also listen to good radio jockeys so that you can understand their style and later make your own by practicing.

A career as radio jockey has a lot to offer to deserving candidates. If you want to know more about a career as radio jockey, and how to become a radio jockey then continue reading the article.

Choreographer

The word “choreography" actually comes from Greek words that mean “dance writing." Individuals who opt for a career as a choreographer create and direct original dances, in addition to developing interpretations of existing dances. A Choreographer dances and utilises his or her creativity in other aspects of dance performance. For example, he or she may work with the music director to select music or collaborate with other famous choreographers to enhance such performance elements as lighting, costume and set design.

Videographer

Multimedia specialist.

A multimedia specialist is a media professional who creates, audio, videos, graphic image files, computer animations for multimedia applications. He or she is responsible for planning, producing, and maintaining websites and applications. 

Social Media Manager

A career as social media manager involves implementing the company’s or brand’s marketing plan across all social media channels. Social media managers help in building or improving a brand’s or a company’s website traffic, build brand awareness, create and implement marketing and brand strategy. Social media managers are key to important social communication as well.

Copy Writer

In a career as a copywriter, one has to consult with the client and understand the brief well. A career as a copywriter has a lot to offer to deserving candidates. Several new mediums of advertising are opening therefore making it a lucrative career choice. Students can pursue various copywriter courses such as Journalism , Advertising , Marketing Management . Here, we have discussed how to become a freelance copywriter, copywriter career path, how to become a copywriter in India, and copywriting career outlook. 

Careers in journalism are filled with excitement as well as responsibilities. One cannot afford to miss out on the details. As it is the small details that provide insights into a story. Depending on those insights a journalist goes about writing a news article. A journalism career can be stressful at times but if you are someone who is passionate about it then it is the right choice for you. If you want to know more about the media field and journalist career then continue reading this article.

For publishing books, newspapers, magazines and digital material, editorial and commercial strategies are set by publishers. Individuals in publishing career paths make choices about the markets their businesses will reach and the type of content that their audience will be served. Individuals in book publisher careers collaborate with editorial staff, designers, authors, and freelance contributors who develop and manage the creation of content.

In a career as a vlogger, one generally works for himself or herself. However, once an individual has gained viewership there are several brands and companies that approach them for paid collaboration. It is one of those fields where an individual can earn well while following his or her passion. 

Ever since internet costs got reduced the viewership for these types of content has increased on a large scale. Therefore, a career as a vlogger has a lot to offer. If you want to know more about the Vlogger eligibility, roles and responsibilities then continue reading the article. 

Individuals in the editor career path is an unsung hero of the news industry who polishes the language of the news stories provided by stringers, reporters, copywriters and content writers and also news agencies. Individuals who opt for a career as an editor make it more persuasive, concise and clear for readers. In this article, we will discuss the details of the editor's career path such as how to become an editor in India, editor salary in India and editor skills and qualities.

Linguistic meaning is related to language or Linguistics which is the study of languages. A career as a linguistic meaning, a profession that is based on the scientific study of language, and it's a very broad field with many specialities. Famous linguists work in academia, researching and teaching different areas of language, such as phonetics (sounds), syntax (word order) and semantics (meaning). 

Other researchers focus on specialities like computational linguistics, which seeks to better match human and computer language capacities, or applied linguistics, which is concerned with improving language education. Still, others work as language experts for the government, advertising companies, dictionary publishers and various other private enterprises. Some might work from home as freelance linguists. Philologist, phonologist, and dialectician are some of Linguist synonym. Linguists can study French , German , Italian . 

Public Relation Executive

Travel journalist.

The career of a travel journalist is full of passion, excitement and responsibility. Journalism as a career could be challenging at times, but if you're someone who has been genuinely enthusiastic about all this, then it is the best decision for you. Travel journalism jobs are all about insightful, artfully written, informative narratives designed to cover the travel industry. Travel Journalist is someone who explores, gathers and presents information as a news article.

Quality Controller

A quality controller plays a crucial role in an organisation. He or she is responsible for performing quality checks on manufactured products. He or she identifies the defects in a product and rejects the product. 

A quality controller records detailed information about products with defects and sends it to the supervisor or plant manager to take necessary actions to improve the production process.

Production Manager

Merchandiser.

A QA Lead is in charge of the QA Team. The role of QA Lead comes with the responsibility of assessing services and products in order to determine that he or she meets the quality standards. He or she develops, implements and manages test plans. 

Metallurgical Engineer

A metallurgical engineer is a professional who studies and produces materials that bring power to our world. He or she extracts metals from ores and rocks and transforms them into alloys, high-purity metals and other materials used in developing infrastructure, transportation and healthcare equipment. 

Azure Administrator

An Azure Administrator is a professional responsible for implementing, monitoring, and maintaining Azure Solutions. He or she manages cloud infrastructure service instances and various cloud servers as well as sets up public and private cloud systems. 

AWS Solution Architect

An AWS Solution Architect is someone who specializes in developing and implementing cloud computing systems. He or she has a good understanding of the various aspects of cloud computing and can confidently deploy and manage their systems. He or she troubleshoots the issues and evaluates the risk from the third party. 

Computer Programmer

Careers in computer programming primarily refer to the systematic act of writing code and moreover include wider computer science areas. The word 'programmer' or 'coder' has entered into practice with the growing number of newly self-taught tech enthusiasts. Computer programming careers involve the use of designs created by software developers and engineers and transforming them into commands that can be implemented by computers. These commands result in regular usage of social media sites, word-processing applications and browsers.

ITSM Manager

Information security manager.

Individuals in the information security manager career path involves in overseeing and controlling all aspects of computer security. The IT security manager job description includes planning and carrying out security measures to protect the business data and information from corruption, theft, unauthorised access, and deliberate attack 

Business Intelligence Developer

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How to Write About Coronavirus in a College Essay

Students can share how they navigated life during the coronavirus pandemic in a full-length essay or an optional supplement.

Writing About COVID-19 in College Essays

Serious disabled woman concentrating on her work she sitting at her workplace and working on computer at office

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Experts say students should be honest and not limit themselves to merely their experiences with the pandemic.

The global impact of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, means colleges and prospective students alike are in for an admissions cycle like no other. Both face unprecedented challenges and questions as they grapple with their respective futures amid the ongoing fallout of the pandemic.

Colleges must examine applicants without the aid of standardized test scores for many – a factor that prompted many schools to go test-optional for now . Even grades, a significant component of a college application, may be hard to interpret with some high schools adopting pass-fail classes last spring due to the pandemic. Major college admissions factors are suddenly skewed.

"I can't help but think other (admissions) factors are going to matter more," says Ethan Sawyer, founder of the College Essay Guy, a website that offers free and paid essay-writing resources.

College essays and letters of recommendation , Sawyer says, are likely to carry more weight than ever in this admissions cycle. And many essays will likely focus on how the pandemic shaped students' lives throughout an often tumultuous 2020.

But before writing a college essay focused on the coronavirus, students should explore whether it's the best topic for them.

Writing About COVID-19 for a College Application

Much of daily life has been colored by the coronavirus. Virtual learning is the norm at many colleges and high schools, many extracurriculars have vanished and social lives have stalled for students complying with measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"For some young people, the pandemic took away what they envisioned as their senior year," says Robert Alexander, dean of admissions, financial aid and enrollment management at the University of Rochester in New York. "Maybe that's a spot on a varsity athletic team or the lead role in the fall play. And it's OK for them to mourn what should have been and what they feel like they lost, but more important is how are they making the most of the opportunities they do have?"

That question, Alexander says, is what colleges want answered if students choose to address COVID-19 in their college essay.

But the question of whether a student should write about the coronavirus is tricky. The answer depends largely on the student.

"In general, I don't think students should write about COVID-19 in their main personal statement for their application," Robin Miller, master college admissions counselor at IvyWise, a college counseling company, wrote in an email.

"Certainly, there may be exceptions to this based on a student's individual experience, but since the personal essay is the main place in the application where the student can really allow their voice to be heard and share insight into who they are as an individual, there are likely many other topics they can choose to write about that are more distinctive and unique than COVID-19," Miller says.

Opinions among admissions experts vary on whether to write about the likely popular topic of the pandemic.

"If your essay communicates something positive, unique, and compelling about you in an interesting and eloquent way, go for it," Carolyn Pippen, principal college admissions counselor at IvyWise, wrote in an email. She adds that students shouldn't be dissuaded from writing about a topic merely because it's common, noting that "topics are bound to repeat, no matter how hard we try to avoid it."

Above all, she urges honesty.

"If your experience within the context of the pandemic has been truly unique, then write about that experience, and the standing out will take care of itself," Pippen says. "If your experience has been generally the same as most other students in your context, then trying to find a unique angle can easily cross the line into exploiting a tragedy, or at least appearing as though you have."

But focusing entirely on the pandemic can limit a student to a single story and narrow who they are in an application, Sawyer says. "There are so many wonderful possibilities for what you can say about yourself outside of your experience within the pandemic."

He notes that passions, strengths, career interests and personal identity are among the multitude of essay topic options available to applicants and encourages them to probe their values to help determine the topic that matters most to them – and write about it.

That doesn't mean the pandemic experience has to be ignored if applicants feel the need to write about it.

Writing About Coronavirus in Main and Supplemental Essays

Students can choose to write a full-length college essay on the coronavirus or summarize their experience in a shorter form.

To help students explain how the pandemic affected them, The Common App has added an optional section to address this topic. Applicants have 250 words to describe their pandemic experience and the personal and academic impact of COVID-19.

"That's not a trick question, and there's no right or wrong answer," Alexander says. Colleges want to know, he adds, how students navigated the pandemic, how they prioritized their time, what responsibilities they took on and what they learned along the way.

If students can distill all of the above information into 250 words, there's likely no need to write about it in a full-length college essay, experts say. And applicants whose lives were not heavily altered by the pandemic may even choose to skip the optional COVID-19 question.

"This space is best used to discuss hardship and/or significant challenges that the student and/or the student's family experienced as a result of COVID-19 and how they have responded to those difficulties," Miller notes. Using the section to acknowledge a lack of impact, she adds, "could be perceived as trite and lacking insight, despite the good intentions of the applicant."

To guard against this lack of awareness, Sawyer encourages students to tap someone they trust to review their writing , whether it's the 250-word Common App response or the full-length essay.

Experts tend to agree that the short-form approach to this as an essay topic works better, but there are exceptions. And if a student does have a coronavirus story that he or she feels must be told, Alexander encourages the writer to be authentic in the essay.

"My advice for an essay about COVID-19 is the same as my advice about an essay for any topic – and that is, don't write what you think we want to read or hear," Alexander says. "Write what really changed you and that story that now is yours and yours alone to tell."

Sawyer urges students to ask themselves, "What's the sentence that only I can write?" He also encourages students to remember that the pandemic is only a chapter of their lives and not the whole book.

Miller, who cautions against writing a full-length essay on the coronavirus, says that if students choose to do so they should have a conversation with their high school counselor about whether that's the right move. And if students choose to proceed with COVID-19 as a topic, she says they need to be clear, detailed and insightful about what they learned and how they adapted along the way.

"Approaching the essay in this manner will provide important balance while demonstrating personal growth and vulnerability," Miller says.

Pippen encourages students to remember that they are in an unprecedented time for college admissions.

"It is important to keep in mind with all of these (admission) factors that no colleges have ever had to consider them this way in the selection process, if at all," Pippen says. "They have had very little time to calibrate their evaluations of different application components within their offices, let alone across institutions. This means that colleges will all be handling the admissions process a little bit differently, and their approaches may even evolve over the course of the admissions cycle."

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Writing about COVID-19 in a college admission essay

by: Venkates Swaminathan | Updated: September 14, 2020

Print article

Writing about COVID-19 in your college admission essay

For students applying to college using the CommonApp, there are several different places where students and counselors can address the pandemic’s impact. The different sections have differing goals. You must understand how to use each section for its appropriate use.

The CommonApp COVID-19 question

First, the CommonApp this year has an additional question specifically about COVID-19 :

Community disruptions such as COVID-19 and natural disasters can have deep and long-lasting impacts. If you need it, this space is yours to describe those impacts. Colleges care about the effects on your health and well-being, safety, family circumstances, future plans, and education, including access to reliable technology and quiet study spaces. Please use this space to describe how these events have impacted you.

This question seeks to understand the adversity that students may have had to face due to the pandemic, the move to online education, or the shelter-in-place rules. You don’t have to answer this question if the impact on you wasn’t particularly severe. Some examples of things students should discuss include:

  • The student or a family member had COVID-19 or suffered other illnesses due to confinement during the pandemic.
  • The candidate had to deal with personal or family issues, such as abusive living situations or other safety concerns
  • The student suffered from a lack of internet access and other online learning challenges.
  • Students who dealt with problems registering for or taking standardized tests and AP exams.

Jeff Schiffman of the Tulane University admissions office has a blog about this section. He recommends students ask themselves several questions as they go about answering this section:

  • Are my experiences different from others’?
  • Are there noticeable changes on my transcript?
  • Am I aware of my privilege?
  • Am I specific? Am I explaining rather than complaining?
  • Is this information being included elsewhere on my application?

If you do answer this section, be brief and to-the-point.

Counselor recommendations and school profiles

Second, counselors will, in their counselor forms and school profiles on the CommonApp, address how the school handled the pandemic and how it might have affected students, specifically as it relates to:

  • Grading scales and policies
  • Graduation requirements
  • Instructional methods
  • Schedules and course offerings
  • Testing requirements
  • Your academic calendar
  • Other extenuating circumstances

Students don’t have to mention these matters in their application unless something unusual happened.

Writing about COVID-19 in your main essay

Write about your experiences during the pandemic in your main college essay if your experience is personal, relevant, and the most important thing to discuss in your college admission essay. That you had to stay home and study online isn’t sufficient, as millions of other students faced the same situation. But sometimes, it can be appropriate and helpful to write about something related to the pandemic in your essay. For example:

  • One student developed a website for a local comic book store. The store might not have survived without the ability for people to order comic books online. The student had a long-standing relationship with the store, and it was an institution that created a community for students who otherwise felt left out.
  • One student started a YouTube channel to help other students with academic subjects he was very familiar with and began tutoring others.
  • Some students used their extra time that was the result of the stay-at-home orders to take online courses pursuing topics they are genuinely interested in or developing new interests, like a foreign language or music.

Experiences like this can be good topics for the CommonApp essay as long as they reflect something genuinely important about the student. For many students whose lives have been shaped by this pandemic, it can be a critical part of their college application.

Want more? Read 6 ways to improve a college essay , What the &%$! should I write about in my college essay , and Just how important is a college admissions essay? .

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How to Write About the Impact of the Coronavirus in a College Essay

U.S. News & World Report

October 21, 2020, 12:00 AM

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The global impact of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, means colleges and prospective students alike are in for an admissions cycle like no other. Both face unprecedented challenges and questions as they grapple with their respective futures amid the ongoing fallout of the pandemic.

Colleges must examine applicants without the aid of standardized test scores for many — a factor that prompted many schools to go test-optional for now . Even grades, a significant component of a college application, may be hard to interpret with some high schools adopting pass-fail classes last spring due to the pandemic. Major college admissions factors are suddenly skewed.

“I can’t help but think other (admissions) factors are going to matter more,” says Ethan Sawyer, founder of the College Essay Guy, a website that offers free and paid essay-writing resources.

