A new survey of full-time college students found that 31% are deeply worried about their safety if they have to go back to school in the fall of 2020. The survey, conducted by ValuePenguin.com by LendingTree, aimed to understand college students' feelings about returning to campus in the fall, and their thoughts around the health implications of reopening colleges while COVID-19 cases continue to increase.
With many colleges on track to reopen for the fall, welcoming back thousands of students despite concerns over the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is what college students are most worried about:
- 78% of college students lack trust in their school's on-campus health facility to provide quality care. These fears are well founded, according to ValuePenguin.com research, which found that 11% of current college students have been misdiagnosed by their school's on-campus health facility at some point in the past. This includes a whopping 22% of students who attend school in New England.
- 36% of college students are very worried about contracting the coronavirus if they return to campus, and older students were more likely to worry about this than younger students. Students are also struggling with their mental health – with 49% reporting they have struggled with feelings of loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Students also worried about their peers' ability to follow social distancing guidelines and practice healthy habits. 34% said they did not trust their fellow classmates at all in this regard, and another 54% only somewhat trust them. The survey also showed that female students trusted their classmates less than male students when it comes to following social distancing guidelines, and less than a quarter of dorm residents feel completely safe about living in a dorm amid the pandemic.
- Students also worry about getting housing. 27% of college students, especially those from out of state, are worried about finding housing for the fall semester. As student housing departments adapt to accommodate new health guidelines, students fear there will be fewer available spots for them to live.
- Nearly a third of college students haven't received enough coronavirus-related communication from their school. They're receiving vague responses from their school administrations and often have more questions than answers regarding what to expect once schools open. Students also lack clarity about coronavirus-related insurance coverage. Only 29% of college students said they understand what is and is not covered under their health insurance as it relates to the coronavirus.
ValuePenguin.com commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 1,050 full time college students in America, with the sample base proportioned to represent the overall population. The survey was fielded in July 2020. To view the full report, visit: https://www.valuepenguin.com/nearly-one-third-students-feel-unsafe-returning-to-campus#care