[T]thousands of students [are] reconsidering their college plans, in what many enrollment officials fear will be the worst season of “summer melt” in memory. Some are finding that they can no longer afford their first choice; others are questioning whether an online or hybrid education is worth the price of an in-person one. Some are staying home out of concerns for their health, or the health of family members.
In a national survey conducted this spring, one in six high-school seniors who before the pandemic expected to attend a four-year college full time said that they will choose a different path this fall. A majority expected either to take a gap year or enroll part time in a bachelor’s program (35 percent each), while smaller percentages planned to work or attend a community college.