College essays and letters of recommendation , Sawyer says, are likely to carry more weight than ever in this admissions cycle. And many essays will likely focus on how the pandemic shaped students’ lives throughout an often tumultuous 2020.

[ Read: How to Write a College Essay. ]

But before writing a college essay focused on the coronavirus, students should explore whether it’s the best topic for them.

Writing About COVID-19 for a College Application

Much of daily life has been colored by the coronavirus. Virtual learning is the norm at many colleges and high schools, many extracurriculars have vanished and social lives have stalled for students complying with measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“For some young people, the pandemic took away what they envisioned as their senior year,” says Robert Alexander, dean of admissions, financial aid and enrollment management at the University of Rochester in New York. “Maybe that’s a spot on a varsity athletic team or the lead role in the fall play. And it’s OK for them to mourn what should have been and what they feel like they lost, but more important is how are they making the most of the opportunities they do have?”

That question, Alexander says, is what colleges want answered if students choose to address COVID-19 in their college essay.

But the question of whether a student should write about the coronavirus is tricky. The answer depends largely on the student.

“In general, I don’t think students should write about COVID-19 in their main personal statement for their application,” Robin Miller, master college admissions counselor at IvyWise, a college counseling company, wrote in an email.

“Certainly, there may be exceptions to this based on a student’s individual experience, but since the personal essay is the main place in the application where the student can really allow their voice to be heard and share insight into who they are as an individual, there are likely many other topics they can choose to write about that are more distinctive and unique than COVID-19,” Miller says.

[ Read: What Colleges Look for: 6 Ways to Stand Out. ]

Opinions among admissions experts vary on whether to write about the likely popular topic of the pandemic.

“If your essay communicates something positive, unique, and compelling about you in an interesting and eloquent way, go for it,” Carolyn Pippen, principal college admissions counselor at IvyWise, wrote in an email. She adds that students shouldn’t be dissuaded from writing about a topic merely because it’s common, noting that “topics are bound to repeat, no matter how hard we try to avoid it.”

Above all, she urges honesty.

“If your experience within the context of the pandemic has been truly unique, then write about that experience, and the standing out will take care of itself,” Pippen says. “If your experience has been generally the same as most other students in your context, then trying to find a unique angle can easily cross the line into exploiting a tragedy, or at least appearing as though you have.”

But focusing entirely on the pandemic can limit a student to a single story and narrow who they are in an application, Sawyer says. “There are so many wonderful possibilities for what you can say about yourself outside of your experience within the pandemic.”

He notes that passions, strengths, career interests and personal identity are among the multitude of essay topic options available to applicants and encourages them to probe their values to help determine the topic that matters most to them — and write about it.

That doesn’t mean the pandemic experience has to be ignored if applicants feel the need to write about it.

Writing About Coronavirus in Main and Supplemental Essays

Students can choose to write a full-length college essay on the coronavirus or summarize their experience in a shorter form.

To help students explain how the pandemic affected them, The Common App has added an optional section to address this topic. Applicants have 250 words to describe their pandemic experience and the personal and academic impact of COVID-19.

[ Read: The Common App: Everything You Need to Know. ]

“That’s not a trick question, and there’s no right or wrong answer,” Alexander says. Colleges want to know, he adds, how students navigated the pandemic, how they prioritized their time, what responsibilities they took on and what they learned along the way.

If students can distill all of the above information into 250 words, there’s likely no need to write about it in a full-length college essay, experts say. And applicants whose lives were not heavily altered by the pandemic may even choose to skip the optional COVID-19 question.

“This space is best used to discuss hardship and/or significant challenges that the student and/or the student’s family experienced as a result of COVID-19 and how they have responded to those difficulties,” Miller notes. Using the section to acknowledge a lack of impact, she adds, “could be perceived as trite and lacking insight, despite the good intentions of the applicant.”

To guard against this lack of awareness, Sawyer encourages students to tap someone they trust to review their writing , whether it’s the 250-word Common App response or the full-length essay.

Experts tend to agree that the short-form approach to this as an essay topic works better, but there are exceptions. And if a student does have a coronavirus story that he or she feels must be told, Alexander encourages the writer to be authentic in the essay.

“My advice for an essay about COVID-19 is the same as my advice about an essay for any topic — and that is, don’t write what you think we want to read or hear,” Alexander says. “Write what really changed you and that story that now is yours and yours alone to tell.”

Sawyer urges students to ask themselves, “What’s the sentence that only I can write?” He also encourages students to remember that the pandemic is only a chapter of their lives and not the whole book.

Miller, who cautions against writing a full-length essay on the coronavirus, says that if students choose to do so they should have a conversation with their high school counselor about whether that’s the right move. And if students choose to proceed with COVID-19 as a topic, she says they need to be clear, detailed and insightful about what they learned and how they adapted along the way.

“Approaching the essay in this manner will provide important balance while demonstrating personal growth and vulnerability,” Miller says.

Pippen encourages students to remember that they are in an unprecedented time for college admissions.

“It is important to keep in mind with all of these (admission) factors that no colleges have ever had to consider them this way in the selection process, if at all,” Pippen says. “They have had very little time to calibrate their evaluations of different application components within their offices, let alone across institutions. This means that colleges will all be handling the admissions process a little bit differently, and their approaches may even evolve over the course of the admissions cycle.”

Searching for a college? Get our complete rankings of Best Colleges.

More from U.S. News

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How to Write About the Impact of the Coronavirus in a College Essay originally appeared on usnews.com

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How to Write About the Impact of the Coronavirus in a College Essay

The global impact of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, means colleges and prospective students alike are in for an admissions cycle like no other. Both face unprecedented challenges and questions as they grapple with their respective futures amid the ongoing fallout of the pandemic.

Colleges must examine applicants without the aid of standardized test scores for many -- a factor that prompted many schools to go test-optional for now . Even grades, a significant component of a college application, may be hard to interpret with some high schools adopting pass-fail classes last spring due to the pandemic. Major college admissions factors are suddenly skewed.

"I can't help but think other (admissions) factors are going to matter more," says Ethan Sawyer, founder of the College Essay Guy, a website that offers free and paid essay-writing resources.

College essays and letters of recommendation , Sawyer says, are likely to carry more weight than ever in this admissions cycle. And many essays will likely focus on how the pandemic shaped students' lives throughout an often tumultuous 2020.

[ Read: How to Write a College Essay. ]

But before writing a college essay focused on the coronavirus, students should explore whether it's the best topic for them.

Writing About COVID-19 for a College Application

Much of daily life has been colored by the coronavirus. Virtual learning is the norm at many colleges and high schools, many extracurriculars have vanished and social lives have stalled for students complying with measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"For some young people, the pandemic took away what they envisioned as their senior year," says Robert Alexander, dean of admissions, financial aid and enrollment management at the University of Rochester in New York. "Maybe that's a spot on a varsity athletic team or the lead role in the fall play. And it's OK for them to mourn what should have been and what they feel like they lost, but more important is how are they making the most of the opportunities they do have?"

That question, Alexander says, is what colleges want answered if students choose to address COVID-19 in their college essay.

But the question of whether a student should write about the coronavirus is tricky. The answer depends largely on the student.

"In general, I don't think students should write about COVID-19 in their main personal statement for their application," Robin Miller, master college admissions counselor at IvyWise, a college counseling company, wrote in an email.

"Certainly, there may be exceptions to this based on a student's individual experience, but since the personal essay is the main place in the application where the student can really allow their voice to be heard and share insight into who they are as an individual, there are likely many other topics they can choose to write about that are more distinctive and unique than COVID-19," Miller says.

[ Read: What Colleges Look for: 6 Ways to Stand Out. ]

Opinions among admissions experts vary on whether to write about the likely popular topic of the pandemic.

"If your essay communicates something positive, unique, and compelling about you in an interesting and eloquent way, go for it," Carolyn Pippen, principal college admissions counselor at IvyWise, wrote in an email. She adds that students shouldn't be dissuaded from writing about a topic merely because it's common, noting that "topics are bound to repeat, no matter how hard we try to avoid it."

Above all, she urges honesty.

"If your experience within the context of the pandemic has been truly unique, then write about that experience, and the standing out will take care of itself," Pippen says. "If your experience has been generally the same as most other students in your context, then trying to find a unique angle can easily cross the line into exploiting a tragedy, or at least appearing as though you have."

But focusing entirely on the pandemic can limit a student to a single story and narrow who they are in an application, Sawyer says. "There are so many wonderful possibilities for what you can say about yourself outside of your experience within the pandemic."

He notes that passions, strengths, career interests and personal identity are among the multitude of essay topic options available to applicants and encourages them to probe their values to help determine the topic that matters most to them -- and write about it.

That doesn't mean the pandemic experience has to be ignored if applicants feel the need to write about it.

Writing About Coronavirus in Main and Supplemental Essays

Students can choose to write a full-length college essay on the coronavirus or summarize their experience in a shorter form.

To help students explain how the pandemic affected them, The Common App has added an optional section to address this topic. Applicants have 250 words to describe their pandemic experience and the personal and academic impact of COVID-19.

[ Read: The Common App: Everything You Need to Know. ]

"That's not a trick question, and there's no right or wrong answer," Alexander says. Colleges want to know, he adds, how students navigated the pandemic, how they prioritized their time, what responsibilities they took on and what they learned along the way.

If students can distill all of the above information into 250 words, there's likely no need to write about it in a full-length college essay, experts say. And applicants whose lives were not heavily altered by the pandemic may even choose to skip the optional COVID-19 question.

"This space is best used to discuss hardship and/or significant challenges that the student and/or the student's family experienced as a result of COVID-19 and how they have responded to those difficulties," Miller notes. Using the section to acknowledge a lack of impact, she adds, "could be perceived as trite and lacking insight, despite the good intentions of the applicant."

To guard against this lack of awareness, Sawyer encourages students to tap someone they trust to review their writing , whether it's the 250-word Common App response or the full-length essay.

Experts tend to agree that the short-form approach to this as an essay topic works better, but there are exceptions. And if a student does have a coronavirus story that he or she feels must be told, Alexander encourages the writer to be authentic in the essay.

"My advice for an essay about COVID-19 is the same as my advice about an essay for any topic -- and that is, don't write what you think we want to read or hear," Alexander says. "Write what really changed you and that story that now is yours and yours alone to tell."

Sawyer urges students to ask themselves, "What's the sentence that only I can write?" He also encourages students to remember that the pandemic is only a chapter of their lives and not the whole book.

Miller, who cautions against writing a full-length essay on the coronavirus, says that if students choose to do so they should have a conversation with their high school counselor about whether that's the right move. And if students choose to proceed with COVID-19 as a topic, she says they need to be clear, detailed and insightful about what they learned and how they adapted along the way.

"Approaching the essay in this manner will provide important balance while demonstrating personal growth and vulnerability," Miller says.

Pippen encourages students to remember that they are in an unprecedented time for college admissions.

"It is important to keep in mind with all of these (admission) factors that no colleges have ever had to consider them this way in the selection process, if at all," Pippen says. "They have had very little time to calibrate their evaluations of different application components within their offices, let alone across institutions. This means that colleges will all be handling the admissions process a little bit differently, and their approaches may even evolve over the course of the admissions cycle."

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The impact of COVID-19 on student experiences and expectations: Evidence from a survey ☆

Esteban m. aucejo.

a Department of Economics, Arizona State University, CEP & NBER, United States of America

Jacob French

b Department of Economics, Arizona State University, United States of America

Maria Paola Ugalde Araya

Basit zafar.

c Department of Economics, University of Michigan, & NBER, United States of America

In order to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education, we surveyed approximately 1500 students at one of the largest public institutions in the United States using an instrument designed to recover the causal impact of the pandemic on students' current and expected outcomes. Results show large negative effects across many dimensions. Due to COVID-19: 13% of students have delayed graduation, 40% have lost a job, internship, or job offer, and 29% expect to earn less at age 35. Moreover, these effects have been highly heterogeneous. One quarter of students increased their study time by more than 4 hours per week due to COVID-19, while another quarter decreased their study time by more than 5 hours per week. This heterogeneity often followed existing socioeconomic divides. Lower-income students are 55% more likely than their higher-income peers to have delayed graduation due to COVID-19. Finally, we show that the economic and health related shocks induced by COVID-19 vary systematically by socioeconomic factors and constitute key mediators in explaining the large (and heterogeneous) effects of the pandemic.

  • • Due to COVID: 13% of students delayed graduation, 40% lost a job, internship, or offer, and 29% expect to earn less at 35.
  • • The effects of the pandemic have been highly heterogeneous.
  • • Lower-income students are 55% more likely than their higher-income peers to have delayed graduation due to COVID-19.
  • • COVID-19's economic and health shocks vary by socioeconomic status and act as key mediators explaining pandemic's effects.

1. Introduction

The disruptive effects of the COVID-19 outbreak have impacted almost all sectors of our society. Higher education is no exception. Anecdotal evidence paints a bleak picture for both students and universities. According to the American Council on Education, enrollment is likely to drop by 15% in the fall of 2020, while at the same time many institutions may have to confront demands for large tuition cuts if classes remain virtual. 1 In a similar vein, students face an increasingly uncertain environment, where financial and health shocks (for example, lack of resources to complete their studies or fear of becoming seriously sick), along with the transition to online learning may have affected their academic performance, educational plans, current labor market participation, and expectations about future employment.

This paper attempts to shed light on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on college students. First, we describe and quantify the causal effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on a wide set of students' outcomes/expectations. In particular, we analyze enrollment and graduation decisions, academic performance, major choice, study and social habits, remote learning experiences, current labor market participation, and expectations about future employment. Second, we study how these effects differ along existing socioeconomic divides and whether the pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities. Finally, we present suggestive evidence on the mechanisms behind the heterogeneous COVID-19 effects by quantifying the relationship between individual-level (financial and health) shocks and students' academic decisions and labor market expectations.

For this purpose, we surveyed about 1500 undergraduate students at Arizona State University (ASU), one of the largest public universities in the United States, in late April 2020. The survey was explicitly designed to not only collect student outcomes and expectations after the onset of the pandemic, but also to recover counterfactual outcomes in the absence of the outbreak. Specifically, the survey asked students about their current experiences/expectations and what those experiences/expectations would have been had it not been for the pandemic. Because we collect information conditional on both states of the world (with the COVID-19 pandemic, and without) from each student , we can directly analyze how each student believes COVID-19 has impacted their current and future outcomes. 2 For example, by asking students about their current GPA in a post-COVID-19 world and their expected GPA in the absence of COVID-19, we can back out the subjective treatment effect of COVID-19 on academic performance. The credibility of our approach depends on: (1) students having well-formed beliefs about outcomes in the counterfactual scenario. This is a plausible assumption in our context since the counterfactual state is a realistic and relevant one - it was the status quo less than two months before the survey, and (2) there being no systematic bias in the reporting of the data - an assumption that is implicitly made when using any survey data. 3

Our findings on academic outcomes indicate that COVID-19 has led to a large number of students delaying graduation (13%), withdrawing from classes (11%), and intending to change majors (12%). Moreover, approximately 50% of our sample separately reported a decrease in study hours and in their academic performance. Predicting the longer-term impact of the pandemic on student achievement is more difficult, but students reported that they expect to take a break from college in the fall 2020 semester at more than twice the rate in previous years. Historically, 28% of students who fail to re-enroll do not return to ASU or another university after 5 years (authors' calculations from ASU first-time freshmen transcript data for the 2012–2014 spring semesters), suggesting that the pandemic may have a lasting impact on the educational achievement of current students. We also find that students report a decreased preference for online instruction as a result of their recent experiences.

As expected, the COVID-19 outbreak also had large negative effects on students' current labor market participation and expectations about post-college labor outcomes. Working students suffered a 31% decrease in their wages and a 37% drop in weekly hours worked, on average. Moreover, around 40% of students lost a job, internship, or a job offer, and 61% reported to have a family member that experienced a reduction in income. The pandemic also had a substantial impact on students' expectations about their labor market prospects post-college. For example, their perceived probability of finding a job before graduation decreased by almost 20%, and their expected earnings when 35 years old (around 15 years from the outbreak) declined by approximately 2.5%. This last finding suggests that students expect the pandemic to have a long-lasting impact on their labor market prospects, which is qualitatively consistent with the literature on graduating during a recession. For instance, Oreopoulos et al. (2012) and Schwandt and von Wachter (2019) find significant reductions in earnings 5 and 10 years after graduation, respectively, and Kahn (2010) finds an even longer-lasting effect on wages. On the other hand, although we are measuring the probability of finding a job before graduating, not unemployment directly, our estimated quantitative effect on students' expectations of finding a job seems to be larger relative to the literature ( Kahn, 2010 ; Altonji et al., 2016 ; and Rothstein, 2020 ).

The data also show that while all subgroups of the population have experienced negative effects due to the outbreak, the size of the effects are heterogeneous. For example, compared to their more affluent peers, lower-income students are 55% more likely to delay graduation due to COVID-19 and are 41% more likely to report that COVID-19 impacted their major choice. Further, COVID-19 nearly doubled the gap between higher- and lower-income students' expected GPA. 4 There also is substantial variation in the pandemic's effect on preference for online learning, with Honors students and males revising their preferences down more than 2.5 times as much as their peers. However, despite appearing to be more disrupted by the switch to online learning, the impact of COVID-19 on Honors students' academic outcomes is consistently smaller than the impact on non-Honors students.

Finally, we evaluate the extent to which mitigating factors associated with more direct economic and health shocks from the pandemic (for example, a family member losing income due to COVID-19, or the expected probability of hospitalization if contracting COVID-19) can explain the heterogeneity in pandemic effects. We find that both types of shock (economic and health) are systematically correlated with students' COVID-19 experiences. For example, the expected probability of delaying graduation due to COVID-19 increases by approximately 25% if either a student's subjective probability of being late on a debt payment in the following 90 days (a measure of financial fragility) or subjective probability of requiring hospitalization conditional on contracting COVID-19 increases by one standard deviation. As expected, the magnitude of health and economic shocks are not homogeneous across the student population. The average of the principal component for the economic and health shocks is about 0.3–0.4 standard deviations higher for students from lower-income families. Importantly, we find that the disparate economic and health impacts of COVID-19 can explain 40% of the delayed graduation gap (as well as a substantial part of the gap for other outcomes) between lower- and higher-income students. This analysis should be viewed as descriptive in nature and not necessarily causal, since omitted factors that are correlated both with the shocks and the outcomes may be driving these relationships.

To our knowledge, this is the first paper to shed light on the effects of COVID-19 on college students' experiences. The treatment effects that we find are large in economic terms. Whether students are overreacting in their response to the COVID-19 shock is not clear. We do find that previous cumulative GPA is a strong predictor of expected semester GPA without COVID-19, suggesting that students' reported expectations are meaningful. However, we know that individuals generally tend to overweight recent experiences ( Malmendier and Nagel, 2016 ; Kuchler and Zafar, 2019 ). Whether students' subjective treatment effects are “correct” in some ex-post sense is beside the point. As long as students are reporting their subjective beliefs without any systematic bias, it is the perceived treatment effects, not actual ones, – regardless of whether they are correct or not – which are fundamental to understanding choices. For example, if students (rightly or wrongly) perceive a negative treatment effect of COVID-19 on the returns to a college degree, this belief will have an impact on their future human capital decisions (such as continuing with their education, choice of major, etc.).

Our results underscore the fact that the COVID-19 shock is likely to exacerbate socioeconomic disparities in higher education. This is consistent with findings regarding the impacts of COVID-19 on K-12 students. Kuhfeld et al. (2020) project that school closures are likely to lead to significant learning losses in math and reading. However, they estimate heterogeneous effects, and conclude that high-performing students are likely to make gains. Likewise, Chetty et al. (2020) find that, post-COVID, student progress on an online math program decreased significantly more in poorer ZIP codes. Our analysis reveals that the heterogeneous economic and health burden imposed by COVID-19 can partially explain these varying impacts. This suggests that by addressing the economic and health impacts imposed by COVID-19, policy makers may be able to prevent COVID-19 from widening existing gaps in higher education.

2.1. Survey

Our data come from an original survey of undergraduate students at Arizona State University (ASU), one of the largest public universities in the United States. Like other higher educational institutions in the US, the Spring 2020 semester started in person. However, in early March during spring break, the school announced that instruction would be transitioned online and that students were advised not to return to campus.

The study was advertised on the My ASU website, accessible only through the student's ASU ID and password. Undergraduate students were invited to participate in an online survey about their experiences and expectations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, for which they would be paid $10. The study was posted during the second to last week of instruction for the spring semester (April 23rd). Our sample size was constrained by the research funds to 1500 students, and the survey was closed once the desired sample size was reached, which happened within 3 days of posting the survey.

The survey was programmed in Qualtrics. It collected data on students' demographics and family background, their current experiences (both for academic outcomes and non-academic outcomes), and their future expectations. Importantly for the purposes of this study, the survey collected data on what these outcomes/expectations would have been in the counterfactual state, without COVID-19. The survey instrument (with only the relevant sections) can be found here .

2.2. Sample

A total of 1564 respondents completed the survey. 5 90 respondents were ineligible for the study (such as students enrolled in graduate degree programs or diploma programs) and were dropped from the sample. Finally, responses in the 1st and 99th percentile of survey duration were further excluded, leading to a final sample size of 1446. The survey took 38 min to complete, on average (median completion time was 26 min).

The first five columns of Table 1 show how our sample compares with the broader ASU undergraduate population and the average undergraduate student at other large flagship universities (specifically, the largest public universities in each state). Relative to the ASU undergraduate population, our sample has a significantly higher proportion of first-generation students (that is, students with no parent with a college degree), and a smaller proportion of international students. The demographic composition of our sample compares reasonably well with that of students in flagship universities. Our sample is also positively selected in terms of SAT/ACT scores relative to these two populations. The sample may also differ from the student body at other large public schools in that 30% report living on campus, which is not always the norm at other large institutions and may play an important role in how disruptive the pandemic has been. 6

Summary statistics.

Notes: Data in columns (2), (3) and (8) is from IPEDS 2018. The flagship universities are the 4-year public universities with the highest number of undergraduate students in each state. Means for these columns are weighted by total number of undergraduates in each institution. ACT and SAT data are weighted averages of 2018–2015 years from IPEDS. P -value columns show the p -value of a difference in means test between the two columns indicated by the numbers in the heading.

The better performance on admission tests could be explained by the high proportion of Honors students in our sample (22% compared to 18% in the ASU population). The last four columns of Table 1 show how Honors students compare with ASU students and the average college student at a top-10 university. We see that they perform better than the average ASU student (which is expected) and just slightly worse than the average college student at a top-10 university. The share of white Honors students in our sample (60%) is higher than the proportion in the ASU population and much higher than the proportion of white students in the top-10 universities.

Overall, we believe our sample of ASU students is a reasonable representation of students at other large public schools, while the Honors students may provide insight into the experiences of students at more elite Institutions. Though, it is important to acknowledge that elite institutions may have additional resources to address a global pandemic.

3. Analytic framework

We next outline a simple analytic framework that guides the empirical analysis. Let O i ( COVID  – 19) be the potential outcome of individual i associated with COVID-19 treatment. We are interested in the causal impact of COVID-19 on student outcomes:

where the first term on the right-hand side is student i 's outcome in the state of the world with COVID-19, and the second term being student i 's outcome in the state of the world without COVID-19. Recovering the treatment effect at the individual level entails comparison of the individual's outcomes in two alternate states of the world. With standard data on realizations, a given individual is observed in only one state of the world (in our case, COVID –  19 = 1). The alternate outcomes are counterfactual and unobserved. A large econometric and statistics literature studies how to identify these counterfactual outcomes and moments of the counterfactual outcomes (such as average treatment effects) from realized choice data (e.g., Heckman and Vytlacil, 2005 ; Angrist and Pischke, 2009 ; Imbens and Rubin, 2015 ). Instead, the approach we use in this paper is to directly ask individuals for their expected outcomes in both states of the world. From the collected data, we can then directly calculate the individual-level subjective treatment effect. As an example, consider beliefs about end-of-semester GPA. The survey asked students “ What semester-level GPA do you expect to get at the end of this semester ?” This is the first-term on the right-hand side of Eq. (1) . The counterfactual is elicited as follows “ Were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic , what semester-level GPA would you have expected to get at the end of the semester ?”. The difference in the responses to these two questions gives us the subjective expected treatment effect of COVID-19 on the student's GPA. For certain binary outcomes in the survey, we directly ask students for the Δ i . For example, regarding graduation plans, we simply ask a student if the Δ i is positive, negative, or zero: “ How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your graduation plan ? [ graduate later ; graduation plan unaffected ; graduate earlier ].”

The approach we use in this paper follows a small and growing literature that uses subjective expectations to understand decision-making under uncertainty. Specifically, Arcidiacono et al. (2020) and Wiswall and Zafar (2020) ask college students about their beliefs for several outcomes associated with counterfactual choices of college majors, and estimate the ex-ante treatment effects of college majors on career and family outcomes. Shapiro and Giustinelli (2019) use a similar approach to estimate the subjective ex-ante treatment effects of health on labor supply. There is one minor distinction from these papers: while these papers elicit ex-ante treatment effects, in our case, we look at outcomes that have been observed (for example, withdrawing from a course during the semester) as well as those that will be observed in the future (such as age 35 earnings). Thus, some of our subjective treatment effects are ex-post in nature while others are ex-ante.

The soundness of our approach depends on a key assumption that students have well-formed expectations for outcomes in both the realized state and the counterfactual state. Since the outcomes we ask about are absolutely relevant and germane to students, they should have well-formed expectations for the realized state. In addition, given that the counterfactual state is the one that had been the status quo in prior semesters (and so students have had prior experiences in that state of the world), their ability to have expectations for outcomes in the counterfactual state should not be a controversial assumption. 7 As evidence that students' expectations exhibit meaningful variation, Appendix Fig. A1 shows that previous cumulative GPA is a strong predictor of expected semester GPA with COVID-19.

4. Empirical analysis

4.1. treatment effects.

We start with the analysis of the aggregate-level treatment effects, which are presented in Table 2 . The outcomes are organized in two groups, academic and labor market (see Appendix Table A1 for a complete list of outcomes). The first two columns of the table show the average beliefs for those outcomes where the survey elicited beliefs in both states of the world. The average treatment effects shown in column (3) are of particular interest. Since we can compute the individual-level treatment effects, columns (4)–(7) of the table show the cross-sectional heterogeneity in the treatment effects.

Subjective treatment effects.

Notes: Δ : change. Prop. Δ >0: proportion of students for whom the individual level Δ is positive. Prop. Δ =0: proportion of students for whom the individual level Δ is zero. 25th and 75th percentiles of the cross-sectional distribution of Δ . Standard deviation in parentheses. ( ∗  :  p <0.1, ∗∗  :  p <0.05, ∗∗∗  :  p <0.01).

We see that the average treatment effects are statistically and economically significant for all outcomes. The average impacts on academic outcomes, shown in Panel A, are mostly negative. For example, the average subjective treatment effect of COVID-19 on semester-level GPA is a decline of 0.17 points. More than 50% of the students in our sample expect a decrease in their GPA due to the treatment (versus only 7% expecting an increase). Additionally, 13% of the participants delayed their graduation, 11% withdrew from a class during the spring semester, and 12% stated that their major choice was impacted by COVID-19. 8

While almost no students report planning to drop out due to COVID-19, on average they expect to take a break from ASU in the fall 2020 semester at nearly twice the historical rate. Admittedly, the decision to take a break during a pandemic may be different than in more normal times. However, a substantial increase in the share of students failing to continue their studies is concerning, as historically 28% of students who fail to re-enroll for a fall semester do not return to ASU or another university within 5 years.

Regarding the impact of the pandemic on major choice, students who report that COVID-19 impacted their major choice were more likely to be in lower-paying majors before the pandemic; mean pre-COVID major-specific annual earnings were $43,053 ($46,943) for students whose major choice was (not) impacted by COVID-19. 9 Impacted students were also 9.3 percentage points less likely to be in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) major before COVID-19. 10 We are only able to observe pre- and post-COVID major choices for the subset of students who had switched their major by the date of the survey. 11 Within this selected subsample of switchers, students chose to move into higher paying majors, with an average change in first-year earnings of $3,340. These patterns are generally consistent with the finding that students tend to gravitate towards higher-paying majors when exposed to adverse economic conditions when in college ( Blom et al., 2019 ).

An interesting and perhaps unanticipated result reported in Table 2 is that, on average, students are 4 percentage points less likely to opt for online instruction if given the choice between online and in-person instruction due to their experience with online instruction during the pandemic. 12 13 However, there is a substantial amount of variation in terms of the direction of the effect: 31% (47%) of the participants are now more (less) likely to enroll in online classes. We explore this heterogeneity in more detail in the next section, but it seems that prior experience with online classes somewhat ameliorates the negative experience; the average treatment effect for students with prior experience in online classes is a 2.4 percentage points decrease in their likelihood of enrolling in online classes, versus a 9.5 percentage points decline for their counterparts (difference statistically significant at the 0.1% level).

This large variation in the treatment effects of COVID-19 is apparent in several of the other outcomes, such as study hours, where the average treatment effect of COVID-19 on weekly study hours is −0.9 (that is, students spend 0.9 less hours studying per week due to COVID-19). The interquartile range of the across-subject treatment effect demonstrates substantial variation, with the pandemic decreasing study time by 5 hours at the 25th percentile and increasing study time by 4 hours at the 75th.

Overall, these results suggest that COVID-19 represents a substantial disruption to students' academic experiences, and is likely to have lasting impacts through changes in major/career and delayed graduation timelines. Students' negative experiences with online teaching, perhaps due to the abruptness of the transition, also has implications for the willingness of students to take online classes in the future.

Turning to Panel B in Table 2 , we see that students' current and expected labor market outcomes were substantially disrupted by COVID-19. As for the extensive margin of current employment, on average, 29% of the students lost the jobs they were working at prior to the pandemic (67% of the students were working prior to the pandemic), 13% of students had their internships or job offers rescinded, and 61% of the students reported that a close family member had lost their job or experienced an income reduction. The last statistic is in line with findings from other surveys of widespread economic disruption across the US. 14 Respondents experienced an average decrease of 11.5 hours of work per week and a 21% decrease in weekly earnings, although there was no change in weekly earnings for 52% of the sample, which again reflects substantial variation in the effects of COVID-19 across students.

In terms of labor market expectations, on average, students foresee a 13 percentage points decrease in the probability of finding a job by graduation, a reduction of 2% in their reservation wages, and a 2.3% decrease in their expected earnings at age 35.

The significant changes in reservation wages and expected earnings at age 35 demonstrate that students expect the treatment effects of COVID-19 to be long-lasting. Qualitatively, this is broadly consistent with the literature on graduating during recession. Oreopoulos et al. (2012) finds that graduating during a recession in which the unemployment rate increases 5% implies an initial loss in earnings of 9%, that decreases to 4.5% within 5 years and disappears after 10 years for a sample of male college graduates in Canada. Similarly, Schwandt and von Wachter (2019) find a 2.6% reduction in earnings 10 years after graduation for a 3-percentage point increase in unemployment at graduation, and Kahn (2010) finds an even longer-lasting effect on wages.

A large literature has investigated the impact of graduating during recessions on unemployment rates. Kahn (2010) finds that during the 1980's recession, the probability of being employed right after graduation for white males was largely unaffected by economic conditions. Altonji et al. (2016) only find what they term modest impacts. On the other hand, Rothstein (2020) finds that, for 22 to 23-year-olds graduating from college during the Great Recession, the probability of being employed decreases by 0.7 percentage point for every 1 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate. Using the estimates in Rothstein (2020) and the approximate 10 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate during April 2020, a back-of-the-envelope calculation indicates a 7 percentage point reduction in the probability of being employed for the graduating cohort in our sample. We find that students who are graduating in spring or summer 2020 expect a 35 percentage point decline in the likelihood of finding a job before graduation. While it is difficult to precisely map pre-graduation job finding rates to unemployment over the subsequent year, a 7 percentage point increase in unemployment appears low compared to the impact on students' expectations. It could be the case that the literature estimates are not appropriate for a situation as unexpected and different as a global pandemic, where the economic recession goes hand in hand with health concerns. Having said that, it could also be that students are overreacting to the COVID-19 shock. Data that tracks students' expectations and outcomes over time may be able to shed light on this.

4.2. Heterogeneous effects

We next explore demographic heterogeneity in the treatment effects of COVID-19. Fig. 1 plots the average treatment effects across several relevant demographic divisions including gender, race, parental education, and parental income. Honors college status and cohort are also included as interesting dimensions of heterogeneity in the COVID-19 context. The figure shows the impacts for six of the more economically meaningful outcomes from Table 2 (additional outcomes can be found in Appendix Fig. A2 ).

Fig. 1

Treatment effects by demographic group.

(a) Delay Graduation due to COVID (0/1)

(b) Semester GPA ( Δ 0–4)

(c) Change major due to COVID (0/1)

(d) Likelihood take online classes ( Δ 0–1)

(e) Probability job before graduate ( Δ 0–1)

(f) Expected earnings at age 35 (Pct. Δ )

Notes: bars denote 90% confidence interval.

At least four patterns of note emerge from Fig. 1 . First, compared to their classmates, students from disadvantaged backgrounds (lower-income students defined as those with below-median parental income, racial minorities, and first-generation students) experienced larger negative impacts for the academic outcomes, as shown in the first three panels of the figure. 15 The trends are most striking for lower-income students, who are 55% more likely to delay graduation due to COVID-19 than their more affluent classmates (0.16 increase in the proportion of those expecting to delay graduation versus 0.10), expect 30% larger negative effects on their semester GPA due to COVID-19, and are 41% more likely to report that COVID-19 impacted their major choice (these differences are statistically significant at the 5% level). For some academic outcomes, COVID-19 had similarly disproportionate effects on nonwhite and first-generation students, with nonwhite students being 70% more likely to report changing their major preference compared to their white peers and first-generation students being 50% more likely to delay their graduation than students with college-educated parents. Thus, while on average COVID-19 negatively impacted several measures of academic achievement for all subgroups, the effects are significantly more pronounced for socioeconomic groups which were predisposed towards worse academic outcomes pre-COVID. 16 The pandemic's widening of existing achievement gaps can be seen directly in students' expected Semester GPA. Without COVID-19, lower-income students expected a 0.052 lower semester GPA than their higher-income peers. With COVID-19, this gap nearly doubles to 0.098. 17

Second, Panel (d) of Fig. 1 shows that the switch to online learning was substantially harder for some demographic groups; for example, men are 7 percentage points less likely to opt for an online version of a course as a result of COVID-19, while women do not have a statistically significant change in their online preferences. We also see that Honors students revise their preferences by more than 2.5 times the amount of non-Honors students. As we show later (in Table 4 ), these gaps persist after controlling for household income, major, and cohort, suggesting that the switch to online learning mid-semester may have been substantially more disruptive for males and Honors students. While the effect of COVID-19 on preferences for online learning looks similar for males and Honors students, our survey evidence indicates that different mechanisms underpin these shifts. Based on qualitative evidence, it appears that Honors students had a negative reaction to the transition to online learning because they felt less challenged, while males were more likely to struggle with the learning methods available through the online platform. 18 One speculative explanation for the gender difference is that consumption value of college amenities is higher for men (however, Jacob et al. (2018) , find little gender difference in willingness to pay for the amenities they consider).

Composition of COVID effects.

Notes: Standard errors in parentheses bootstrapped with 1000 replications. Each column reports results from a separate OLS regression of the dependent variable onto the covariates (row variables). Dependent variables measured in percentage points. ( ∗  :  p <0.1, ∗∗  :  p <0.05, ∗∗∗  :  p <0.01).

The third trend worth highlighting from Fig. 1 is that Honors students were better able to mitigate the negative effect of COVID-19 on their academic outcomes (panels a, b, and c), despite appearing to be more disrupted by the move to online learning (panel d). Honors students report being less than half as likely as non-Honors students to delay graduation and change their major due to COVID-19. Extrapolating from these patterns provides suggestive evidence that academic impacts for students attending elite schools– the group more comparable to these Honors students– are likely to have been small relative to the impacts for the average student at large public schools.

Finally, the last two panels of Fig. 1 present the COVID effect on two labor market expectations and show much less meaningful heterogeneity across demographic groups compared to the academic outcomes in previous panels. This suggests that, while students believe COVID-19 will impact both their academic outcomes and future labor market outcomes, they do not believe there is a strong connection between these domains. Supporting this observation, the individual-specific treatment effect on semester GPA is only weakly correlated with the individual-specific treatment effects on finding a job before graduation (corr = 0.0497, p  = 0.065) and expected earnings at 35 (corr = 0.0467, p  = 0.077).

The one notable exception to the lack of heterogeneity in panels (e) and (f) of Fig. 1 are seniors, who on average revised their subjective probability of finding a job before graduation three times as much as other cohorts. Appendix Fig. A3 further breaks down the estimated COVID-19 effects by expected year of graduation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 2020 cohort expects much larger effects on immediate job market outcomes such as reservation wages and probability of finding a job before graduation. While average expected changes to job market outcomes are noisier for academically younger students, perhaps reflecting additional uncertainty about the longer-term impacts of COVID-19, they appear to anticipate meaningful changes to their future labor market prospects. Conversely, younger students also expected larger disruptions to academic outcomes such as semester GPA and study time.

5. Understanding the heterogeneous effects

This section presents mediation analysis on the drivers of the underlying heterogeneity in the treatment effects. The COVID-19 pandemic serves as both an economic and a health shock. However, these shocks may have been quite heterogeneous across the various groups, and that could partly explain the heterogeneous treatment effects we documented in the previous section.

5.1. Economic and health mediating factors

We proxy for the financial and health shocks due to COVID-19 by relying on a small but relevant set of covariates which capture more fundamental or first-order disruptions from the pandemic. Financial shocks are characterized based on whether a student lost a job due to COVID-19, whether a student's family members lost income due to COVID-19, the change in a student's monthly earnings due to COVID-19, and the likelihood a student will fail to fully meet debt payments in the next 90 days. To measure health shocks, we consider a student's belief about the likelihood that they will be hospitalized if they contract COVID-19, a student's belief about the likelihood that they will have contracted COVID-19 by summer, and a student's subjective health assessment. Finally, in order to summarize the combined effect of each set of proxies, we construct principal component scores as one-dimensional measures of the financial and health shock to students. 19

Table 3 reports summary statistics of the different economic and health proxies by demographic group. Given the results in Fig. 1 , the remainder of the analysis will focus on three socioeconomic divisions: parental income, gender, and Honors college status. Our data indicate that lower-income students faced larger health and economic shocks as compared to their more affluent peers. In particular, they are almost 10 percentage points more likely to expect to default on their debt payments compared to their higher-income counterparts. Additionally, lower-income students are 16 percentage points more likely to have had a close family member experience an income reduction due to COVID-19. Regarding the health proxies, lower-income students rate their health as worse than higher-income students and perceive a higher probability of being hospitalized if they catch the virus. Finally, the differences in economic and health shocks between lower and higher-income students, as summarized by the principle components of the selected proxy variables, are statistically significant.

Summary statistics for economic and health proxies.

Notes: P-value columns report the p-value of a difference in means test between the two columns indicated by the numbers in the heading.

Columns (5)–(7) of Table 3 show that both economic and health shocks are larger for non-Honors students. In fact, the average differences in the principal component scores for both the economic and health factors is larger for these two groups than for the income groups. Likewise, the last three columns of the table show that women experienced larger COVID-19 shocks due to economic and health factors. These differences are partly driven by the fact that, in our sample, females are more likely to report that they belong to a lower-income household than males (50% vs. 42%).

In short, Table 3 makes clear that the impacts of COVID-19 on the economic well-being and health of students have been quite heterogeneous, with lower-income and lower-ability students being more adversely affected.

5.2. The role of economic and health shocks on explaining the COVID-19 effects

To investigate the role of economic and health shocks in explaining the heterogeneous treatment effects (in Section 4.2 ), we estimate the following specification:

where Δ i is the COVID-19 treatment effect for outcome O on student i . Demog i is a vector including indicators for gender, lower-income, Honors status, and dummies for cohort year and major. FinShock i and HealthShock i are vectors containing the shock proxies or their principal component. Finally, ε i denotes an idiosyncratic shock.

The parameters of interest are α 2 and α 3 . A causal interpretation of these parameters requires FinShock i and HealthShock i to be independent of ε i . This seems unlikely in our context as unobservables correlated with FinShock i and HealthShock i may also modulate COVID-19's impact on academic outcomes. Therefore, we prefer to interpret α 2 and α 3 as simple correlations. Nevertheless, we believe this descriptive evidence can be informative from a policy perspective.

Table 4 shows estimates of Eq. (2) for four different outcomes ( Appendix Table A2 shows the estimates for additional outcomes). For each outcome, five specifications are reported ranging from controlling for only demographic variables in the first specification to controlling for both economic and health factors in the fourth specification. Finally, the last column includes only the principal component of each shock to provide insight about overall effects, given that certain shock proxies show high levels of correlation (see Appendix Table A4 for the correlations within each set of proxies).

Several important messages emerge from Table 4 . First, both shocks are (economically and statistically) significant correlates of the COVID-19 effects on students' outcomes. In particular, F-tests show that the financial and health shock proxies are jointly significant across almost all specifications. 20 This is also reflected in the statistical significance of the principal components. Moreover, the fact that the effect of key proxy variables remains robust when we simultaneously control for both shocks demonstrates the robustness of our results. For example, we find that a 50 percentage point increase in the probability of being late on debt payments is associated with an increase in the probability of delaying graduation and switching majors due to COVID-19 of 6.9 and 6.4 percentage points respectively. These effects are large given that they represent more than half of the overall COVID-19 treatment effect for these variables. Similarly, we find that an analogous increase in the probability of hospitalization if contracting COVID-19 is associated with a 6 and 5 percentage points increase in the probability of delaying graduation and switching majors due to COVID-19.

Second, in terms of labor market expectations, we find that the change in the expected probability of finding a job before graduation strongly depends on having a family member that lost income (which is also correlated with the student himself losing a job). In particular, the size of this effect represents 32% of the overall COVID-19 treatment effect. Therefore, this finding suggests that students' labor market expectations are driven in large part by personal/family experiences.

Third, although the proxies play an important role in explaining the pandemic's impact on students, there is still a substantial amount of variation in COVID-19 treatment effects left unexplained. Across the four outcomes in Table 4 , the full set of proxies explain less than a quarter of the variation in outcomes across individuals. Appendix Fig. A4 visualizes this variation by plotting the distribution of several continuous outcomes with and without controls. While the interquartile range noticeably shrinks after conditioning on the proxy variables, these plots highlight the large amount of variation in treatment effects remaining after conditioning on the proxies.

Finally, our results show that the financial and health shocks play an important role in explaining the heterogeneous effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. In particular, columns (4) and (9) demonstrate that economic and health factors together can explain approximately 40% and 70% of the income gap in COVID-19's effect on delayed graduation and changing major respectively. The gap between Honors and non-Honors students is likewise reduced by 27% and 39% for the same outcomes. Taken together, these results imply that differences in the magnitude of COVID-19's economic and health impact can explain a significant proportion of the demographic gaps in COVID-19's effect on the decision to delay graduation, the decision to change major, and preferences for online learning. These results are important and suggest that focusing on the needs of students who experienced larger financial or health shocks from COVID-19 may be an effective way to minimize the disparate disruptive effects and prevent COVID-19 from exacerbating existing achievement gaps in higher education.

6. Conclusions

This paper provides the first systematic analysis of the effects of COVID-19 on higher education. To study these effects, we surveyed 1500 students at Arizona State University, and present quantitative evidence showing the negative effects of the pandemic on students' outcomes and expectations. For example, we find that 13% of students have delayed graduation due to COVID-19. Expanding upon these results, we show that the effects of the pandemic are highly heterogeneous, with lower-income students 55% more likely to delay graduation compared to their higher-income counterparts. We further show that the negative economic and health impacts of COVID-19 have been significantly more pronounced for less advantaged groups, and that these differences can partially explain the underlying heterogeneity that we document. Our results suggest that by focusing on addressing the economic and health burden imposed by COVID-19, as measured by a relatively narrow set of mitigating factors, policy makers may be able to prevent COVID-19 from widening existing achievement gaps in higher education.

Declaration of competing interest

The authors declare that they have no relevant or material financial interests that relate to the research described in this paper. There are no declarations of interest.

☆ Noah Deitrick and Adam Streff provided excellent research assistance. All errors that remain are ours.

1 See, the New York Times article “ After Coronavirus , Colleges Worry : Will Students Come Back ?” (April 15, 2020) for a discussion surrounding students' demands for tuition cuts.

2 In some cases, instead of asking students for the outcomes in both states of the world, we directly ask for the difference. For example, the survey asked how the pandemic had affected the student's graduation date.

3 This approach has been used successfully in several other settings, such as to construct career and family returns to college majors ( Arcidiacono et al., 2020 ; Wiswall and Zafar, 2020 ), and the causal impact of health on retirement ( Shapiro and Giustinelli, 2019 ).

4 The income gap in GPA increased from 0.052 to 0.098 on a 4 point scale. It is significant at the 1% level in both scenarios.

5 The 64 people taking the survey at the moment the target sample size (1500) was reached were allowed to finish.

6 59% of Honors students in our sample report living on campus.

7 This is different from asking students in normal times about their expected outcomes in a state with online teaching and no campus activities (COVID-19) since most students would not have had any experience with this counterfactual prior to March this year.

8 Altonji et al. (2016) finds a small but positive effect on the probability of attending graduate school when graduating into a recession. This is suggestive evidence that students try to avoid entering the labor market when economic conditions are adverse. Our results on delayed graduation are consistent with students avoiding entering the labor market at inopportune times.

9 For this calculation, we take earnings data from the US Department of Education College Scorecard dataset. Major-specific earnings are calculated using median first-year earnings for ASU graduates in 2015 and 2016 by two-digit CIP code. Observable earnings averaged within major category.

10 STEM major designation made using two-digit CIP code and The STEM Designated Degree Program from the US Department of Homeland Security.

11 This includes 77 respondents, or 43% of those who say COVID-19 impacted their major choice.

12 The relevant survey question read: “ Suppose you are given the choice to take a course online/remote or in-person . [ Had you NOT had experience with online/remote classes this semester ], what is the percent chance that you would opt for the online/remote option ?”

13 This result is in line with a survey about eLearning experiences across different universities in Washington and New York that concludes that 75% of the students are unhappy with the quality of their classes after moving to online learning due to COVID-19.

14 According to the US Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey Week 3, 48% of the surveyed households have experienced a loss in employment income since March 13 2020.

15 The cutoff for median parental income in our sample is $80,000.

16 Based on analysis of ASU administrative data including transcripts, we find that, relative to their counterparts, first-generation, lower-income, and non-white students drop out at higher rates, take longer to graduate, have lower GPAs at graduation, and are more likely to switch majors when in college (see Appendix Table A3 ).

17 The difference is significant at 1% in both cases.

18 Honors students were as likely as non-Honors students to say that classes got easier after they went online but, conditional on saying classes got easier, were 47% more likely to say “homework/test questions got easier.” Conversely, males were marginally more likely to say classes got harder after they went online (10% more likely, p  = 0.055) and, conditional on this, were 14% more likely to say that “online material is not clear”.

19 Eigenvalues indicate the presence of only one principal component for each of the shocks.

20 The only exception is the financial shock when explaining changes in the probability of taking classes online.

Fig. A1

Expected and previous academic performance.

Notes: Figure plots mean expected GPA with COVID-19 against students' cumulative GPA up to the spring 2020 semester. The 45 degree line is also plotted for reference.

Fig. A2

More treatment effects by demographic group.

(a) Withdrew from Class due to COVID (0/1); (b) Social Events per Week ( Δ 0–14); (c) Move in With Family due to COVID (0/1); (d) Weekly Study Hours ( Δ 0–40); (e) Reservation Wage (Pct. Δ )

Notes: Bars denote 90% confidence interval.

Fig. A3

Cohort trends.

Notes: Figure plots average COVID-19 effects for a series of outcomes. The x-axis variable in each panel is expected academic year of graduation (after COVID), with summer graduation dates included in the previous academic year. Bars denote 90% confidence interval.

Fig. A4

Distribution of individual effects.

Notes: Data winsorized below 5% and above 95%. Controls include cohort fixed effects, major fixed effects, and the economic/health proxies in Table 3 . Conditional distribution adjusted to preserve unconditional mean. Within each plot: middle line represents median, edges of box represent interquatile range (IQR), edge of whisker represents the adjacent values or the 25th(75th) percentile plus(minus) 1.5 times the IQR. Outlier observations past adjacent values plotted as individual points.

Composition of COVID effects: more outcomes.

Notes: Standard errors in parentheses bootstrapped with 1000 replications. Each column reports results from a separate OLS regression of the dependent variable onto the covariates (row variables). Dependent variables measured in percentage points (except GPA). ( ∗  :  p <0.1, ∗∗  :  p <0.05, ∗∗∗  :  p <0.01).

Existing achievement gaps.

Notes: Sample includes all first time freshman at ASU's main campus who started within the last 10 years. N  = 58,426. ( ∗  :  p <0.1, ∗∗  :  p <0.05, ∗∗∗  :  p <0.01).

Correlation of shock proxies.

Notes: Table reports correlation matrix for indicated variables.

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The pandemic has had devastating impacts on learning. What will it take to help students catch up?

Subscribe to the brown center on education policy newsletter, megan kuhfeld , megan kuhfeld senior research scientist - nwea @megankuhfeld jim soland , jim soland assistant professor, school of education and human development - university of virginia, affiliated research fellow - nwea @jsoland karyn lewis , and karyn lewis director, center for school and student progress - nwea @karynlew emily morton emily morton research scientist - nwea @emily_r_morton.

March 3, 2022

As we reach the two-year mark of the initial wave of pandemic-induced school shutdowns, academic normalcy remains out of reach for many students, educators, and parents. In addition to surging COVID-19 cases at the end of 2021, schools have faced severe staff shortages , high rates of absenteeism and quarantines , and rolling school closures . Furthermore, students and educators continue to struggle with mental health challenges , higher rates of violence and misbehavior , and concerns about lost instructional time .

As we outline in our new research study released in January, the cumulative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ academic achievement has been large. We tracked changes in math and reading test scores across the first two years of the pandemic using data from 5.4 million U.S. students in grades 3-8. We focused on test scores from immediately before the pandemic (fall 2019), following the initial onset (fall 2020), and more than one year into pandemic disruptions (fall 2021).

Average fall 2021 math test scores in grades 3-8 were 0.20-0.27 standard deviations (SDs) lower relative to same-grade peers in fall 2019, while reading test scores were 0.09-0.18 SDs lower. This is a sizable drop. For context, the math drops are significantly larger than estimated impacts from other large-scale school disruptions, such as after Hurricane Katrina—math scores dropped 0.17 SDs in one year for New Orleans evacuees .

Even more concerning, test-score gaps between students in low-poverty and high-poverty elementary schools grew by approximately 20% in math (corresponding to 0.20 SDs) and 15% in reading (0.13 SDs), primarily during the 2020-21 school year. Further, achievement tended to drop more between fall 2020 and 2021 than between fall 2019 and 2020 (both overall and differentially by school poverty), indicating that disruptions to learning have continued to negatively impact students well past the initial hits following the spring 2020 school closures.

These numbers are alarming and potentially demoralizing, especially given the heroic efforts of students to learn and educators to teach in incredibly trying times. From our perspective, these test-score drops in no way indicate that these students represent a “ lost generation ” or that we should give up hope. Most of us have never lived through a pandemic, and there is so much we don’t know about students’ capacity for resiliency in these circumstances and what a timeline for recovery will look like. Nor are we suggesting that teachers are somehow at fault given the achievement drops that occurred between 2020 and 2021; rather, educators had difficult jobs before the pandemic, and now are contending with huge new challenges, many outside their control.

Clearly, however, there’s work to do. School districts and states are currently making important decisions about which interventions and strategies to implement to mitigate the learning declines during the last two years. Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) investments from the American Rescue Plan provided nearly $200 billion to public schools to spend on COVID-19-related needs. Of that sum, $22 billion is dedicated specifically to addressing learning loss using “evidence-based interventions” focused on the “ disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented student subgroups. ” Reviews of district and state spending plans (see Future Ed , EduRecoveryHub , and RAND’s American School District Panel for more details) indicate that districts are spending their ESSER dollars designated for academic recovery on a wide variety of strategies, with summer learning, tutoring, after-school programs, and extended school-day and school-year initiatives rising to the top.

Comparing the negative impacts from learning disruptions to the positive impacts from interventions

To help contextualize the magnitude of the impacts of COVID-19, we situate test-score drops during the pandemic relative to the test-score gains associated with common interventions being employed by districts as part of pandemic recovery efforts. If we assume that such interventions will continue to be as successful in a COVID-19 school environment, can we expect that these strategies will be effective enough to help students catch up? To answer this question, we draw from recent reviews of research on high-dosage tutoring , summer learning programs , reductions in class size , and extending the school day (specifically for literacy instruction) . We report effect sizes for each intervention specific to a grade span and subject wherever possible (e.g., tutoring has been found to have larger effects in elementary math than in reading).

Figure 1 shows the standardized drops in math test scores between students testing in fall 2019 and fall 2021 (separately by elementary and middle school grades) relative to the average effect size of various educational interventions. The average effect size for math tutoring matches or exceeds the average COVID-19 score drop in math. Research on tutoring indicates that it often works best in younger grades, and when provided by a teacher rather than, say, a parent. Further, some of the tutoring programs that produce the biggest effects can be quite intensive (and likely expensive), including having full-time tutors supporting all students (not just those needing remediation) in one-on-one settings during the school day. Meanwhile, the average effect of reducing class size is negative but not significant, with high variability in the impact across different studies. Summer programs in math have been found to be effective (average effect size of .10 SDs), though these programs in isolation likely would not eliminate the COVID-19 test-score drops.

Figure 1: Math COVID-19 test-score drops compared to the effect sizes of various educational interventions

Figure 1 – Math COVID-19 test-score drops compared to the effect sizes of various educational interventions

Source: COVID-19 score drops are pulled from Kuhfeld et al. (2022) Table 5; reduction-in-class-size results are from pg. 10 of Figles et al. (2018) Table 2; summer program results are pulled from Lynch et al (2021) Table 2; and tutoring estimates are pulled from Nictow et al (2020) Table 3B. Ninety-five percent confidence intervals are shown with vertical lines on each bar.

Notes: Kuhfeld et al. and Nictow et al. reported effect sizes separately by grade span; Figles et al. and Lynch et al. report an overall effect size across elementary and middle grades. We were unable to find a rigorous study that reported effect sizes for extending the school day/year on math performance. Nictow et al. and Kraft & Falken (2021) also note large variations in tutoring effects depending on the type of tutor, with larger effects for teacher and paraprofessional tutoring programs than for nonprofessional and parent tutoring. Class-size reductions included in the Figles meta-analysis ranged from a minimum of one to minimum of eight students per class.

Figure 2 displays a similar comparison using effect sizes from reading interventions. The average effect of tutoring programs on reading achievement is larger than the effects found for the other interventions, though summer reading programs and class size reduction both produced average effect sizes in the ballpark of the COVID-19 reading score drops.

Figure 2: Reading COVID-19 test-score drops compared to the effect sizes of various educational interventions

Figure 2 – Reading COVID-19 test-score drops compared to the effect sizes of various educational interventions

Source: COVID-19 score drops are pulled from Kuhfeld et al. (2022) Table 5; extended-school-day results are from Figlio et al. (2018) Table 2; reduction-in-class-size results are from pg. 10 of Figles et al. (2018) ; summer program results are pulled from Kim & Quinn (2013) Table 3; and tutoring estimates are pulled from Nictow et al (2020) Table 3B. Ninety-five percent confidence intervals are shown with vertical lines on each bar.

Notes: While Kuhfeld et al. and Nictow et al. reported effect sizes separately by grade span, Figlio et al. and Kim & Quinn report an overall effect size across elementary and middle grades. Class-size reductions included in the Figles meta-analysis ranged from a minimum of one to minimum of eight students per class.

There are some limitations of drawing on research conducted prior to the pandemic to understand our ability to address the COVID-19 test-score drops. First, these studies were conducted under conditions that are very different from what schools currently face, and it is an open question whether the effectiveness of these interventions during the pandemic will be as consistent as they were before the pandemic. Second, we have little evidence and guidance about the efficacy of these interventions at the unprecedented scale that they are now being considered. For example, many school districts are expanding summer learning programs, but school districts have struggled to find staff interested in teaching summer school to meet the increased demand. Finally, given the widening test-score gaps between low- and high-poverty schools, it’s uncertain whether these interventions can actually combat the range of new challenges educators are facing in order to narrow these gaps. That is, students could catch up overall, yet the pandemic might still have lasting, negative effects on educational equality in this country.

Given that the current initiatives are unlikely to be implemented consistently across (and sometimes within) districts, timely feedback on the effects of initiatives and any needed adjustments will be crucial to districts’ success. The Road to COVID Recovery project and the National Student Support Accelerator are two such large-scale evaluation studies that aim to produce this type of evidence while providing resources for districts to track and evaluate their own programming. Additionally, a growing number of resources have been produced with recommendations on how to best implement recovery programs, including scaling up tutoring , summer learning programs , and expanded learning time .

Ultimately, there is much work to be done, and the challenges for students, educators, and parents are considerable. But this may be a moment when decades of educational reform, intervention, and research pay off. Relying on what we have learned could show the way forward.

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Covid-19’s Impact on Students’ Academic and Mental Well-Being

The pandemic has revealed—and exacerbated—inequities that hold many students back. Here’s how teachers can help.

The pandemic has shone a spotlight on inequality in America: School closures and social isolation have affected all students, but particularly those living in poverty. Adding to the damage to their learning, a mental health crisis is emerging as many students have lost access to services that were offered by schools.

No matter what form school takes when the new year begins—whether students and teachers are back in the school building together or still at home—teachers will face a pressing issue: How can they help students recover and stay on track throughout the year even as their lives are likely to continue to be disrupted by the pandemic?

New research provides insights about the scope of the problem—as well as potential solutions.

The Achievement Gap Is Likely to Widen

A new study suggests that the coronavirus will undo months of academic gains, leaving many students behind. The study authors project that students will start the new school year with an average of 66 percent of the learning gains in reading and 44 percent of the learning gains in math, relative to the gains for a typical school year. But the situation is worse on the reading front, as the researchers also predict that the top third of students will make gains, possibly because they’re likely to continue reading with their families while schools are closed, thus widening the achievement gap.

To make matters worse, “few school systems provide plans to support students who need accommodations or other special populations,” the researchers point out in the study, potentially impacting students with special needs and English language learners.

Of course, the idea that over the summer students forget some of what they learned in school isn’t new. But there’s a big difference between summer learning loss and pandemic-related learning loss: During the summer, formal schooling stops, and learning loss happens at roughly the same rate for all students, the researchers point out. But instruction has been uneven during the pandemic, as some students have been able to participate fully in online learning while others have faced obstacles—such as lack of internet access—that have hindered their progress.

In the study, researchers analyzed a national sample of 5 million students in grades 3–8 who took the MAP Growth test, a tool schools use to assess students’ reading and math growth throughout the school year. The researchers compared typical growth in a standard-length school year to projections based on students being out of school from mid-March on. To make those projections, they looked at research on the summer slide, weather- and disaster-related closures (such as New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina), and absenteeism.

The researchers predict that, on average, students will experience substantial drops in reading and math, losing roughly three months’ worth of gains in reading and five months’ worth of gains in math. For Megan Kuhfeld, the lead author of the study, the biggest takeaway isn’t that learning loss will happen—that’s a given by this point—but that students will come back to school having declined at vastly different rates.

“We might be facing unprecedented levels of variability come fall,” Kuhfeld told me. “Especially in school districts that serve families with lots of different needs and resources. Instead of having students reading at a grade level above or below in their classroom, teachers might have kids who slipped back a lot versus kids who have moved forward.” 

Disproportionate Impact on Students Living in Poverty and Students of Color

Horace Mann once referred to schools as the “great equalizers,” yet the pandemic threatens to expose the underlying inequities of remote learning. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center analysis , 17 percent of teenagers have difficulty completing homework assignments because they do not have reliable access to a computer or internet connection. For Black students, the number spikes to 25 percent.

“There are many reasons to believe the Covid-19 impacts might be larger for children in poverty and children of color,” Kuhfeld wrote in the study. Their families suffer higher rates of infection, and the economic burden disproportionately falls on Black and Hispanic parents, who are less likely to be able to work from home during the pandemic.

Although children are less likely to become infected with Covid-19, the adult mortality rates, coupled with the devastating economic consequences of the pandemic, will likely have an indelible impact on their well-being.

Impacts on Students’ Mental Health

That impact on well-being may be magnified by another effect of school closures: Schools are “the de facto mental health system for many children and adolescents,” providing mental health services to 57 percent of adolescents who need care, according to the authors of a recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics . School closures may be especially disruptive for children from lower-income families, who are disproportionately likely to receive mental health services exclusively from schools.

“The Covid-19 pandemic may worsen existing mental health problems and lead to more cases among children and adolescents because of the unique combination of the public health crisis, social isolation, and economic recession,” write the authors of that study.

A major concern the researchers point to: Since most mental health disorders begin in childhood, it is essential that any mental health issues be identified early and treated. Left untreated, they can lead to serious health and emotional problems. In the short term, video conferencing may be an effective way to deliver mental health services to children.

Mental health and academic achievement are linked, research shows. Chronic stress changes the chemical and physical structure of the brain, impairing cognitive skills like attention, concentration, memory, and creativity. “You see deficits in your ability to regulate emotions in adaptive ways as a result of stress,” said Cara Wellman, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University in a 2014 interview . In her research, Wellman discovered that chronic stress causes the connections between brain cells to shrink in mice, leading to cognitive deficiencies in the prefrontal cortex. 

While trauma-informed practices were widely used before the pandemic, they’re likely to be even more integral as students experience economic hardships and grieve the loss of family and friends. Teachers can look to schools like Fall-Hamilton Elementary in Nashville, Tennessee, as a model for trauma-informed practices . 

3 Ways Teachers Can Prepare

When schools reopen, many students may be behind, compared to a typical school year, so teachers will need to be very methodical about checking in on their students—not just academically but also emotionally. Some may feel prepared to tackle the new school year head-on, but others will still be recovering from the pandemic and may still be reeling from trauma, grief, and anxiety. 

Here are a few strategies teachers can prioritize when the new school year begins:

  • Focus on relationships first. Fear and anxiety about the pandemic—coupled with uncertainty about the future—can be disruptive to a student’s ability to come to school ready to learn. Teachers can act as a powerful buffer against the adverse effects of trauma by helping to establish a safe and supportive environment for learning. From morning meetings to regular check-ins with students, strategies that center around relationship-building will be needed in the fall.
  • Strengthen diagnostic testing. Educators should prepare for a greater range of variability in student learning than they would expect in a typical school year. Low-stakes assessments such as exit tickets and quizzes can help teachers gauge how much extra support students will need, how much time should be spent reviewing last year’s material, and what new topics can be covered.
  • Differentiate instruction—particularly for vulnerable students. For the vast majority of schools, the abrupt transition to online learning left little time to plan a strategy that could adequately meet every student’s needs—in a recent survey by the Education Trust, only 24 percent of parents said that their child’s school was providing materials and other resources to support students with disabilities, and a quarter of non-English-speaking students were unable to obtain materials in their own language. Teachers can work to ensure that the students on the margins get the support they need by taking stock of students’ knowledge and skills, and differentiating instruction by giving them choices, connecting the curriculum to their interests, and providing them multiple opportunities to demonstrate their learning.

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Introduction

The global outbreak of COVID-19 has certainly taken an overwhelming toll on everyone. People have lost their jobs, their homes, and even their lives. There is no getting past the fact that the overall impact on the world has been negative, but it is important to realize that positive aspects of the pandemic have been overshadowed by the many negative ones. In an attempt to slow the spread of the disease, many governments made the decision to implement lockdowns, forcing billions to work and take classes from home, in many cases for the first times in their lives. Not only have these lockdowns altered the way that people work and go to school, but they have altered the mental health of everyone and the environmental health of the world around us.

Connection to STS Theory

The positive impacts of technology during the pandemic stems from the Modernization Theory, posing that there is a relationship between societal and technological advancements as societies shift to become updated as opposed to traditional. Technology has brought about lots of resistance to COVID that would not have been possible without the drastic advancements in science over the years. Thanks to these advancements, relationships can stay connected, students can continue to learn, jobs can stay open, and the environment can subtly improve. Our modernized world is well enough suited to take on the troubling times that COVID-19 has brought along.

Technology with School – Relates to College Students

Remote learning has allowed each of us to learn from the comfort of our homes. Working remotely has also allowed us to work from our living rooms. The perks of both are not having to wake up early to drive to work in the mornings, not having to sit at an office desk for eight hours a day, and not having to walk to class. Working remotely and remote learning has also been a time saver for many individuals.

According to Business Insider, there are a few tips that will help students be successful while being virtual. One tip is to clean your workspace. It is important to have a space, just like you would at a desk in a classroom, to ensure that you are paying attention to the professor. It is always important to engage with your professor. It is important to contact your professor outside of the class section to ensure that you are retaining the information. Another tip that the Business Insider recommends is to connect with your classmates. It is vital to build connections with your classmates that will help everyone have a comfortable environment to ask questions.

Personal Growth

In March 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak hit the United States. College students were forced to leave their beloved campuses and go home to finish their semesters online. For some, it meant their schoolwork load was lightened and they could sleep until noon. For others, it meant their plans of graduating and having a job for the summer were in jeopardy. Regardless of their situation, one thing was likely the same for all: lots of time alone. Students found things to do to pass the time. Some learned to cook, some started exercising at home, and others had more time to do what they already loved.

Ethan, a student at the University of South Carolina, used the time to start lifting weights in his home gym. In the United States, sales of home gym equipment doubled, reaching nearly $2.4 Billion in revenue. Store shelves were entirely sold out of exercise equipment. Many students like Ethan report that exercising was one of the biggest changes they made during COVID lockdown.

Other students, such as Cam, found an opportunity to get in a better place mentally. “I learned not to take things for granted. My relationship with my family has gotten better. I’m a much stronger person,” the Clemson student reported. Grayson, an athlete at Winthrop University, reported that it made him have a more positive outlook on being by himself. A student that elected to remain anonymous was just happy they could wake up later and not have to brush their teeth as much because of masks. Whether a dentist would approve of that habit or not, an improvement in mental health is a win in anyone’s book.

A select few students decided to challenge themselves in a world where all odds are stacked against them.  Dean, a freshman at the University of South Carolina, decided to start his own bracelet and T-Shirt business in a time when small businesses all over the country were facing a grave threat of going out of business. All the while, he learned to play the guitar and uploaded his songs to SoundCloud, he reported.

Whether college students decided to get a six-pack or learned how to sew, almost everyone found something constructive and positive to do with their extra free time. The college students of COVID-19 learned what it meant to make the best of an unfortunate situation. Things may have looked bleak and frightening, but they learned how to manage those feelings and make something positive out of it.

Change in Workforce

Before the pandemic, many companies did not allow employees to work from home. Also, many companies would not even allow employees to take home items, such as laptops, as a safety precaution. According to Stanford Medicine, rapid innovation and implementation of technology has allowed for the employees to navigate the challenges. It states that it is clear that technology has transformed our typical daily workflow. Technology has also made it easier to connect with the patients during the pandemic.

The Pew Research Center states “about half of new teleworkers say they have more flexibility now and that majority who are working in person worry about virus exposure.” In December 2020, 71% of the workers that were surveyed were doing their job from home all or most of the time. Of those workers, more than half said if they were given the choice that they would want to keep working from home even after the pandemic. Among those who are currently working from home, most say that it has been easy to meet deadlines and complete projects on time without interruptions.

Environmental Improvements

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, a typical day consisted of billions of people across the globe commuting to work or school, whether that be through public buses or trains, driving themselves in cars, or some other means of transportation. As all these vehicles were used, immeasurable amounts of gases and chemicals were released into the atmosphere. As infection numbers and the death toll increased, most nations began enforcing lockdown protocols, and these mandates affected almost 3 billion people (Rume & Islam, 2020). Businesses and factories shut down or people began working from home, meaning they no longer needed to drive to work. In an attempt to stunt transmission, the majority of international travel was halted, limiting tourism, which also had a great impact. Since industrialization has advanced in major cities across the globe, the amount of Greenhouse Gases that have been emitted is alarming. Cars, buses, trains, industries, factories all release harmful chemicals due to the burning of fossil fuels or other energy sources. When these pollutants enter the atmosphere, they cause a variety of issues. It decreases overall air quality and visibility, and can be dangerous to those inhali ng the m.

According to research performed by Shakeel Ahmad Bhat and a group of other scientists from India, China, and the United Kingdom, Delhi, India is one of the most polluted cities in the world (Bhat et al, 2021). The city is highly industrialized and densely populated, contributing to the elevated levels of particulate matter in the air. Particulate matter is small pollutant liquid droplets and solid particles in the air (Environmental Protection Agency, 2020). When inhaled, they can burrow deep into the lungs and even the bloodstream and cause serious damage to a person, “particularly respiratory ailments” (Bhat et al, 2021). The two types of particulate matter are PM10 and PM2.5, and their numbers correspond to the size of the particles (their diameters in units of micrometers). The smaller the particle, the more harmful they are. By National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the level of particulate matter in Delhi is well above the tolerable limits. In 2016 alone, the amount of deaths caused by the poor air quality in India “was approximately 4.2 million” (Bhat et al, 2021).

essay about covid 19 for students

Lockdowns positively affe cted more than just the air quality around the world; additionally, water quality and beaches were a major beneficiary. Tourism for centuries has led to a significant overuse of beach resources such as fishing and leisure activities, and these in turn led to pollution of the water. If people are using jet skis and boating in lakes or oceans, the fuel and exhaust often leak into the water which can cause significant harm to the wildlife that lives in it. Restricting beach access has allowed them to recover and regain their resources, and has also decreased the pollution levels in the water. The water flowing in the Venice canals are cleaner now than they have been before (Bhat et al, 2021). pH levels, electric conductivity, dissolved oxygen levels, biochemical oxygen demand, and chemical oxygen demand have all decreased as a result of the lockdowns (Rume & Islam, 2020). These decreases all contribute to the fact that overall water quality levels have increased.

Noise pollution is an often-overlooked type of pollution that affects the world, especially in highly urbanized regions. Noise pollution is elevated levels of sound which are typically caused by human activities including transportation, machines, factories, etc. When the noise levels are elevated for extended periods of time, it negatively affects all organisms in the area. It leads to hearing loss, lack of concentration, high stress levels, interrupted sleep, and many other issues in humans. As for the wildlife, their abilities to detect and avoid predators and prey are hindered by noise pollution. It affects the invertebrates responsible for the control of many environmental processes that maintain balance in the ecosystem (Rume & Islam, 2020). When lockdowns were implemented, traveling and transportation stopped, industries shut down, flights were canceled, and people stayed home. The environment was able to recover and the people and organisms within the ecosystem enjoy a higher quality of life as a result.

Reflection Questions

  • What kinds of positive experiences have you had during the pandemic?
  • As stated in the chapter, there are many students who spent their time working out or picked up new hobbies. What new things were you able to focus on during the lockdowns?

Bhat, Shakeel Ahmad et al. “Impact of COVID-Related Lockdowns on Environmental and Climate Change Scenarios.” Environmental research 195 (2021): 110839–110839. Web. https://www-sciencedirect-com.libproxy.clemson.edu/science/article/pii/S001393512100133X?via%3Dihub.

DiDonato, S., Forgo, E., & Manella, H. (2020, June 5). Here’s how technology is helping residents during the COVID-19 pandemic . Scope Blog. https://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2020/06/04/how-technology-is-helping-residents-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/.

Environmental Protection Agency. (2020, October 1). Particulate Matter (PM) Basics. EPA. https://www.epa.gov/pm-pollution/particulate-matter-pm-basics.

Merkle, Steffen. “Positive Experiences During COVID-19.” Survey. 18 April 2021.

Parker, K., Horowitz, J. M., & Minkin, R. (2021, February 9). How Coronavirus Has Changed the Way Americans Work . Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project. https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/12/09/how-the-coronavirus-outbreak-has-and-hasnt-changed-the-way-americans-work/.

Rume, T., & Islam, S. M. D.-U. (2020, September 17). Environmental effects of COVID-19 pandemic and potential strategies of sustainability. Heliyon. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7498239/#bib42.

Shaban, Hamza. “The Pandemic’s Home-Workout Revolution May Be Here to Stay.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 8 Jan. 2021, www.washingtonpost.com/road-to-recovery/2021/01/07/home-fitness-boom/.

Thompson, K. L. (2021, February 2). I’m a college professor who’s teaching virtually during the pandemic. Here are 7 things my most successful students do on Zoom. Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/tips-for-zoom-success-as-remote-student-professor-advice-2021-2.

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Persuasive Essay Guide

Persuasive Essay About Covid19

Caleb S.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay About Covid19 | Examples & Tips

11 min read

Persuasive Essay About Covid19

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Are you looking to write a persuasive essay about the Covid-19 pandemic?

Writing a compelling and informative essay about this global crisis can be challenging. It requires researching the latest information, understanding the facts, and presenting your argument persuasively.

But don’t worry! with some guidance from experts, you’ll be able to write an effective and persuasive essay about Covid-19.

In this blog post, we’ll outline the basics of writing a persuasive essay . We’ll provide clear examples, helpful tips, and essential information for crafting your own persuasive piece on Covid-19.

Read on to get started on your essay.

Arrow Down

  • 1. Steps to Write a Persuasive Essay About Covid-19
  • 2. Examples of Persuasive Essay About Covid19
  • 3. Examples of Persuasive Essay About Covid-19 Vaccine
  • 4. Examples of Persuasive Essay About Covid-19 Integration
  • 5. Examples of Argumentative Essay About Covid 19
  • 6. Examples of Persuasive Speeches About Covid-19
  • 7. Tips to Write a Persuasive Essay About Covid-19
  • 8. Common Topics for a Persuasive Essay on COVID-19 

Steps to Write a Persuasive Essay About Covid-19

Here are the steps to help you write a persuasive essay on this topic, along with an example essay:

Step 1: Choose a Specific Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement should clearly state your position on a specific aspect of COVID-19. It should be debatable and clear. For example:

Step 2: Research and Gather Information

Collect reliable and up-to-date information from reputable sources to support your thesis statement. This may include statistics, expert opinions, and scientific studies. For instance:

  • COVID-19 vaccination effectiveness data
  • Information on vaccine mandates in different countries
  • Expert statements from health organizations like the WHO or CDC

Step 3: Outline Your Essay

Create a clear and organized outline to structure your essay. A persuasive essay typically follows this structure:

  • Introduction
  • Background Information
  • Body Paragraphs (with supporting evidence)
  • Counterarguments (addressing opposing views)

Step 4: Write the Introduction

In the introduction, grab your reader's attention and present your thesis statement. For example:

Step 5: Provide Background Information

Offer context and background information to help your readers understand the issue better. For instance:

Step 6: Develop Body Paragraphs

Each body paragraph should present a single point or piece of evidence that supports your thesis statement. Use clear topic sentences, evidence, and analysis. Here's an example:

Step 7: Address Counterarguments

Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and refute them with strong counterarguments. This demonstrates that you've considered different perspectives. For example:

Step 8: Write the Conclusion

Summarize your main points and restate your thesis statement in the conclusion. End with a strong call to action or thought-provoking statement. For instance:

Step 9: Revise and Proofread

Edit your essay for clarity, coherence, grammar, and spelling errors. Ensure that your argument flows logically.

Step 10: Cite Your Sources

Include proper citations and a bibliography page to give credit to your sources.

Remember to adjust your approach and arguments based on your target audience and the specific angle you want to take in your persuasive essay about COVID-19.

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Examples of Persuasive Essay About Covid19

When writing a persuasive essay about the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s important to consider how you want to present your argument. To help you get started, here are some example essays for you to read:

Check out some more PDF examples below:

Persuasive Essay About Covid-19 Pandemic

Sample Of Persuasive Essay About Covid-19

Persuasive Essay About Covid-19 In The Philippines - Example

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Examples of Persuasive Essay About Covid-19 Vaccine

Covid19 vaccines are one of the ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but they have been a source of controversy. Different sides argue about the benefits or dangers of the new vaccines. Whatever your point of view is, writing a persuasive essay about it is a good way of organizing your thoughts and persuading others.

A persuasive essay about the Covid-19 vaccine could consider the benefits of getting vaccinated as well as the potential side effects.

Below are some examples of persuasive essays on getting vaccinated for Covid-19.

Covid19 Vaccine Persuasive Essay

Persuasive Essay on Covid Vaccines

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Examples of Persuasive Essay About Covid-19 Integration

Covid19 has drastically changed the way people interact in schools, markets, and workplaces. In short, it has affected all aspects of life. However, people have started to learn to live with Covid19.

Writing a persuasive essay about it shouldn't be stressful. Read the sample essay below to get idea for your own essay about Covid19 integration.

Persuasive Essay About Working From Home During Covid19

Searching for the topic of Online Education? Our persuasive essay about online education is a must-read.

Examples of Argumentative Essay About Covid 19

Covid-19 has been an ever-evolving issue, with new developments and discoveries being made on a daily basis.

Writing an argumentative essay about such an issue is both interesting and challenging. It allows you to evaluate different aspects of the pandemic, as well as consider potential solutions.

Here are some examples of argumentative essays on Covid19.

Argumentative Essay About Covid19 Sample

Argumentative Essay About Covid19 With Introduction Body and Conclusion

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Examples of Persuasive Speeches About Covid-19

Do you need to prepare a speech about Covid19 and need examples? We have them for you!

Persuasive speeches about Covid-19 can provide the audience with valuable insights on how to best handle the pandemic. They can be used to advocate for specific changes in policies or simply raise awareness about the virus.

Check out some examples of persuasive speeches on Covid-19:

Persuasive Speech About Covid-19 Example

Persuasive Speech About Vaccine For Covid-19

You can also read persuasive essay examples on other topics to master your persuasive techniques!

Tips to Write a Persuasive Essay About Covid-19

Writing a persuasive essay about COVID-19 requires a thoughtful approach to present your arguments effectively. 

Here are some tips to help you craft a compelling persuasive essay on this topic:

Choose a Specific Angle

Start by narrowing down your focus. COVID-19 is a broad topic, so selecting a specific aspect or issue related to it will make your essay more persuasive and manageable. For example, you could focus on vaccination, public health measures, the economic impact, or misinformation.

Provide Credible Sources 

Support your arguments with credible sources such as scientific studies, government reports, and reputable news outlets. Reliable sources enhance the credibility of your essay.

Use Persuasive Language

Employ persuasive techniques, such as ethos (establishing credibility), pathos (appealing to emotions), and logos (using logic and evidence). Use vivid examples and anecdotes to make your points relatable.

Organize Your Essay

Structure your essay involves creating a persuasive essay outline and establishing a logical flow from one point to the next. Each paragraph should focus on a single point, and transitions between paragraphs should be smooth and logical.

Emphasize Benefits

Highlight the benefits of your proposed actions or viewpoints. Explain how your suggestions can improve public health, safety, or well-being. Make it clear why your audience should support your position.

Use Visuals -H3

Incorporate graphs, charts, and statistics when applicable. Visual aids can reinforce your arguments and make complex data more accessible to your readers.

Call to Action

End your essay with a strong call to action. Encourage your readers to take a specific step or consider your viewpoint. Make it clear what you want them to do or think after reading your essay.

Revise and Edit

Proofread your essay for grammar, spelling, and clarity. Make sure your arguments are well-structured and that your writing flows smoothly.

Seek Feedback 

Have someone else read your essay to get feedback. They may offer valuable insights and help you identify areas where your persuasive techniques can be improved.

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Common Topics for a Persuasive Essay on COVID-19 

Here are some persuasive essay topics on COVID-19:

  • The Importance of Vaccination Mandates for COVID-19 Control
  • Balancing Public Health and Personal Freedom During a Pandemic
  • The Economic Impact of Lockdowns vs. Public Health Benefits
  • The Role of Misinformation in Fueling Vaccine Hesitancy
  • Remote Learning vs. In-Person Education: What's Best for Students?
  • The Ethics of Vaccine Distribution: Prioritizing Vulnerable Populations
  • The Mental Health Crisis Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • The Long-Term Effects of COVID-19 on Healthcare Systems
  • Global Cooperation vs. Vaccine Nationalism in Fighting the Pandemic
  • The Future of Telemedicine: Expanding Healthcare Access Post-COVID-19

In search of more inspiring topics for your next persuasive essay? Our persuasive essay topics blog has plenty of ideas!

To sum it up,

You have read good sample essays and got some helpful tips. You now have the tools you needed to write a persuasive essay about Covid-19. So don't let the doubts stop you, start writing!

If you need professional writing help, don't worry! We've got that for you as well.

MyPerfectWords.com is a professional essay writing service that can help you craft an excellent persuasive essay on Covid-19. Our experienced essay writer will create a well-structured, insightful paper in no time!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any ethical considerations when writing a persuasive essay about covid-19.

FAQ Icon

Yes, there are ethical considerations when writing a persuasive essay about COVID-19. It's essential to ensure the information is accurate, not contribute to misinformation, and be sensitive to the pandemic's impact on individuals and communities. Additionally, respecting diverse viewpoints and emphasizing public health benefits can promote ethical communication.

What impact does COVID-19 have on society?

The impact of COVID-19 on society is far-reaching. It has led to job and economic losses, an increase in stress and mental health disorders, and changes in education systems. It has also had a negative effect on social interactions, as people have been asked to limit their contact with others.

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Persuasive Essay

Classroom Q&A

With larry ferlazzo.

In this EdWeek blog, an experiment in knowledge-gathering, Ferlazzo will address readers’ questions on classroom management, ELL instruction, lesson planning, and other issues facing teachers. Send your questions to [email protected]. Read more from this blog.

Students Share How COVID Has Changed Their Lives

essay about covid 19 for students

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(This is the final post in a two-part series. You can see Part One here .)

The new questions-of-the-week (directed toward students) is:

What is the best thing about school this year? Why?

What is the worst thing about school this year? Why?

Several students from our school shared their responses to these questions in Part One .

Here are even more:

Disrupted Plans

Pachia Xiong is a junior at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, Calif.:

The best thing about school this year is being able to hang out with my friends again. I think this is the best thing for me this year because I don’t have to use social media or Zoom to contact them. As the previous school year was spent through distance learning, I had little contact with my friends because I was not someone who frequented my social media back then. Now, I am able to, with ease, talk to them in person. It feels much nicer that way.

The worst thing about school this year is being unable to do everything I planned because of COVID-19. Over last year, during distance learning, I was highly hopeful of returning to school in person. Following those hopes came the goals I wanted to achieve upon our return. Some of which involved holding club events and activities that could be enjoyed by both club members and outsiders. However, the rise in COVID-19 cases put a lid over those goals, and now, everything feels as though it’s come to a stop.

noweverythingpachia

‘Classes Are Easier’

Brenda Lin is a senior at Luther Burbank High School:

The best thing about this year is that most of my classes are easier because of the pandemic. For example, most of my finals for first semester were really easy because a lot of it was stress-free assignments. The teachers are more understanding about missing work and absences, and overall, I get sick less when I’m at school because I’m wearing a mask all the time. Overall, it’s a good way to end my high school years.

The worst thing about this year is that we have to be in school during the pandemic. When we were in distance learning, it was definitely a lot easier in terms of difficulty of assignments, but my motivation was very low. It is about the same in in-person school, but now, I have to worry about getting sick and bringing it back to all my family members. Not only that, but some of my teachers assign difficult assignments and require a lot of time and work to complete, and it’s not something I’m willing to do.

teachersaremorebrenda

‘Being Able to Learn New Things’

Abby Funez is a senior at Luther Burbank High School:

The best thing about school this year is being able to learn new things every day that benefit me later on in life. This is the best thing because I am able to grow in knowledge and mature a lot more. For example, I am learning how to write essays while being timed and under pressure. This will help me in my admissions for classes in college and to be a better writer, which will benefit me long term throughout my life.

The worst thing about school this year is wearing masks. This is the worst thing because it makes it harder to hear our teachers and students within our area. In my Spanish class, my teacher is unable to hear other students even when they are standing by her because of the masks. This makes my life difficult because I miss important concepts of the lesson being taught at times.

theworstthingabby

‘Teachers Are More Lenient’

Julianna Eakle is a junior at Luther Burbank High School:

The best thing about this school year is how the teachers are more lenient of our absences or our missing assignments. For example, our principal put out an email saying that he understands if parents would like to keep us home due to our safety, for students just to continue doing our work online. My teachers were very concerned about me not attending class but did everything to help me stay on top of my grades.

The worst thing about this school year is people not having their masks over their nose and mouths. There are at least 3 teachers a day telling one of their students to put their mask over their nose and mouth. It’s a serious problem, and because of that one person, COVID cases start to spike fast.

theworstthingjuliana

‘We Can’t Eat or Drink Water in Class’

Van Bui is a senior at Luther Burbank High School:

The best thing about school this year is meeting new people and joining different sports like volleyball and track and field. This is the best thing because it taught me to enjoy life and take risks as I go. For example, I get to know a lot of people and hang out with them to do fun activities with, and joining different sports allowed me to step out of my boundaries and improve my health especially during these times. This makes my life better because I was always scared to talk to people and do different sports.

The worst thing about school this year is having COVID-19 going on still. This is the worst thing because I always have to wear a mask and there are limited activities that we can do in school. For example, we can’t eat or drink water in class, waking up early in the morning, and before getting fresh air, it’s blocked by wearing a mask for 8 hours straight. This makes my life worse because I find it very difficult to breathe or eat in class.

thebestthingvan

‘We Are Back in Person’

Lakeyah Roots is a junior at Luther Burbank High School:

The best thing about school this year is being able to learn in person. When we were doing distance learning, being able to learn the information being taught to me and my ability to do my schoolwork was not good. But now that we are back in person, I feel like I can do more work more efficiently and really get the help I need. Distance learning has taught me that doing school online does not suit me.

The worst thing about school is COVID cases. Students were getting sick, and that caused the class to be empty sometimes. The classroom does not feel the same when it is not filled with the students you normally see every day. It is not fun not being able to do certain activities because of COVID. It’s best to keep our distance from one another, but sometimes I miss the days when we were able to do certain class activities before COVID hit.

imissthedayslake

Seeing Friends

Joanna Medrano-Gutierrez is a junior at Luther Burbank High School:

The best thing about this school year is being able to see my friends again. This is the best thing about this school year because I haven’t seen most of them since the pandemic started. For example, I haven’t seen a certain friend since March 2020, but now, this school year, we are closer than we were before.

The worst thing about this school year is adapting back into waking up early again. This is the worst thing about the pandemic because I got so used to sleeping late and sleeping in, and then I had to get used to waking up early. For example, before I woke up at 9 a.m.-12 p.m., but now I wake up at 6 a.m.-7 a.m.

theworsthingjoanna

Thanks to Pachia, Brenda, Abby, Julianna, Van, Lakeyah, and Joanna for contributing their thoughts.

Consider contributing a question to be answered in a future post. You can send one to me at [email protected] . When you send it in, let me know if I can use your real name if it’s selected or if you’d prefer remaining anonymous and have a pseudonym in mind.

You can also contact me on Twitter at @Larryferlazzo .

Education Week has published a collection of posts from this blog, along with new material, in an e-book form. It’s titled Classroom Management Q&As: Expert Strategies for Teaching .

Just a reminder; you can subscribe and receive updates from this blog via email (The RSS feed for this blog, and for all Ed Week articles, has been changed by the new redesign—new ones are not yet available). And if you missed any of the highlights from the first 10 years of this blog, you can see a categorized list below.

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Student Opinion

How Did the Covid-19 Pandemic Affect You, Your Family and Your Community?

This week is the fourth anniversary of the pandemic. What are your most lasting memories? How did it reshape your life — and the world?

A movie theater marquee with a message saying that events in March are postponed.

By Jeremy Engle

It has been four years since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. The New York Times writes of the anniversary:

Four years ago today, society began to shut down. Shortly after noon Eastern on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared Covid — or “the coronavirus,” then the more popular term — to be a global pandemic. Stocks plummeted in the afternoon. In the span of a single hour that night, President Donald Trump delivered an Oval Office address about Covid, Tom Hanks posted on Instagram that he had the virus and the N.B.A. announced it had canceled the rest of its season. It was a Wednesday, and thousands of schools would shut by the end of the week. Workplaces closed, too. People washed their hands frequently and touched elbows instead of shaking hands (although the C.D.C. continued to discourage widespread mask wearing for several more weeks). The worst pandemic in a century had begun.

For some people, the earliest days of the pandemic may feel like a lifetime ago; for others, it may feel like just yesterday. But for all of us Covid has indelibly changed our lives and the world. What do you remember about the earliest days of the pandemic? When did it first hit home for you? How did it affect you, your family and your community? What lessons did you learn about yourself and the world?

In “ Four Years On, Covid Has Reshaped Life for Many Americans ,” Julie Bosman writes that while the threat of severe illness and death has faded for many people, the pandemic’s effects still linger:

Jessie Thompson, a 36-year-old mother of two in Chicago, is reminded of the Covid-19 pandemic every day. Sometimes it happens when she picks up her children from day care and then lets them romp around at a neighborhood park on the way home. Other times, it’s when she gets out the shower at 7 a.m. after a weekday workout. “I always think: In my past life, I’d have to be on the train in 15 minutes,” said Ms. Thompson, a manager at United Airlines. A hybrid work schedule has replaced her daily commute to the company headquarters in downtown Chicago, giving Ms. Thompson more time with her children and a deeper connection to her neighbors. “The pandemic is such a negative memory,” she said. “But I have this bright spot of goodness from it.” For much of the United States, the pandemic is now firmly in the past, four years to the day that the Trump administration declared a national emergency as the virus spread uncontrollably. But for many Americans, the pandemic’s effects are still a prominent part of their daily lives. In interviews, some people said that the changes are subtle but unmistakable: Their world feels a little smaller, with less socializing and fewer crowds. Parents who began to home-school their children never stopped. Many people are continuing to mourn relatives and spouses who died of Covid or of complications from the coronavirus. The World Health Organization dropped its global health emergency designation in May 2023, but millions of people who survived the virus are suffering from long Covid, a mysterious and frequently debilitating condition that causes fatigue, muscle pain and cognitive decline . One common sentiment has emerged. The changes brought on by the pandemic now feel lasting, a shift that may have permanently reshaped American life.

As part of our coverage of the pandemic’s anniversary, The Times asked readers how Covid has changed their attitudes toward life. Here is what they said:

“I’m a much more grateful person. Life is precious, and I see the beauty in all the little miracles that happen all around me. I’m a humbled human being now. I have more empathy and compassion towards everyone.” — Gil Gallegos, 59, Las Vegas, N.M. “The pandemic has completely changed my approach to educating my child. My spouse and I had never seriously considered home-schooling until March 2020. Now, we wouldn’t have it any other way.” — Kim Harper, 47, Clinton, Md. “I had contamination O.C.D. before the pandemic began. The last four years have been a steady string of my worst fears coming true. I never feel safe anymore. I know very well now that my body can betray me at any time.” — Adelia Brown, 23, Madison, Wis. “I don’t take for granted the pleasure of being around people. Going to a show, a road trip, a restaurant, people watching at the opera. I love it.” — Philip Gunnels, 66, Sugar Land, Texas “My remaining years are limited. On the one hand, I feel cheated out of many experiences I was looking forward to; on the other hand, I do not want to live my remaining years with long Covid. It’s hard.” — Sandra Wulach, 77, Edison, N.J.

Students, read one or both of the articles and then tell us:

How did the Covid-19 pandemic affect you, your family and your community? How did it reshape your life and the world? What are your most lasting memories of this difficult period? What do you want to remember most? What do you want to forget?

How did you change during this time? What did you learn about yourself and about life? What do you wish you knew then that you know now?

Ms. Bosman writes that some of the people she interviewed revealed that four years after the global pandemic began, “Their world feels a little smaller, with less socializing and fewer crowds.” However, Gil Gallegos told The Times: “I’m a much more grateful person. Life is precious, and I see the beauty in all the little miracles that happen all around me. I’m a humbled human being now. I have more empathy and compassion towards everyone.” Which of the experiences shared in the two articles reminded you the most of your own during and after the pandemic and why? How did Covid change your overall outlook on life?

“The last normal day of school.” “The nursing home shut its doors.” “The bride wore Lululemon.” These are just a few quotes from “ When the Pandemic Hit Home ,” an article in which The Times asked readers to share their memories of the world shutting down. Read the article and then tell us about a time when the pandemic hit home for you.

In the last four years, scientists have unraveled some of the biggest mysteries about Covid. In another article , The Times explores many remaining questions about the coronavirus: Are superdodgers real? Is Covid seasonal? And what’s behind its strangest symptoms? Read the article and then tell us what questions you still have about the virus and its effects.

How do you think history books will tell the story of the pandemic? If you were to put together a time capsule of artifacts from this era to show people 100 years from now, what would you include and why? What will you tell your grandchildren about what it was like to live during this time?

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public and may appear in print.

Find more Student Opinion questions here. Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate these prompts into your classroom.

Jeremy Engle joined The Learning Network as a staff editor in 2018 after spending more than 20 years as a classroom humanities and documentary-making teacher, professional developer and curriculum designer working with students and teachers across the country. More about Jeremy Engle

Study Tracks Shifts in Student Mental Health During College

Dartmouth study followed 200 students all four years, including through the pandemic.

Andrew Campbell seated by a window in a blue t-shirt and glasses

Phone App Uses AI to Detect Depression From Facial Cues

A four-year study by Dartmouth researchers captures the most in-depth data yet on how college students’ self-esteem and mental health fluctuates during their four years in academia, identifying key populations and stressors that the researchers say administrators could target to improve student well-being. 

The study also provides among the first real-time accounts of how the coronavirus pandemic affected students’ behavior and mental health. The stress and uncertainty of COVID-19 resulted in long-lasting behavioral changes that persisted as a “new normal” even as the pandemic diminished, including students feeling more stressed, less socially engaged, and sleeping more.

The researchers tracked more than 200 Dartmouth undergraduates in the classes of 2021 and 2022 for all four years of college. Students volunteered to let a specially developed app called StudentLife tap into the sensors that are built into smartphones. The app cataloged their daily physical and social activity, how long they slept, their location and travel, the time they spent on their phone, and how often they listened to music or watched videos. Students also filled out weekly behavioral surveys, and selected students gave post-study interviews. 

The study—which is the longest mobile-sensing study ever conducted—is published in the Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies .

The researchers will present it at the Association of Computing Machinery’s UbiComp/ISWC 2024 conference in Melbourne, Australia, in October. 

These sorts of tools will have a tremendous impact on projecting forward and developing much more data-driven ways to intervene and respond exactly when students need it most.

The team made their anonymized data set publicly available —including self-reports, surveys, and phone-sensing and brain-imaging data—to help advance research into the mental health of students during their college years. 

Andrew Campbell , the paper’s senior author and Dartmouth’s Albert Bradley 1915 Third Century Professor of Computer Science, says that the study’s extensive data reinforces the importance of college and university administrators across the country being more attuned to how and when students’ mental well-being changes during the school year.

“For the first time, we’ve produced granular data about the ebb and flow of student mental health. It’s incredibly dynamic—there’s nothing that’s steady state through the term, let alone through the year,” he says. “These sorts of tools will have a tremendous impact on projecting forward and developing much more data-driven ways to intervene and respond exactly when students need it most.”

First-year and female students are especially at risk for high anxiety and low self-esteem, the study finds. Among first-year students, self-esteem dropped to its lowest point in the first weeks of their transition from high school to college but rose steadily every semester until it was about 10% higher by graduation.

“We can see that students came out of high school with a certain level of self-esteem that dropped off to the lowest point of the four years. Some said they started to experience ‘imposter syndrome’ from being around other high-performing students,” Campbell says. “As the years progress, though, we can draw a straight line from low to high as their self-esteem improves. I think we would see a similar trend class over class. To me, that’s a very positive thing.”

Female students—who made up 60% of study participants—experienced on average 5% greater stress levels and 10% lower self-esteem than male students. More significantly, the data show that female students tended to be less active, with male students walking 37% more often.

Sophomores were 40% more socially active compared to their first year, the researchers report. But these students also reported feeling 13% more stressed during their second year than during their first year as their workload increased, they felt pressure to socialize, or as first-year social groups dispersed.

One student in a sorority recalled that having pre-arranged activities “kind of adds stress as I feel like I should be having fun because everyone tells me that it is fun.” Another student noted that after the first year, “students have more access to the whole campus and that is when you start feeling excluded from things.” 

In a novel finding, the researchers identify an “anticipatory stress spike” of 17% experienced in the last two weeks of summer break. While still lower than mid-academic year stress, the spike was consistent across different summers.

In post-study interviews, some students pointed to returning to campus early for team sports as a source of stress. Others specified reconnecting with family and high school friends during their first summer home, saying they felt “a sense of leaving behind the comfort and familiarity of these long-standing friendships” as the break ended, the researchers report. 

“This is a foundational study,” says Subigya Nepal , first author of the study and a PhD candidate in Campbell’s research group. “It has more real-time granular data than anything we or anyone else has provided before. We don’t know yet how it will translate to campuses nationwide, but it can be a template for getting the conversation going.”

The depth and accuracy of the study data suggest that mobile-sensing software could eventually give universities the ability to create proactive mental-health policies specific to certain student populations and times of year, Campbell says.

For example, a paper Campbell’s research group published in 2022 based on StudentLife data showed that first-generation students experienced lower self-esteem and higher levels of depression than other students throughout their four years of college.

“We will be able to look at campus in much more nuanced ways than waiting for the results of an annual mental health study and then developing policy,” Campbell says. “We know that Dartmouth is a small and very tight-knit campus community. But if we applied these same methods to a college with similar attributes, I believe we would find very similar trends.”

Weathering the pandemic

When students returned home at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the researchers found that self-esteem actually increased during the pandemic by 5% overall and by another 6% afterward when life returned closer to what it was before. One student suggested in their interview that getting older came with more confidence. Others indicated that being home led to them spending more time with friends talking on the phone, on social media, or streaming movies together. 

The data show that phone usage—measured by the duration a phone was unlocked—indeed increased by nearly 33 minutes, or 19%, during the pandemic, while time spent in physical activity dropped by 52 minutes, or 27%. By 2022, phone usage fell from its pandemic peak to just above pre-pandemic levels, while engagement in physical activity had recovered to exceed the pre-pandemic period by three minutes. 

Despite reporting higher self-esteem, students’ feelings of stress increased by more than 10% during the pandemic. By the end of the study in June 2022, stress had fallen by less than 2% of its pandemic peak, indicating that the experience had a lasting impact on student well-being, the researchers report. 

In early 2021, as students returned to campus, their reunion with friends and community was tempered by an overwhelming concern about the still-rampant coronavirus. “There was the first outbreak in winter 2021 and that was terrifying,” one student recalls. Another student adds: “You could be put into isolation for a long time even if you did not have COVID. Everyone was afraid to contact-trace anyone else in case they got mad at each other.”

Female students were especially concerned about the coronavirus, on average 13% more than male students. “Even though the girls might have been hanging out with each other more, they are more aware of the impact,” one female student reported. “I actually had COVID and exposed some friends of mine. All the girls that I told tested as they were worried. They were continually checking up to make sure that they did not have it and take it home to their family.”

Students still learning remotely had social levels 16% higher than students on campus, who engaged in activity an average of 10% less often than when they were learning from home. However, on-campus students used their phones 47% more often. When interviewed after the study, these students reported spending extended periods of time video-calling or streaming movies with friends and family.

Social activity and engagement had not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the study in June 2022, recovering by a little less than 3% after a nearly 10% drop during the pandemic. Similarly, the pandemic correlates with students sticking closer to home, with their distance traveled nearly cut in half during the pandemic and holding at that level since then.

Campbell and several of his fellow researchers are now developing a smartphone app known as MoodCapture that uses artificial intelligence paired with facial-image processing software to reliably detect the onset of depression before the user even knows something is wrong.

Morgan Kelly can be reached at [email protected] .

  • Mental Health and Wellness
  • Innovation and Impact
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  • Mental Health

A Q&A With Film Critic and Theorist Vinzenz Hediger

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After a Year of Turmoil, Harvard’s Applications Drop

ORIGINAL RESEARCH article

This article is part of the research topic.

Women in Higher Education

A Retrospective Analysis of the Perceived Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Systemic Barriers to Success for University Student Parents Provisionally Accepted

  • 1 University of Mississippi, United States

The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon.

Student parents, both undergraduate and graduate, face the difficult task of balancing their studies and raising children, and they are a population often neglected or forgotten by higher education administration. The COVID-19 pandemic enhanced already present issues student parents face through the implementation of virtual schooling, increased daycare costs and closings, staying home with sick children, and a lack of local support system, among others.Further, many student parents are graduate students who are performing research that requires physical campus space and equipment to fulfill their educational requirements, and their research progress come to a halt when the country locked down. This study explored the struggles student parents faced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, what issues the pandemic exacerbated, and what new problems have since arisen. Participants completed surveys assessing the consequences of being a student parent during the pandemic, coping resources available to them, the effect of being a student parent during the pandemic on their mental health, and demographic information.Prevalent themes include substantial declines in mental health, feelings of inadequacy in regards to both their parenting and academic abilities compared to their non-student parent peers, and a striking lack of resources or acknowledgement from their institution. The survey results are framed within the social-ecological model to better understand the systemic implications of student parent conditions. Finally, we formulate a set of recommendations to higher education administrations to inform them about the unique struggles student parents face and suggest strategies for mitigation.

Keywords: Student parents, COVID-19 pandemic, Mental Health, coping resources, higher education

Received: 10 Jul 2023; Accepted: 28 Mar 2024.

Copyright: © 2024 Franklin, Saval, Cafer and Reinemann. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Anne M. Cafer, University of Mississippi, Oxford, 38677, Mississippi, United States Dr. Dana N. Reinemann, University of Mississippi, Oxford, 38677, Mississippi, United States

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    each student believes COVID-19 has impacted their current and future outcomes.2 For example, by asking students about their current GPA in a post-COVID-19 world and their expected GPA in the absence of COVID-19, we can back out the subjective treatment e ect of COVID-19 on academic performance. The

  15. The impact of COVID-19 on student experiences and expectations

    Our findings on academic outcomes indicate that COVID-19 has led to a large number of students delaying graduation (13%), withdrawing from classes (11%), and intending to change majors (12%). Moreover, approximately 50% of our sample separately reported a decrease in study hours and in their academic performance.

  16. The pandemic has had devastating impacts on learning. What ...

    As we outline in our new research study released in January, the cumulative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students' academic achievement has been large. We tracked changes in math and ...

  17. Covid-19's Impact on Students' Academic and Mental Well-Being

    For Black students, the number spikes to 25 percent. "There are many reasons to believe the Covid-19 impacts might be larger for children in poverty and children of color," Kuhfeld wrote in the study. Their families suffer higher rates of infection, and the economic burden disproportionately falls on Black and Hispanic parents, who are less ...

  18. Positive Impacts of COVID-19

    Introduction. The global outbreak of COVID-19 has certainly taken an overwhelming toll on everyone. People have lost their jobs, their homes, and even their lives. There is no getting past the fact that the overall impact on the world has been negative, but it is important to realize that positive aspects of the pandemic have been overshadowed ...

  19. Persuasive Essay About Covid19

    Step 1: Choose a Specific Thesis Statement. Your thesis statement should clearly state your position on a specific aspect of COVID-19. It should be debatable and clear. For example: Thesis Statement: "COVID-19 vaccination mandates are necessary for public health and safety."

  20. How has COVID-19 Affected Students?

    Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report: APA. Cuffari, Benedette. (2021, October 20). How has COVID-19 Affected Students?.

  21. The COVID-19 Pandemic and Data Science and Statistics Education

    The first three papers, part of the new COVID-19 collection, describe the challenges and successes of emergency online teaching, a technology enhanced supportive instruction model, and a way to help students engage with COVID-19 journal articles. Other papers published in the issue explore a number of timely topics including: how causal ...

  22. Impacts of COVID-19 on Students Life

    Impacts of COVID-19 on Students Life. This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples. No one ever realized that such a microscopic size organism can wreak such havoc within the entire world and be the explanation for thousands of deaths. it's not ...

  23. Students Share How COVID Has Changed Their Lives (Opinion)

    The worst thing about school this year is being unable to do everything I planned because of COVID-19. Over last year, during distance learning, I was highly hopeful of returning to school in person.

  24. How Did the Covid-19 Pandemic Affect You, Your Family and Your

    It has been four years since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. The New York Times writes of the anniversary:. Four years ago today, society began ...

  25. Essay on Coronavirus in English 500 Words

    Coronavirus essay in English - Corona Virus which is commonly known as COVID-19 is an infectious disease that causes illness in the respiratory system in humans. The term Covid 19 is sort of an ...

  26. Eating alone or together: Exploring university students' eating

    During COVID-19 lockdown, students ate most meals on their own at home, as prescribed by lockdown rules, with many lacking direct company during eating. As the rules restricted movement and social gatherings, students' living circumstances at the time played a role in shaping the social aspects of their eating. The few students who had ...

  27. Study Tracks Shifts in Student Mental Health During College

    The study also provides among the first real-time accounts of how the coronavirus pandemic affected students' behavior and mental health. The stress and uncertainty of COVID-19 resulted in long-lasting behavioral changes that persisted as a "new normal" even as the pandemic diminished, including students feeling more stressed, less ...

  28. A Retrospective Analysis of the Perceived Impact of the COVID-19

    Student parents, both undergraduate and graduate, face the difficult task of balancing their studies and raising children, and they are a population often neglected or forgotten by higher education administration. The COVID-19 pandemic enhanced already present issues student parents face through the implementation of virtual schooling, increased daycare costs and closings, staying home with ...

  29. Essay on Postman in 500 Words in English for School Students

    The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of postmen as essential workers in maintaining communication networks. Postmen often face difficulties and challenges in their day-to-day job. The job of a postman is to deliver letters and build connections between people. Quick Read: Holi Essay for Children

  30. First-generation College Students' Experiences During the COVID-19

    Describes the experiences of first-generation undergraduate students during the early COVID-19 pandemic, from January to June 2020. The statistics shown include the percentage of first-generation students who withdrew from their college, who had difficulty accessing or paying for food, and who received emergency financial assistance through their college.